Saturday, June 11, 2011

Appreciate Your Father Regardless

This Fathers’ Day will be a difficult one as it has always been for many people who do not have fond memories of their father. There are stories of abuse, neglect and abandonment, but there are also great stories of fathers and other men coming into the lives of children to making a difference.

I was blessed to have my natural father and a mentor in my life during my childhood. The amazing thing was all that my father was incapable of providing me, God placed it into the heart of Michael Van Barren. He was and continues to be my hero because he rescued me from a life of destruction before I ever had an opportunity to become entangled into the cruel world’s godless system. However, I never lost sight of the fact, that if my natural father had not brought me into this world, I would not have the opportunity to share my life and love with my own three sons. God knew that I would be able model for them what it means to be a man that loves his family and walks under the authority and protection of Jesus Christ. I celebrate my opportunity to be a father and I know that it would not have been possible had my natural father not given me life.

I know that many of you have pain and difficulty even considering what I am asking you to do, but you must forgive in order to move on completely. Unforgiveness does not hurt your father, it hurts you. Even if you cannot celebrate the things that your father has done for you throughout your life, please celebrate the fact that he helped bring you into the world. That one gift of life has now afforded you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, your family, and the lives of your own children. Scripture says in Romans 8:28, “For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Although the absence of a natural father may be painful, it cannot compare with the joy and fulfillment of nurturing your own child or mentee to ensure that they experience a life filled with love and care from a man who loves them regardless.

Celebrate fatherhood with the understanding that the one perfect gift that your father gave you was life; a chance to make a difference and impact the world.

Happy Fathers’ Day to every father, uncle, grandfather and mentor. Your presence and experience will have a lasting impression upon every child’s life that you impact. In turn, your investments in children create a wonderful legacy that will live far beyond your days.

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