Q&A: Honouring my dad who abandoned us

Question:

I hate Father’s Day. My dad never said, “I love you,” or told me he was proud of me. Eventually, he abandoned our family completely. He was never a positive influence in my life – why should I honour him?

Answer: We feel for you. We understand some of the angst you may feel around Father’s Day. But we can still respect long-held traditions that teach us to honour our dads. That’s because honouring your father is as much for you as it is for him – maybe more so.

The ancient Greek word which means “honour” is often more specifically translated as “honouring that which is honourable.” In other words, we aren’t expected to respect our father for his abuse or his irresponsibility. But we should honour him for the positive things – however few – he represented. For some of us, that may be nothing more than the fact that he was responsible for giving us life.

And there’s a personal benefit in that action. Honouring a dad who wasn’t all he should have been requires us to forgive. It’s a long, challenging process and it certainly doesn’t erase a lifetime of poor choices your father may have made. But it does release us from the emotional prison our resentment can keep us trapped in. And if your dad is still alive – it could be a first step on a journey of healing for both of you.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

MORE

MARRIAGE

Real Life Solutions

The first step to connecting well sexually is to do so verbally. Discuss 7 essential questions that will help you and your spouse satisfy your differing needs for intimacy in your marriage.

Read More >

Nourishing Your Spouse

Love isn’t just a feeling; it is action and behaviour. It’s important that you regularly nourish your relationship with your loved one in ways that speak love to him/her.

Read More >

PARENTING

Homework and Responsibility

Sometimes parents get stressed over homework more so than their children. What is the right way to teach your child about time management, responsibility and consequences?

Read More >

Adaptability as a Parent

The ability to adjust and respond with flexibility and optimism is a lifeline to the struggling family. Learn how adaptability is one of the seven traits of effective parenting.

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A