I have had some people comment about my obvious love for my dad. I can’t help it (and I wouldn’t if I could!) – I love my dad, I respect my dad, and I think the world of him. But sadly, this has not always been the case, and that is what I want to share with you. Specifically, how did I go from being a “Daddy’s girl” to not even being able to stand being in the same room as my dad, and most importantly how did I then become my dad’s biggest fan (well… my mom will differ on that, so let me change that to “one of his biggest fans”)?
Have you ever heard the Casting Crown song that goes “…people never crumble in a day…”? Likewise, mighty trees don’t suddenly appear – they all start with one little seed… one negative word, one negative thought. When left unchecked, fostered, and fed these “little” seeds become mighty trees separating even the best of friends and destroying even the closest of relationships.
Well, this is how it happened with my relationship with my dad… It all started with one little, insignificant, in the light of eternity even unimportant area in which we disagreed.
The more I focused on how “wrong” he was in this area, the more the devil began to fill my mind with thoughts like “if he is wrong in that area, what other areas is he wrong in?” As I dwelled on those kinds of thoughts, I more and more began to only look for and be able to see Dad’s faults and all the things he did “wrong”.
Before too long I found myself hating to even be in the same room as him, and inwardly rolling my eyes and thinking “what’s he going to be wrong about this time?” every time my wonderful father opened his mouth (even if he was only talking about the weather!). No matter what he did or said I found fault.
I shudder to think of where I would be today if Yahweh hadn’t grabbed a hold of me by showing me through a very painful experience what the “end result” was of the road I was traveling. Through that experience, I got a glimpse of the person I was quickly becoming, and to say it was a horrifying wake-up call, would be an understatement.
Years ago I read a small poem that really came alive for me:
Two women looked through prison bars,
One saw mud, the other saw stars.
I say this came alive for me not because I was in any sort of prison (I was/am NOT by any stretch of the imagination!), but because I had experienced first-hand the impact and results of perspectives and most of all the things I allowed myself to think about and dwell on.
Both the women in the above poem were in the same circumstances – prison – yet one chose to look at the negative things (the mud), whereas the other chose to look at the good (the stars).
My dad has said many times over the years: “We are all human, which means none of us is perfect. If you want to find fault and failings in anybody’s life you won’t have to look too far to find it, because there are plenty of them. But there are also good things about each one of us, and if you look for that you’ll find plenty of them too.”
When I noticed what kind of person my negative thoughts and view of my dad was turning me into, I decided to look for the good in him and to not allow anything negative, dishonoring, or disrespectful about him to be hung in my thought closet, so to speak. Within a very short time I began to think the world of my dad, and to feel SO blessed to be his daughter.
My dad did not change. My circumstances did not change. What changed were my thoughts, focus, and view of my dad.
As I looked for the good in my dad, it was not long before I realized that second only to his King and Creator, he loved his family more than anything – evident in the many sacrifices he made for us, all the thoughtful little things he did for us, and all the times and ways he put us and our comfort and desires before his own. And I realized that although he was human like the rest of us, he was doing the best he knew how to be a Godly man and father.
Yes, my father has faults and there are times when he fails or messes up (which of us doesn’t?), he is not perfect, and he doesn’t always get everything right (which of us do?), but he is my dad, and I love him for it!
May Yahweh help each and everyone of us as we try to take every thought captive and to take seriously verses like James 4:11a “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. …” and Philippians 4:8 “Finally. brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”