When Fathers Are Failures

There are many children, young and old, who can’t stomach Father’s Day. They are the offspring of deadbeat dads, abusive fathers, men who have failed them in ways that possibly scarred them for life. To them the whole purpose of this day is senseless, if not revolting. There will be no phone calls home, no backyard BBQs, not sappy Hallmark card. “Lord, just let this day be over,” they pray, “and let me get on with my life without being reminded of that man.”

I lack the wisdom, and the experience, to counsel those who have been hurt so deeply. There is no pain like the pain of being mistreated by those who, above all others, you expect to love you unconditionally.

This, however, I do know. When men do not live up to their callings, when they live only for themselves, there nevertheless remains a man who will never do that to you. When men abuse the innocent, and do the unspeakable, there is still a man who never once will treat you that way. If even father and mother forsake you, brother and sister turn their backs on you, the whole world hate and curse and damn you to hell, there is a man who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you through it all, never leaving your side.

This man is not your father, but he is your brother, come down from heaven to suffer abuse for you, to know what it’s like to be hated and mistreated and abandoned by those nearest and dearest to him. And he has a father who wants to adopt you, to make you part of his family, that he might care for you as no earthly father ever could. This man, this Jesus of Nazareth, will get you through Father’s Day, and will bring you into the arms of a Father who is truly worthy of the name.



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7 thoughts on “When Fathers Are Failures

  1. Terry on said:

    The parable of the “Lost Sons”, Luke 15, shapes and molds one’s perception of our true Father.

  2. Hard to grasp the concept of God as Father when all you know is the abuse and neglect of an earthly father. I do not own a single photo of my abusive father.
    I thank God daily for my wonderful husband who is more like my heavenly Father than earthly one.
    Happy Father’s Day, Marty – Love you ❤

  3. AT the Methodist church across the street from the library where our LCMS mission meets was this sermon title: “Look up in air! Is a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s superdad”.

    • That’s the difference between Methodist ministers and Lutheran priests.

      The former look up into the air (as of course did the advocates of Ba’al, going about the desperate business of cutting their throats).

      The latter look at and share the consecrated body and blood of Him whom the Father sent, because God so loved His world.

      “Superdad” promises to come to us unworthies, Wesleyites. He’s that close to us. Spare us your kryptonite.

      Your (unworthy) servant,
      Herr Doktor

  4. Brad on said:

    Simply, simply beautiful. And best of all–simply true.

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