In her message at TGC’s 2022 Women’s Conference, Blair Linne teaches on the importance of understanding the role of God as our heavenly Father, especially in the context of healing from fatherlessness or difficult relationships with earthly fathers.
Linne highlights these key points:
1. Blessing of Adoption: God’s choice to adopt us isn’t based on our merit but on his grace and love. This adoption into the family of God allows us to have a rich relationship with God as our heavenly Father.
2. Role of Forgiveness: Forgiveness is essential, especially in dealing with strained relationships with earthly fathers. Linne encourages her audience to pray for their spiritually lost or emotionally broken parents, and to forgive with the understanding that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reestablishing unhealthy relationships.
3. Writing Your Story and Praying for Parents: Linne suggests the therapeutic exercise of writing your story, including any emotions and thoughts related to your earthly father. She recommends writing letters to your earthly father or to God and praying for your parents if they’re still alive.
4. Prioritizing Your Redeemed Family (the Church): Linne emphasizes the importance of prioritizing your church family, as they’re part of your redeemed family and are essential in the healing journey. She encourages seeking support and guidance within the church community.
Our relationship with God as our heavenly Father can heal and restore the wounds caused by the absence of or difficulties with earthly fathers. Knowing who we are in Christ and God’s adoption of us demonstrates his deep love and commitment.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Um, my name is Blair Lin, I do want to announce that this breakout session is sponsored by the Good Book Company. And we’re just so grateful for their generous support to help make this session possible. If you want to learn more about the Good Book Company, I want to encourage you to visit their booth, which is in the exhibit hall, or you can go online to the Good Book company.org. And so for those who are here in person, and for those who are watching via livestream, I just want to welcome you welcome you to this breakout session. So that you know, you’re in the right place, even though there was a major sign outside. This is finding my father how to cling to your heavenly Father, when your biological father is spiritually, emotionally or physically absent. We’re gonna start our time by praying, will that echo remain? Okay? Let’s pray. Our Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this opportunity that we have to gather together as your daughter’s, to gather together as sisters in the Lord. And I just pray for every woman under the sound of my voice, either here, or also watching. I just pray, Father, that You would minister to us right where we are, you know, the different stages of life that the women are in, you know, the burdens that we are all carrying father, and I pray that you would minister to us about who you are as our father, so that we would heal any wounds that we have, and that we would be the women that you have called us to be through Christ. We ask these things in Jesus name, Amen. And amen. Well, I want to ask you, what words would you use to describe how you personally feel about your earthly father? What words would you use? What adjective would you use to describe how you feel about your earthly father? And I want you to if you just take a moment to jot down if some words come to mind, as I share a bit of my story, and I’m actually going to start by just reading the opening to my book, finding my father. The section of my birth certificate reserved for my father’s name is blank. The inside of the narrow, barren Horizontal Box has neither been strikethrough nor erased, it simply lies willfully untouched. So my birth certificate, like many others, tells by omission, the story of a mother and father who would never married, this piece of paper was seldom referred to, it almost didn’t exist at all, because I almost did not. My mother, when she found out that she was pregnant with me, she was already a single mother. So she had my sister at 17. And it was she was 21 years old, she found out that she was pregnant. And so she decided, actually, she was going to abort me. And by some circumstances that I communicated in the book, she changed her mind and decided she was going to place me for adoption. And then she changed her mind. While in the hospital, she decided to keep me. And so she, like many single moms struggle. Life was really hard. months after actually, she had me, she ran into my father. And she told him, you know, here’s this baby, this is your child. And, you know, he began to try to be a part of my life. Then I was told that I