What is a Father?

I admit that I have a skewed sense of what “Father” means.

When you grow up the way I did …men were disposable. None of the men that came my way were worthy to me called “dad” or “Father”….they all abused us…some in different ways than others.

When my mother spoke of men it was never in a positive way. She had “any man is better than no man syndrome” ( that’s my term for it) and she always had to have a man around and it didn’t matter what he looked like..or the actions that he has as long as he paid some bills and fixed some things around the house. She had to have someone to blame for all of her problems..so if it wasn’t her kids ..it was her boyfriend or man of the hour. It also didn’t matter how the bills were paid. The step dad I had the longest was a drug dealer…who to this day still thinks he had no impact on our lives. He abused us in more than one way…..but I digress.

She also had a sorted relationship with her own family so my grandparents were in and out of our lives…they felt helpless when it came to us because we were currency for her to use ->us against them.  Anyone that would try to hold her accountable was just stolen from our lives…..until she needed something from them. But she might find another source…so some people were never brought back. So basically, anyone good was taken from us.

I remember that on Father’s day the only cards and gifts we bought were for our grandfathers because their typically wasn’t a father figure around or a “dad” that we wanted to do anything for. Maybe she did…but we didn’t.

As a girl these messages about Men have/had me screwed up. I can’t imagine being a boy and being raised with these messages. It’s no wonder I have one brother in and out of prison and the other is highly sensitive and surviving life….( not thriving in life). They were constantly around someone saying “men are worthless…or good for nothing” …if you are to grow up to be man…..how do you do that with confidence and leadership skills?

I remember when I truly came into Christ and I wanted that “experience”…of truly knowing and understanding and wanting to trust fully. The issue was that my fellow Christians called him Father. I didn’t know what it was like to truly trust a “father” I had nothing to compare that to. I didn’t even have a mother I could trust. I had no good parent to associate a good relationship with Christ.  So when you are denied those foundations in the beginning it is very difficult to understand them later. I had to fight through that. I had to start changing my mind set against men. For several reasons. 1. I was already divorced from 1 man and married to another ( when this realization came) 2. I was raising 4 boys & 2 girls  3. I knew I wouldn’t get through any of these things without help from God, My father.   4. I knew I wanted a different life.

I knew I had to learn to trust. I knew I wanted to have a mother & father that loved me. I knew I wanted to raise my kids with a better foundation.  I don’t have a relationship with my mother ( upon her request..she never bonded to me and she hates me) and I do -within the last several months- have a relationship with my birth father. But it’s not a typical relationship because he is incredibly ill and it’s superficial relationship. I hate to identify it like that….but it’s the best term I have for it off the top of my head.

So if I were to raise up good men and women who could trust-> I had to do my part which was let it all out. I had to be vulnerable to be open and trust…but I also had to be open to accept all that was coming. It is very vulnerable to trust. The only experience i had with “trust” is with humans and so far in my life -up to that point- I had been hurt. So how could I just bare my soul to a God that knew everything and was all powerful? He had so much control?

What I learned is that I don’t have control. it’s a false sense of control when we think that we do. It has been best to just listen and follow and he truly does take care of everything. When I have a wounded heart he mends it. When I have a worry he takes care of it. I was looking and waiting for the other show to drop each time and I was amazed every time that I trusted and he just came through for me. I realized that I had a Father all along that loves me, unconditionally. I truly can get lost in that.  I sometimes take it for granted…and I have to be brought back to center. This “training” didn’t happen over night, obviously. God also brought specific teachers into my life at critical times to show me the way. He is good like that.

I will forget how much he loves me….I hate it when I do that. But I must admit that I do. I hate it because I sometimes learn the hard way that I can’t expect a human to provide that same sort of love. A human father will always let me down. ( I say that as a general statement). I don’t think it’s on purpose by any means….I know that I let my kids down regularly. It’s life….and in my defense-> I have teens. Everybody lets them down with a hormone shift.

I am always so grateful when I am brought back to my Father and he accepts me with open arms and forgives me.  I can’t even compare to the parent that he is….and often when I am praying to him I confess to him that I have no idea how he does it? How does he watch us flounder and fail? It’s so painful to watch our kids do that.

