News flash: I’m a major fan of 80’s (and most 90’s) music. I mean, who isn’t who has exerienced that music? Even some of the younger generations can appreciate music from an earlier era. Genesis rocked the air waves for a good part of both decades, including the song “No Son of Mine”. Growing up I really enjoyed the catchy beat and lyrics of the song; never giving much thought to the devastation behind them. wounding
A father’s words can ring into eternity in the lives of his children. The right words build a confidence and self-worth that will lay the foundation for decades; while the wrong ones can wreak havoc on a young man or young woman’s heart for who knows how long. Father wounds are a very real issue- something that should never be taken lightly.
As the song alludes to, the young man left his home because of his father’s actions. But instead of owning up to them, the dad flipped the blame on the son for “leaving the family behind”. Imagine this son’s torment: watching the implied abuse in the home, suffering the hurt through it all, making the decision to leave home…and then being blamed for it when he returned to make things right?!
God would NEVER hold us in contempt for going astray. (As we see when Jesus shares in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.) No- the son who abandoned his family is neither shamed nor banished; but enthusiastically welcomed, tightly embraced, and greatly celebrated! Despite our earthly upbringing, THIS is the truth for us as sons and daughters of the Most High. wounding
Again, as the song portrays, sometimes we have to face our past, painful as it may be. It may mean having the most difficult conversation of our life, sucking in everything our flesh wants to blurt out, and risking major heartache. It means forgiving (or asking for forgiveness) when we never saw that as an option- preferably to their face; or through a letter, phone call, or a prayer if they are no longer around.
Unlike our earthly parents, who are bound to fail us at some point, our heavenly Father will ALWAYS welcome us back with open arms. I was able to forgive my dad three years ago for everything he did. He died earlier this year. I am now at peace and able to move on because I was able to forgive him…but only because I know that I am forgiven too.
Parents, are words from the past affecting your parenting today…or are you listening to the One who died for you so you and your children can have a future with Him?
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
Psalm 27:10 ESV
By Matt Haviland
Husband to Christy
Dad of one daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of A Father’s Walk
Author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resource for Single Fathers, co-author of The Daddy Gap