Published on June 11th, 2013 | by Mannie Ramos0
The Internal Struggle to Forgive: How I Forgave My Father
As we all know, Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday. This day is not as widely celebrated as Mother’s Day because a lot of us grow up in single-mother homes. I‘m one of them. I had previously written an article on how my mother is my hero for her fight against her addiction. You can read it here:http://beingencouraged.com/2013/03/13/someone-i-love-struggled-with-addiction-too/. My father on the other hand was never a big part in my life. He and I have a strained relationship to say the least. His birthday just passed last month and it brought up a lot of feelings, feelings about a man I barely even know. This man has let me down time and time again.
I saw him physically abuse my mom and I even got into a fist fight with him. He kicked my behind to say the least. My father is a coward in many respects because when times got rough, he bailed. The last interaction I had with my father broke my heart. I was walking down the street of my neighborhood and this man approached me and asked for a cigarette. I knew exactly who he was but he couldn’t tell who I was from the next man- it’s not like I don’t resemble him. I say this because this was the incident that put hate in my heart for the man that brought me into this world. I had so much resentment for him. I would say stuff like, “If he died I would never go to his funeral.”
As I am getting older, I realize that is not what God wants to hear. He wants me to forgive my father for his wrong doings. For the longest, God and I debated about this. I would ask God, “Why should give this man forgiveness?” God answered me this past birthday. I knew that the hate that I had for him was only weighing me down. It was putting me on the hook for his faults. I can seriously say, for the first time in my life, I hold no grudge against my father. It made me a hypocrite for telling people to forgive, knowing I didn’t forgive him.
I know a lot of you out there have this same disdain for your father, but do me a favor and this Father’s Day, ask The Lord to remove that hate. As men, when we are vulnerable to the power of prayer, our hearts are open to change. Be an example to these young men and show them that our generation will not be like our father’s generation. How can we possibly be role models to the future if we constantly refuse to let go of our past?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”