What to Do If You Hate Your Dad

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Don't let a difficult relationship with your dad infect your entire life with poison.

I want to encourage you that even though your father’s actions have had a profound influence on your life, those actions do not have to define you. You are no longer bound by his sinfulness, unless, of course, you remain bitter and hateful.

Here’s the deal, you can’t live a life free from the hurts of your past if you harbour bitterness or hatred in your heart. Love and hate can not coexist, and the later will put you in a prison unlike any prison built in the physical world. Unresolved hate and bitterness block you from experiencing peace, love, and joy.

Whether your father is dead or alive, you need to forgive him. I know some of you might be cringing at the thought of letting your father off the hook through forgiveness. If you are, then you don’t understand forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for your father, but rather, forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness doesn’t condone or accept what someone has done to you but rather it releases you from the bondage of your pain.

Give this prayer a chance to grow:

“Lord, I fall down at your cross broken and shattered. I hate my father and I can’t seem to let the hate go. My hate defines me and how I treat those I love the most. Lord, I ask that you set me free from this hatred. I know You don’t want hate in my heart, but I don’t know how to get rid of it so I’m asking you for help. Let me have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that seeks Your will in this situation. I want to forgive my father, please show me the way. I know my heart doesn’t feel it at this moment, but I want to say, I forgive my father for what he has done to me. Turn this statement into reality for me Lord, and set me free.”

If you can not pray a prayer like the one I wrote above, then simply try praising God for all His glory and wonder. I recently learned in a phenomenal series on Worship by Rob Renfroe, that when we praise God, God sends his power down to us, and lives are changed. Build a significant play list in your iTunes music library that only consists of praise and worship songs. If you’re anything like me, then try out The David Crowder Band, Leeland, Chris Tomlin, or anything on the Passion cds. You can not lose when you praise God. I’ve been practicing this habit in the morning by my pool and I can’t explain what it does to me to sing praise songs. I’ve stopped asking God to change specific things in my life or to help me overcome bad habits, all I do now is sing and praise God for his unbelievable gift in Christ, and believe it or not, things are changing in my life for the good.

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