The relationship we have with our dads is often complex. Sometimes this connection is strained, distant, or altogether broken. And even good fathers are not perfect. Whatever it looks like, we still must learn to forgive their many shortcomings in order to receive the fullness of what God has for us.

Dads are often our first heroes.

And there are few things we want more than for him to see us and to bless us for who we are – to affirm that we too have what it takes to be a man and come through on behalf of others.

But, for any number of reasons, our fathers often fall short in giving us the blessing we most deeply long for.

Perhaps they never received it from their own dads and they can’t give what they don’t have themselves. And being so desperate to prove their own worth, they don’t have the time and energy to pour into us and give us what we need.

And for some, their well-meaning attempts still come up short.

This happens, for example, when they try to live their life through us. Rather than guiding us toward the man God created us to be, they pressure and guilt us into becoming mini versions of themselves. And this tends to ruffle many feathers as we try to become our own man.

To be fair, the limitation of our fathers is part of God’s design. He’s the only one who can completely fill us up and answer the deepest questions of our soul.

At their best, our fathers are simply messengers to point us to a relationship with God as our true Father.

Of course, their shortcomings still leave many wounds that need healing. But we no longer demand they come through for us as only God can. And this doesn’t mean we have to look down on them either.

Forgiveness allows us to see them as yet another man in desperate need of his Father’s life, love, and presence.

Acknowledge your father’s shortcomings. And learn also to forgive. This frees you to fully receive God’s blessings for you, and to bless others as well.

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