So On this Father’s day I just want to remind everyone that we do have a father…all of us. We just have to go to him…he will always welcome us with open arms. He will never let us down and he only wants the best for us. That is a father.

But since it’s father’s day …I think  I should also mention earthly Father’s ….I have 2 men in my life that have helped me raise 6 beautiful children.

Landon was my first husband and father of 3 of my boys. He and Rob have worked together side by side to raise up these boys and I am ever so thankful. They put aside pride and taught them what it is like to be men and to love their kids more than their pride. Landon has stayed a constant in the boys’ lives and been there when we needed him.

Then there is Rob. Rob is a beautiful man. He has loved all of the kids as his own. He biologically has 2 kids…but he has gotten up everyday to break his back and body to support 6 kids. He has never defined those lines…and he wouldn’t. It’s not in his nature. he has done everything from fishing, bike riding, roller skating ect to be with these kids…and meet them where they are. All while being a Rock for me and protecting us. If not for him I think that I wouldn’t be as far in my journey.

So here’s to all Fathers!

Happy Father’s Day!




5 thoughts on “What is a Father?

  1. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry you had such bad experiences growing up. So glad you broke the cycle of those experiences and are doing a fine job raising your own. I feel so sad for your brothers as well. We need things from our parents while we are growing up and to be denied them can be devastating, as you know.
    Wow, what a post.

  2. My heart aches for children who grow up with bad parenting. Low self esteem and bad choices are often the result. While I emphasize with your past, I rejoice in your future; you trust in your Heavenly father who is always there for you in and through all situations. He is an awesome God who gave us the ultimate gift, the life and sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ.

  3. I really do know them fillings Charisma , I grew up with an alchoholic for a father which took my brothers out drinking with him . They also turned out to be alchoholics and died at ages 51 and 54. My mother and father would dump us off with some relatives for 3 or 4 months then come get us for a couple months and it would start all over again. I got married at 16 to get away from that kind of life but just got into one just as bad. Had 4 kids by the time I was 21. The guy wouldn’t work and was abusive . After 22 years and the kids were grown I got out. Found the love of my God and Savior . Married a man and spent the next 27 years married to a man that treated me like a princess . So good to my children and I . I too have learned that my God is my Father and I have learned he is my father and I praise him every day. Don’t know why I shared this cause it is not something I like talking about but I guess I wanted you to know that God intervenes with us all.

  4. Dear Charisma,
    What a powerful post! Thank you for opening your heart to Jesus:) My parents have been gone for a while…Mom 1993 and Dad 2011. I miss them very much and wish I would have known more about their lives as children because they were both damaged as adults. My heart would have understood why they did the things they did, and why they would say the things they said. Without going into any detail I am forever grateful that God gave me forgiveness for the pain I endured while they were alive. And even the memories have been softer and kinder. I am always so amazed at the grace God extends to us because he knows that our heart needs his loving kindness and forgiveness, in a way that only He can give. I was able to call my Dad about 25 years before he passed away and tell him how much I loved him and that I forgave him for everything. None of my siblings have forgiveness in their hearts and are angry people. I am thankful that I allowed God to touch my heart. His loving kindness is beautiful. It is miraculous that my memories of my Dad especially are gentle and kind for the most part. Sooooo I know that’s from God, because on my own my memories would never be as they are.
    Thank you again Charisma, for this post. Thank you for sharing your respect for the 2 Dad’s in your children’s lives. POWERFUL!
    Much love on this our Father’s day…By the way my husband is the best father too! 🙂

  5. You are a dear, dear soul! I lost my Father when I was 14, and he was only 49. There were five of us children, and I was the oldest. I didn’t realize for many years how hard it was for my Mother to be left alone to raise this young family……unfortunately maturity and the wisdom to know “some” of the answers doesn’t come early. It takes a lot of living….experiences….and especially, a good and stable upbringing. You have conquered so much, and are still climbing the mountainside in the more recent changes you have made in your life. God bless…..and keep up the good fight! I admire you so much.

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