When I was younger, I never really thought much about my relationship with my Dad. Most of the time we were good pals, but as I got older, we started to become strangers to each other. I thought that because I was older, I was also wiser. Soon I started to lose respect for my Dad’s advice and would try to give him my advice. Of the advice he gave that I did listen to, something really caught my attention. He told me that you can tell what kind of a husband a boy would make by how he treats his mother, and the same applies to a girl on how she treats her father. The way that people treat their parents becomes a habit, and follows them into their marriage.
I began to take a much closer look at the relationships my friends had with either their mothers or fathers. After a while, it finally dawned on me that the same principle applied to me, just as to anyone else, so I took a closer look at my relationship with my Dad. To tell the truth, it shocked me to think that this would also be the same way that I would treat my future husband, or even worse, if I didn’t try to get better! I desperately wanted to have a good marriage, and it made me afraid to think that I would be the one to cause its failure.
I knew that God was the only one who could help me. He was the only one who knew and understood both my heart and my Dad’s heart. So I started to pray about it and asked Him for His help. I read my Bible more to find out what habits I needed to change or create. Over time I realized that I had to:
• Learn how to forgive even if the person didn’t ask for forgiveness. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15 “Un-forgiveness is the poison we drink and expect others to die.”
• Think about the fact that I might be the one who is in the wrong. And if so, admit it and apologize as soon as possible. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7 “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1 “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,”Ephesians 4:26
• Stop and think before I speak or do something. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” Proverbs 13:3 “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. Proverbs 15:28 “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2 “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.” Proverbs 22:3
• Obey both my parents without hesitation or arguing. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” Colossians 3:20
• To respect my Dad in that I would see his advice and instruction as from a man God put in authority of me. “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.“Proverbs 13:1 “A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent.” Proverbs 15:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5
God showed me what I needed to change, one area at a time, and I am sure He will continue to show me more areas as well. He also helped me to win each battle. I still have to fight to keep the good habits and sometimes still fail to do them, but He helps me to keep trying. It is worth it all and I pray that I will never give up. The lessons were hard to learn and I don’t want that work to ever go to waste. I had no one to look to as an example in that, in the end it would really make a difference. Although, it did teach me to have a stronger faith in God’s promises.
Another thing was that Dad was not an encourager. He wanted us kids to stand on our own self esteem, and so it was a long time before I heard anything like a compliment to show that he saw a change in me. God was my help and my encourager. He taught me, He gave me friends to help me and pray for me, He gave me books to read that helped me to understand so much, and He was the reason that I didn’t give up. I wanted to do His will, and He wanted me to obey and honor my parents, even if at times I thought that they didn’t deserve it.
He always deserves our obedience and love. At first I was respecting my Dad only because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. Yet, through respecting my Dad, we have become much closer in our relationship. Now I have many reasons to respect and love my Dad. I also have more confidence that I will have a good marriage, Lord willing, someday. God is teaching me good habits that I can take with me into my marriage.
Here are the names of some of the books that helped me:
• Beautiful Girlhood, Revised by Karen Andreola (A book for younger girls, but can be for any age.)
• Created To Be His Help Meet, by Debi Pearl
• Fascinating Womanhood by Helen B. Andelin.
Created To Be His Help Meet and Fascinating Womanhood, are intended for married woman who are having troubles, but provide many lessons that us unmarried girls can use … which will help us to avoid the troubles in the first place, at least as best we can.
May God, our Father in Heaven, help you and your fathers to have a good relationships, help you to create good habits, and help you to never give up trying to be a better child of God. Shalom and Love in Yeshua,