Sunday is Father’s Day, but my heart is broken when I think about the percentage of children who have no father in their lives. For some of these, their father has died. For most, however, their father simply decided to quit being a dad. Even before that happened, these men decided to quit being a husband. They listened to the silent voice inside that lied to them with statements like, “You deserve to be happy,” or “You married the wrong person.” That voice soon changed to, “Divorce isn’t really so bad,” and, “The children will get over it.”
How can I be so sure about those silent voices? In 1985 I walked out on my wife, Charlyne, and our three children. Soon, a replacement for me had been found. It took me two years before I could discern between which relationship was real love and which was counterfeit. I had been blinded to the truth, just as you may be today.
The damage from divorce on the hearts and minds of our children starts immediately, and may last a lifetime. Charlyne and I grieve when hearing about teenagers who must be sent away because they are out of control. It saddens us to hear of an elementary child whom a teacher has written off because of behavior problems that started after their parents divorced. We hurt when we talk with adults who cannot keep their own marriages together, because neither husband nor wife had parents who could avoid divorce.
If you are a prodigal, may I ask you a question? Why are you more concerned about your kicks than your kids? When did your anatomy become more important that your adolescent? Why are you cultivating sin instead of a son? When did a little thrill become more important than a little girl? Good times have replaced God’s times. Booze has replaced the Bible. Pornography has replaced prayer. Our goal has become happiness, not holiness.
But don’t worry, because the “experts” have told us that those we should love the most will get over the child abuse of divorce. NO! They will not! Precious children are being damaged for life by the selfish acts of parents, taken captive by the enemy, and listening to the world’s advice.
I wish it were possible for the experts to leave their glass towers for a day and come help my wife and I answer our mail. What do we say to the parent who must sell their family home, the place of security for their kids, because the breadwinner is taking his bread somewhere sinful? How do we respond to a man whose thirteen-year-old daughter has become sexually promiscuous, just like her mother? What do we tell someone when the police, not the parents, have become involved in the discipline of a hurting kid? What can we do for the parent of a toddler who goes to sleep night after night sobbing the name of a missing mommy or daddy?
Do children “get over” that painful parental amputation that we call divorce? Not from where we sit. If you have walked out on your family, study after study, demonstrates that your kids will be handicapped for life, starting with poorer grades, and ending with a shortened life span.
I left my wife and our three children for the very things I have written about here. There was evidence of damage being done in each of their lives that Charlyne and I do not share publicly. I could not see beyond what “I” wanted.
There came a day when the Lord told me to go home. While I was gone (over two years), the Lord had been changing my wife. I went to her office and asked her to marry me all over again. Somehow, God worked out all the details. That was over 20 years ago.
We have three adult children, their spouses, and grandchildren planning my Father’s Day celebration. There is no thrill in the “far country” that can compete with having my three-year-old grandson console me this week, “Grandpa, Father’s Day is for grandpas too!”
Books titled, “How To …” are the most popular with readers. For Father’s Day, I want to give you, “How To Find Your Way Home.” My book is subtitled, “Regardless of the Circumstances!”
Here it is; if you are serious about giving your family the best Father’s Day gift possible, all contact with that other person must stop instantly. Period. End of sentence. That means no friendship, no “How are you doing?” phone calls, no driving by, no cards on birthdays. That other person does not “need” you. Your family needs you. When you move out, take someone else with you, or better yet, have them pick up your things.
That other relationship was not love, but lust. The only way to end lust is to starve it. If you continue contacts, you are only fertilizing your fantasies. You can never see or talk to that other person alone again. If you can do this for six months, starting on Father’s Day, you can be preparing for Christmas with your children, without feelings for that person haunting you.
If you are sensing something in your spirit (I could not put Charlyne out of my mind), go for it and go home today! The first stop on the way needs to be on your knees, asking God to forgive you for what you have done. He will work out every obstacle that you are considering right now. Hey, just wait until your kids hear that you are home!
Dad, you have a family waiting and praying for you who really need you home. I will never forget July 7, 1987, when I suddenly remarried my wife. May this Father’s Day be that kind of day for you!
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
Ministry Web Site | Bookstore | 24/7 Radio
Donations | Chapel Page