was introduced to his side of the family. I know when I was around three years old, he would buy me big bags of candy he would bring for myself and my sister. But then when I was around for almost four years old, my mom moved us all the way from the Midwest to Los Angeles, California. And so it was hard. We were I was 2000 miles away from my father. And in that struggle that my mother had to care for us, we struggled with poverty. So we moved 25 times throughout my childhood. My dad never supported us financially. He never once came to visit me in Los Angeles. I would go and visit family in the Midwest, and those were the times that I would see my father. When I was around eight or nine, I remember that we would have phone conversations here and there, maybe five to 10 minutes, maybe a couple times a year, if it was a good year. And so you know, I struggled I had had a lot of voids as a result of his absence. I struggled with authority. So, you know, I mean, I respected my mom, right. But I didn’t quite respect anyone else. I remember even on Father’s Day often would write my mom a Father’s Day card. Because I didn’t have my father there. And the examples that I had around me in the neighborhood that I lived in, they were not very good ones. And I remember when I was 18, guys started approaching me expressing interest. And I had no idea what to even look for in a man. Right? My definition of a father was a mix of men I observed on television shows. And so I struggled with my worth, I struggled with my identity, I had doubts and uncertainties. And I remember even at nine years old, I knew this relationship, if you could call it that was not what it should be. I wanted to communicate with my father, the effect of his absence on me, but I was afraid. I mean, I didn’t know him. But I thought if I share with him, how his absence is affecting me, then then maybe the little bit of interaction I have with him will be gone. Maybe he’ll get upset with me, and he’ll disappear altogether. So it wasn’t until I was 18 years old, that I mustered up the guts to have a conversation with my father, who was 18. Again, these guys were approaching, saying they were interested. And I remember just wrestling with my identity. And before I got off the phone, I just blurted it out, I’m really struggling, I’m struggling with the fact that you’re not here. I’m struggling, that you’ve been absent my whole life. And I began to open up and share my fears with him. And actually what he shared with me, it really surprised me. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Even though I viewed a dad as kind of like a superhero that would come in, you know, saving the day. But my dad shared with me, he shared with me his own fears. And that conversation, fears I didn’t know he had, he told me that he didn’t have his father in his life. And he didn’t even know how to be a father. He told me that it was hard that my mom moved to the west coast that he wanted to be there. But the distance made it complicated. Now, I felt like he could have visited anyway. But that’s what he told me. He also struggled with addiction. So he had his own demons as well that he was fighting. And since that conversation at 18, my dad actually got his life kind of straightened out, he ended up getting married, and really did try to make more of an effort to be there. And he’s in my life currently. And it’s not easy. I’m not saying we have this, like, oh, yeah, we got this tight relationship, but he does try to be there. He’s tried to build a relationship with my husband and my children. I mean, he walked me down the aisle. When you read my book, you’ll learn in 2019 and 2020. My entire story takes a turn, a turn that was not expecting, and I won’t give it away. Don’t give it away if you’ve read it. But you know, if you asked me as a child, what my words were, I might have said, I felt abandoned. I felt unsupported, unloved, unwanted. If you asked me in 2019, I felt rage. I felt shame, fear, confusion, I felt deceived. I felt alone. And I was angry. And I’m asking you to write down some of your words, for those of you here in person and those watching because, you know, I think it’s important for us to begin there. Right? And I want to encourage you as you write down your words to do it, without judgment. Do it being completely honest. No one is going to grade your words. And I know in a room like this, that the words are going to be different and you know, depending upon the situation. So you might have a word like I feel protected. I feel joy, pride, gratitude. When I think about my father or like me, you might feel abandoned. Maybe you feel pain, or shame, or grief. Maybe you’re exhausted. You feel distrust, hatred or contempt. Or maybe you feel numb. Just indifferent, detached, calloused, paralyzed.
