Saturday, 23 June 2018

C Columns

Consider This: Faithful Fathers Pray, Provide and Protect

By Dan Woodworth

Sunday,  June  17,  2018  is  Father’s  Day  this  year.  America  typically  places  much  more  emphasis  on  Mother’s  Day  than  Father’s  Day.  I  want  to  focus  on  Father’s  Day  because  we  are  losing  fathers  in  our  secular  communities  and  our  church  communities.

Statistics  prove  that  fatherless  homes  create  many  more  youth  suicides,  runaways,  anger  disorders  and  dropouts  from  schools.  I  believe  the  main  cause  of  fatherless  homes  is  shame.

I  define  shame  as  “character  assassination.”  A  father  who  experiences  shame  feels:“I’m  not  enough.  I  don’t  have  what  it  takes.  I  won’t  make  it.”  What  does  this  mean?  It  means,  “I  don’t  have  enough  love,  acceptance  and  value  of  myself,  or  of  others.”

Why  does  he  feel  that  way?  Because  he  experienced  an  emotionally  absent,  abusive,  neglectful  or  physically  absent  father.  Our  Loving  Lord  created  us  to  look  to  our  fathers  as  role  models  until  we  are  mature  enough  emotionally  to  look  to  our  Father  in  heaven.

These  fathers  are  unfaithful  because  they  cannot  possibly  be  faithful  without  grace.  They  need  faithful  fathers  or  other  faithful  men  to  show  them  how  to  be  a  faithful  father.  Or  they  must  be  so  determined  that  they  will  not  be  like  their  unfaithful  father.

Shame  can  only  be  healed  by  grace.  A  father  who  experiences  grace  feels:  “I’m  enough.  I  have  what  it  takes.  I  will  make  it.  That  means  that  I  have  enough  love,  acceptance  and  value  of  myself  and  then  others.”

My  father  was  a  faithful  father.  He  loved  my  mother  and  he  loved  me  and  my  two  younger  sisters.  His  father  was  an  unfaithful  father.  He  was  an  alcoholic  because  of  his  shame.  If  shame  is  not  healed  by  grace,  an  unfaithful  father  will  medicate  his  pain  with  money,  sex,  alcohol  or  drugs  to  relieve  the  torment.

My  father  saw  the  behavior  of  his  unfaithful  father  as  a  young  boy  and  made  a  determined  decision  that  he  would  be  a  faithful  father.  I  was  his  best  friend.  He  took  me  everywhere  he  could.  He  took  me  out  hunting  for  doves  in  Hawaii  when  I  was  4  years  old.  The  .410  shotgun  knocked  me  down  and  I  started  crying.  He  gently  picked  me  up  and  showed  me  how  to  do  it  again.  He  always  let  me  have  the  first  shot  when  we  were  out  hunting  or  fishing.  I  remember  one  trip  when  we  went  out  mountain  goat  hunting  on  the  Pahsimeroi  River  in  eastern  Idaho.  He  let  me  use  his  more  powerful  rifle  and  wanted  me  to  take  the  first  shot.  It  was  a  long  600-yard  shot.  The  goat  was  so  far  away  that  I  had  to  use  the  scope  on  the  rifle  to  see  it.  It  was  a  miracle  shot  that  dropped  the  goat.  My  dad  could  not  believe  it.

When  I  was  about  to  enter  my  freshman  year  up  at  the  University  of  Idaho  in  September  of  1969,  he  went  and  talked  to  the  fraternity  brothers  at  the  Alpha  Tau  Omega  (ATO)  fraternity.  He  was  an  ATO  at  Oregon  State  University.  He  convinced  them  to  pledge  me  because  I  was  too  shy  to  do  it  myself.

He  loved  my  wife,  Irene,  just  as  if  he  were  her  biological  father.  Our  Lord  lived  through  him  to  heal  her  of  her  “father  wound.”  She  was  able  to  forgive  her  biological  father.  He  came  to  live  with  us  for  nine  months  during  the  last  year  and  a  half  of  his  life.  They  were  perfectly  restored  with  each  other.

