My father died in 2014. He was 81. He had never said “I love you” to his daughter.
Now he never will.
It’s a truth that doesn’t get any easier the older one gets. It’s actually harder to get used to the longer one drifts in time away from his death date, not easier.
He was a hard working man. He was a gifted raconteur. He was a wealthy man. He was a lot of things. But a father? Not so much. His ignoring of his kids as they grew, his intermittent but frequent abandonment of them as adults, his final, legal disownment of them as he aged all were stunning betrayals in the lives of three children, with untold consequences.
Every daughter can tell a different story about her father. Some stories are good, some are bad. Some are neutral. Some are bitter and some are sweet. Fathers, dear reader, have an effect.
There is a short film called The Father Effect. It is good.
The producer of this movie lost his own father to suicide when he was a boy. As he stated in the movie’s Mission page, the resulting film is his attempt
to educate, equip, & encourage men to be the dads God created them to be
Many of the people with whom I am connected through media and in real life have great parents who they honor and feel blessed to have grown up under. Others have disappointing stories they share, either freely or privately. Whatever the case with you, you know fathers have an effect on you for life. I worry for the fatherless who don’t have the solace of Jesus. For those among you who have had a less than blessed childhood, but are now safely home under Jesus’ wings, you know you have a REAL father. Jesus will love you forever, never abandon you, and is in fact, perfect. What a blessing this is. He is not only as Prophet, Priest, and King, but friend, brother, and Father.
The Father Effect movie also has an EncouragingDads project.
The Encouraging Dads Project was an idea that came out of John’s experience in making The Father Effect Movie. As John talked to dads from all walks of life, he heard heartbreaking stories about how dads feel beat up, discouraged, and frustrated with their lives as dads. John was moved to do something to help encourage and inspire dads and The Encouraging Dads Project was born.
Take some time to encourage your Dad. Encourage a dad. Encourage a man who was a dad to you. Encouragement is free, and only takes a few moments. Send a letter, make a phone call, send a text, make a date to take him out for coffee. Tell him how special he is to you.
Dads, do the same for your daughters. If some time has gone by since you talked to her, take a moment to let her know how much she means to you, how proud of her you are, that you love her. My dad in all probability never confessed and repented and probably died outside of Christ. It was a sudden hit in a car crash. Boom. Gone.
He and I will not meet again, and I’m sorrowful for that. Eternity will go on and I will be loved perfectly by many fathers, and THE Father. I will forget the former troubling things, including Dad. He will remember everything, forever. If there is sorrow over your relationship with your dad, if you are on opposite sides of the salvation fence, let that fact weigh on you, and as the men in The Father Effect say, forgive.
Caption: “Our purpose in making this film is to create an awareness in fathers about the significant impact their words and actions have on their children and to help them become better fathers.”
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29).