We all have our words, words which communicate our feelings words, which we often lock deep in our hearts, never to escape. But I want to encourage you today that God is can handle our feelings, right? And the truth is what you’re feeling in this room and you watching, it’s probably what someone else is feeling in this room are watching. And until we allow what we feel on the outside, whether good or bad to be brought to the light, we really won’t know the extent to which fatherlessness has affected us. Because this, this is a topic that’s rarely spoken about. I call it the elephant in the room. You know, we know it’s a problem. We know one in four children right now live in a home without a father. And I’m not even saying just their biological father without a father period, not a stepfather not a foster father, adoptive father, I think it’s one of the most significant social problems facing us. And yet, there’s not this collective movement to shift the epidemic. However, God, God has spoken about it. And God demands the church do something about it. Life is really hard. Right? In this world, we’re going to have trouble our chapters unfold, and it totally can catch us off guard. Now, if I had a clue that this is how my story would play out. Man, I would have been laughing like Sarah, like what? Because it’s hard to reconcile our story. It’s just hard to reconcile at times, right? Sometimes we struggle with the Father we desire to have versus the one we’ve been given. And what I want us to do is just to deal with what’s before us, I want us to deal with what’s true, even if it’s hard. Because we can take those true hard realities of what it means to live in a fallen world, we can take all of that to our Heavenly Father, I’m going to walk through that, if that’s a challenge for you, at this point, to even think about God being your father, we’ll walk through that. My story is about the physical absence of a father primarily. But I know for others of you, you know, your father lived in the home with you, but you may be dealing with maybe the emotional absence or the spiritual absence of a father, maybe your father was there, you know, but it’s as though he wasn’t there. And I know that the statistics don’t address that. Right. And you may have also dealt with something maybe even much worse than that is is to have a father who’s in the home, but maybe he’s emotionally or physically or spiritually, or sexually abusive. I have a friend who from the age of nine to 13, her father sexually abused her. Her father, right, the one who was supposed to protect her and care for her, abused her. And at 13, he impregnated her forced her to get an abortion. And then he denied it all, as though it didn’t happen. And we know one in five women have been sexually assaulted. Oftentimes, we talk about sexual abuse, like, you know, we’re trying to protect even our children from people way out there, like those pedophiles over there. But the reality is 93% of children who are victims of sexual abuse, they know the abuser. They’re connected to the person. And some of us are carrying very hard truths that no one else knows about. And my prayer has been leading up to this conference and today is that we would begin to be set free. That if that’s your circumstance, and maybe no one knows about it, but you and God, that the Lord would minister to you, and you will be set free today that today, all of us would begin a new journey. And I know that it’s a process. I know, it’s not like, you know, everything just changes in one day. For some people, that’s the case, they come to Christ and everything’s like, wow, I was this person. And I’m completely new, and nothing’s the same. But I think for most people, it’s a process. I think it takes time that sanctification process, and the time to know that we are not bound by the sinful choices of our fathers. You know, so it’s not enough to just say, you know, fathers get back to your home. I think, you know, this issue covers so much ground because the father can be in the home, and he can cause more damage than if he were not in the home. So many of our fathers are lost. They don’t know what a father is, because they don’t have a heavenly Father. Or they abuse because maybe they’ve been abused. Our fathers need a savior. Our fathers need to know that there is a heavenly father who’s given them a purpose and is going to hold them accountable for their sin. unregenerate fathers I think are so used to following their human line that human parent Adam when he said that they’ve lost the truth of who they were actually made to imitate. First Timothy Chapter Five, Verse eight says, If anyone does not provide for their relatives, and especially the members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. A human father is to be a shadow. A human father, a male parent, made in the image of God is to be the head of his household. He has to work to provide he’s responsible for training his children. He’s not to provoke his children to wrath, but to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Father, it should be the first man his daughter loves impurity. He’s called to care for his family in a spirit of gentleness, he is to display and model what his daughter should look for in a man. And we see in Scripture that the Father is to also instill blessing and identity in their children. So fathers are to model not perfectly but faithfully model God the Father. And when a father does not model the Father in heaven, it leaves room for the father of lies to slither in. So we see with Adam sin, it affects Cain sin, right? And Adam sin, it just runs down the genealogical line all the way down to us. Fathers are important. You know, I say in my book, how I believe fathers are under attack. And I think we have believed the lie. You know, his lies, Satan’s lie that mothers matter, but fathers are dispensable, we don’t really need them. And I think Satan knows if he can execute the man. Several caskets will soon trail behind his. God has given men a particular role, and honorable role. Fathers matter. And if our father is lost, it affects us. It affects our identity. It affects how we interact with others, it affects how we see God. Here’s another question I want you to write down and consider what lies have you believed as a result of your earthly father’s absence? What lies have you believed as a result of your earthly father’s absence? I know there were times where I believe the lie that I needed to have a man’s attention to feel special. Because I didn’t have my dad’s attention. And then there were other times I believe, the lie Well, I don’t need a man. I’m good. I was military, like mill, you know, militant in my singleness before I was married. Who needs a man, right? But singleness is a very beautiful thing when it’s done in faith. I think it’s a very ugly thing, when it’s done in fear. We are to walk by faith and be single, if you are deciding to be single to do that in faith, not in fear, because you’re afraid of not having seen a man modeled to you. Or maybe we believe the lie that our value is in our performance. Right? If we’re really good, then maybe they’ll stay. Maybe they won’t abandon us if we’re good enough. And so sometimes we look to, you know, place our worth in things, our looks, our education, the job that we have our wealth, our works, that if I do these things, then they will stay. And that’s a lie. Or maybe we have a distorted body image or, you know, chronic depression, even as the result of Lies We believed or, you know, self abuse, boundary confusion, as a result of these lies, that we have believed. It doesn’t take long to realize that behind all of these lies, is fear.
