For Some, Father’s Day Requires Some Delicate Preaching.

NOTE:
This
is a Guest Post used with permission from Dr. Sam Serio
at

 
For Some, Father's Day Requires Some Delicate Preaching.
 
For
some, Father’s Day brings painful childhood memories. (
iStock
photo
)

Father’s
Day is THE most difficult day of the year for millions of people who
will be coming to church. Let’s remember that as we prepare our
sermons for this delicate day.

Not
everyone wants to hear the command and admonition to honor and obey
their father. Their dad wasn’t the best dad in the world. We will
have a wide range of listeners: there are some who don’t even know
their dad, and then there are some who know their dad far too well—in
the biblical sense of the word.

June
is the worst month of the year for many of your folks. They’ll never
tell you why it is. They’ve never told anyone …

There
are some family secrets and sexual shortcomings that have been
carefully tucked away for no one to ever discover. Remember the
steamy story of David and Bathsheba, which was soon followed by the
incomprehensible incest of Amnon and Tamar in 2 Samuel 11-13? This
is must-reading and reviewing for Father’s Day.

Brother
Absalom did his best to keep it all a secret while Tamar remained a
devastated woman for the rest of her days. Take note that there are
Absaloms and there are Tamars who will be hearing you preach
today—some who try to hide sin and some who try to hide sadness.
As students of God’s Word, we should be the least surprised at family
dysfunction and sexual deception of all types!

I
don’t want to burst your balloon or rain on your parade. Yes, this
is the one day to honor our fathers and also our single mothers who
juggle both roles. However, this fatherhood concept is also one of
the biggest obstacles that some face as they endeavor to live the
Christian life.

Some
fathers have provoked their children to anger which has lasted a
lifetime. It’s a time of humiliation, not celebration. Be mindful of
the huge multitude of memories and emotions that are suddenly stirred
up today! Some have been physically abandoned, psychologically
wounded or sexually violated. Many would prefer to fast-forward this
day since it re-opens wounds they tried to heal and restores memories
they tried to erase.

Honoring
your father who has done some dishonorable things is just not the
easiest thing for us to do. Some end up leaving church with a ton of
false guilt and misplaced shame as they’re beat up by their pastor
for not honoring their father.

Father’s
Day is the one day of the year that some people dread more than all
others. They want it to be over. And it’s not because they are less
spiritual—maybe it’s all because their father was too physical …

Cathy
was molested by her father for 10 years. Dad would quote that Bible
verse for her to obey and honor her father. He would whisper in her
ear that this is what daddies and daughters do when they love each
other. When she finally did ask him why he treated her like a wife
instead of a daughter, he told her that she wanted it. He blamed
her.

Cathy’s
father went to his grave without ever apologizing to her and she now
lives a life of anger and confusion. Anyone that does anything that
reminds her of her father instantly brings back such rage that has
been repressed her entire life.

Todd
had just the opposite dilemma with his Dad who would hardly ever show
him any kind of affection. “Religious and rigid” were the
words he used to describe his dad. He never remembers a father who
physically hugged him or verbally praised him. He does remember a
family picnic when his uncle hugged him. It felt SO amazing to this
little boy who had never ever experienced the embrace of any man.
Todd began looking for that same feeling that came from the first hug
of his uncle. Yes, Todd is gay today.

Fred
doesn’t like Father’s Day because it reminds him of the child he
never had, because of the abortion. When she told him she was
pregnant, he completely freaked out and went into panic mode. He
will never forget driving her to the abortion clinic. He will always
wonder what his little one looked like. He grieves. Fred knows he
is a father but no one else at church knows. This one day totally
unravels Fred.

Jim’s
father would show him the porn that he used to watch. They did this
for his entire teenage years. He wanted his boy to become a real
man, he said. Mom left home and got tired of the addiction and the
affairs. She wanted nothing to do with her husband any longer.
Unfortunately for Jim, what he truly remembers most about his dad are
the adult magazines and videos. Happy Father’s Day?

Sally
was so young when she watched her Dad beat up her Mom when he would
come home drunk. She vowed she would never endure what her mom did.
Ask her why she has chosen women over men now. Father’s Day is not
easy for Sally. She remembers Mom crying a lot every night when she
went to bed. That’s what she remembers the most and she doesn’t like
to tell anyone lest she starts crying, herself.

Ministry,
not controversy, is our goal on this and every Sunday. He is the God
who gives all kinds of grace and He sympathizes with our feelings of
being wounded, even from our family. God heals the brokenhearted and
also the broken families. Speak softly and tenderly today. There’s
a lot of painful pasts and silent suffering going on today.

Today
is a day of tears. I hope you allow them the chance to publicly
grieve and privately confess. People are filled with such
bittersweet emotions amid absolute outrage at God as people try to
reconcile why their heavenly Father allowed these terrible things to
happen with their earthly father. Let people know you do understand
the fallen-ness of earthly fathers and today is the day where you
point them to a perfect heavenly Father who only gives good gifts and
who does no wrong.

Finally,
they can have a Dad who is really a good One! Set the captives free,
just like Jesus did. Father’s Day is a golden opportunity for you to
share this glorious gospel of truth and grace.

Dr.
Sam Serio
is
a Christian counselor, author, speaker and teacher. His specialty and
ministry is in healing the sexual hurts and habits of women, men and
couples. He touches upon the taboo sexual topics that the church
usually ignores. This article is taken from his contemporary website
of
healingsexualhurt.com
where
he is president and founder. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Of Post

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