Let’s face it, we don’t live in a world of rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes we get the curve balls of divorce, separation, or weak marriages where our children’s fathers may be absent physically, spiritually, or emotionally.
Only if we lived in a perfect world, right?! We would have…
Well, let’s just snap out of that little daydream. Are you still with me? Come back to the light, mama!
While you may not be experiencing a perfect marriage or maybe you are recovering from a divorce or separation, you can still have a heart full of love and demonstrate respect for your husband or ex.
To help you with that, I’ve outlined 5 different ideas you can implement to honor a father you would rather not. Some of these take a major dose of humility.
So, please pray first and ask God to humble your heart in order to carry out at least one of these suggestions.
5 Ways to Honor a Deadbeat Dad on Father’s Day:
1.) You can honor your husband by honoring God and loving him despite what he’s done or not done for you and your children.
Loving those who least deserve it is exactly what God wants you to do. After all, that’s what He did for you. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
2.) Remember your children. As much as you would like to make this about you and your husband—it isn’t. Father’s Day gives you an opportunity to put other’s interests above your own.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Contrary to popular belief, men have feelings. While they may not always know how to best express them, they are there. Encourage your husband or ex with words of affirmation.
Words of affirmation are words that build up and don’t tear down. You can express your grateful for his faithfulness to work everyday, or calling his children.
Now you may be thinking…”Tia, those things are way too kind and not true of my situation". Mama, I got you! That’s when you can thank him for breathing today. Now you may laugh, but I’m serious.
There are a lot of men who would have checked out and escaped this hardship and life altogether. Sadly, I’ve known some and their children were left to pick up the pieces and will never really know who their dad is.
There is always something to be grateful for.
3.) Let your children see you place your hurts and emotions to the side for the sake of biblical and Christlike unity.
It also shows your children how to love someone biblically. It is super-duper hard to love people who treat us bad or wrongfully. Yet, that’s exactly what Christ asks us to do in Luke 6:32, 35.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them…But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Did you read that? Your reward will be great if you love and do good to your enemies. Now, I’m not saying your husband or ex are your enemies. I’m just saying they may not be your favorite people on earth right now ;-)
4.) Love your neighbor as yourself. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31).
Ouch, I know. This one hurts—a lot!
But as Christians we are held to a high standard. Christ doesn’t say to only love our neighbors if they are kind to us and treat our children well. No, we are to love them like ourselves regardless.
5.) Talk to your children about Father’s Day and one thing you are grateful for and how you are praying for your husband or ex. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
You can tell your children you are grateful for their father because it gave you beautiful children. Another idea, you can be grateful for their father because God is using him to make you more Christlike through sanctification.
Pray with your children and ask God to change daddy’s heart along with your heart to love him when it’s difficult. Ultimately, pray for reconciliation and restoration.