I think fear is the unaddressed trauma fed to us by the father of lies when our father is absent. But fear has to do with punishment. Fear doesn’t come from our Heavenly Father, right? It has to do with punishment and punishment that actually has been satisfied. You know, the reality is we are all victims and rebels. And I say this victims because we have all been victimized by other people sin, but rebels because we rebel against God with our own sin. victimization is never an excuse for rebellion. You know, we’re not responsible What happened to us as children as children? We’re not, we’re not responsible for the choices our parents made. Our father’s absence is not our fault. The fact that your father was absent, it was not your fault. It was not because of something you did. Because the reality is, we’re not the center of our parents choices. They made those choices on their own. And our parents made a choice that we can’t change, they made a choice. And they’re going to have to answer to God for that choice. But what we’re responsible for, we’re responsible for what we do with our pain as adults. What do we do with our pain, as hurtful as the decision your dad or mom made, you know, eventually, eventually, we have to wake up one day, and realize, you know, I’m an adult, I can’t let these cycles of sin continue to be passed down to me. I have to choose not to be a victim, but to live victoriously. And I want to think about this victorious life. And I’m going to think about it in two categories, because I think we have to address the vertical and the horizontal, our heavenly Father, and our earthly father. And so I’m gonna start with our Heavenly Father. You know, for many years, I started my prayers off with what our father, right, which art in heaven. But the idea of God being my father, it really had not been reconciled in me. Because, you know, I felt God was distant day in and day out. So it’s like, you know, we can know things theologically, but sometimes it’s almost just as theoretical, you know, it’s in theory, and it hasn’t settled down in our hearts. Practically. You know, I knew humanity was born into sin. But I chose to run away from God. And I believe that there are at least two ways to run away from God. I think some, and even daughters who experienced the absence of a father, they often can run away from God through immorality, right, or promiscuity. But there are others who run away from God through morality. And I gravitated towards that legalism, morality, self righteousness, thinking that that would justify me before God. And when I realized that I was serving the father of lies by clinging to those things, I acknowledge, God opened my eyes to help me see that I acknowledge my need for personal Savior, that I needed a sacrificial lamb. I needed someone to come between me and God, my sinfulness and the holiness of God, so that I could be God’s child. And I was born again, praise be to God. However, even though I trusted Christ, and I trusted his righteousness, I projected my spiritual experience with my earthly experience, or onto my my earthly experience onto my spiritual experience. So I knew God saved me. But I kind of felt like he was just tolerating me. My Yeah, you okay? You just saved me? Because that’s what you do. You save people. And you know, it’s not like anything special. It’s not like you really care. And I viewed God is a God who was a judge who pardon my sin. But it took me a couple years to even start to grapple with the idea that he’s a father that he’s a father, who, who loves me, who lavished his love upon his children. I thought God didn’t want to be near me. Because my earthly father didn’t appear to want to be near me. And you know, what changed for me was opening up the Scripture. It was seeing God’s character, not through my pain, but through his pledge through his promises. And I began to see his faithfulness. And I began to see his consistency. I’m like, Whoa, this is different than my earthly father. This is different altogether. And it began to bless me. Now we have in it we have a testimony about who God is, right here in the Bible. And I think it’s important for us to not look at the Father through the lens of our pain, but to look at who does God say he is? Why does he called himself father? Why does he allow us to call him father? Reason recently, I’ve been in the book of Ephesians. And every book I study, I ended up loving the book. I’m just like, Why did I study this sooner? Um, but you know, the main themes of Ephesians is that we’ve been reconciled to God. And we’ve been reconciled as Christians to one another. And the context of this book is you have Paul who’s writing and