I  have  hundreds  of  other  stories  I  remember.  The  last  story  I  will  never  forget  happened four  days  before  he  went  to  heaven.  It  was  Irene's  birthday,  July  8,  2001.  I  was  talking  to  him  on  the  phone.  He  told  me,  “Dan,  I  love  you.  I’m  proud  of  who  you  are!”  Those  were  the  last  words  I  heard  from  my  father.  He  made  a  perfect  trip  to  heaven  with  no  pain  on  July  12,  14  days  before  his  79th  birthday.

My  faithful  father  prayed,  provided  and  protected  me  until  I  was  strong  enough  to  do  the  same  as  a  father.  He  knew  how  to  pray.  He  knew  how  to  provide  spiritual,  emotional  and  physical  provision  and  protection.  He  taught  me  how  to  be  loving,  gracious,  merciful  and  compassionate.  At  his  funeral  he  received  many  letters  from  people  all  over  the  world  who  shared  stories  of  him  helping  them.  He  found  ways  to  give  scholarships  to  young  people  and  help  their  dreams  come  true.

A  couple  of  years  before  he  went  to  heaven,  he  told  me  that  he  had  no  regrets  and  that  all  of  his  dreams  had  come  true.  He  left  a  living  legacy  for  me  and  many  others  that  will  last  forever.

Because  of  his  modeling  to  me  of  how  to  be  a  faithful  father,  I  have  become  a  faithful  father.  I  know  how  to  be  a  spiritual,  emotional  and  physical  provider  and  protector  to  our  spectacular  son,  Chris.  Friends,  the  key  to  success  of  being  a  faithful  father  is  consistency,  not  perfection.  

If  you  are  a  father,  pray  and  obey.  Learn  to  trust  our  Father  in  heaven.  He  is  perfect  andHe  cannot  make  a  mistake.  As  we  allow  our  Father  in  heaven  to  provide  and  protect  us,  He  will  always  do  it.  When  you  make  a  mistake,  ask  our  Father  to  help  you  so  that  you  will  learn  your  lesson.  The  only  time  we  really  fail  is  when  we  quit  and  give  up.

Keep  going!  Don’t  quit!  Listen  to  His  Living  Words  in  Deuteronomy  31:6  in  The  Message:  Be  strong!  Take  courage!  Don’t  be  intimidated!  Don’t  give  them  a  second  thought!  I  am  your  Living  Lord!  I’m  striding  ahead  of  you!  I'm  right  here  with  you!  I  won’t  let  you  down!  I  won’t  leave  you!

Also,  listen  to  Him  in  Psalm  91:14  in  The  Message:  If  you’ll  hold  onto  me  for  dear  life,I’ll  get  you  out  of  any  trouble!

If  you  have  or  had  an  abusive,  neglectful,  emotionally  absent  or  physically  absent  father,  ask  and  thank  our  Father  in  heaven  to  lead  you  to  a  man  who  knows  how  to  pray,  provide  and  protect  to  heal  your  “father  wound.”

Our  Father  in  heaven  is  the  Perfect,  Faithful  Father.  We  must  look  to  Him  to  learn  howto  be  a  faithful  father  or  how  to  relate  to  Him  if  we  ourselves  need  a  faithful  father.

Faithful  fathers  pray,  provide  and  protect!

Dr.  Dan  Woodworth  earned  his  Doctor  of  Ministry  (DMin)  degree  from  the  King's  University  in  Los  Angeles  in  2009.  His  passion  is  to  encourage  and  empower  people  with the  transforming  power  of  hope  and  healing  to  become  all  they  are  created  to  be.  He  and his  beautiful  bride,  Irene,  have  planted  three  churches.  They  are  in  the  process  of  creating  a  cross/cultural,  cross/generational  healing  community  solving  pressing  problems  in  Boise  and  beyond.  He  may  be  reached  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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