he’s writing to Gentiles, these believers. And this was a letter that would have been circulated to the church of Ephesus, but also other churches in that area as well. And so he’s writing this letter, and there’s not a one particular issue that he’s addressing in this letter, like a lot of his other a lot of the other epistles. But from the context of the letter, we get an idea of what was happening in that time. And I think it applies. So in that time, there was ethnic hostility that was happening in the church, you had Jews and Gentiles. And there was beef, as we would call it, fighting and fighting. And the issue was that you had some Jewish Christians who were telling the Gentiles, well, in order for you to truly be a Christian, you need to adopt some of our rules and laws and our Jewish traditions. And Paul is saying, No, you don’t. Right. And Paul is in prison, because he’s preaching this gospel of grace. He’s saying that, no, we’re saved by grace through faith, and that causes him to be persecuted. And I appreciate this book so much. When you look at chapter one, how it begins, he starts to talk about the fact that he says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And then he walks through the fact that we are blessed Christians, Jews and Gentiles blessed in the Beloved. And you know why I love it because it reminds me of the fatherly blessing, the fatherly blessing. It’s like Paul is just speaking of fatherly blessing over us. And he’s saying, Do you know you’ve been blessed? Do you know that you’ve received the blessing of election? Do you receive the blessing of adoption, that you’ve received the blessing of redemption, that you have the blessing of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that you have an inheritance, a blessing of receiving an inheritance, some of us will never receive an inheritance from our earthly father, but we have one from our Heavenly Father, and inheritance. And we don’t have time to go through the whole book, although I wish we could. So I want you to maybe get a chance to read it tonight, if you get a chance to. I don’t want to put the law on you and make you feel guilty. But if you want to read Ephesians, but I want to focus on the blessing of adoption, and chapter one and the end of verse four, into verse five. I love this phrase here. He says, in love. This is the ESV in love. He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons. That’s it. In love, He predestined us for adoption. I’m sorry, in love, He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons. And so we have here the blessing of adoption, we know that we have access to this adoption through God, the Son, Jesus. And he says here that we’re sons. And I love that in all of its masculinity.
We’re sons, why do I love that term? Yes, we’re daughters of God. But I love it because it connects to Jesus. Right? The only begotten Son, see of God the Father, right, who was a father before Adam, was a father. Right, who is given his only begotten Son to us. And then we have the opportunity to be united to God through the sun. Right, and our sins through justification. Remember, our sins were imputed on to Jesus, and His righteousness was imputed to us. We receive His righteousness by faith. I love this quote by Martin Luther. He says, Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness. I am your sin. You took on you what was mine, yet set on me? What was yours? You became what you were not that I might become what I was not. I love that. We have become what we were not. Were sons or daughters of God. And now everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us. So we’re not a slave. No, we’re sons. We’re heirs with Christ. Romans chapter eight. If you Want, read Romans eight to tonight? It’s so rich. And speaking of our adoption, it says, And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. I just love that any fusions when he talks about the motivator for us being adopted, what is it that allows us to have this permanent, predetermined place in God’s family? Love, in love, He predestined us for adoption. And that truth alone, it really shattered. It shattered any idea of God that I had, that he was merely tolerating me. He’s not merely tolerating me. No, he loves me. He chose to love us. And He is love. And whenever the Bible speaks about the love that God has for us, it’s always connected to the gospel. It’s always connected to Jesus’s sacrifice, because we’re united to him, we abide in him. We’re one with him. And this is all according to the plan of God. This was God’s plan. This is his will. When we came to Christ, we were not twisting God’s arm. We weren’t saying, Come on, you know, just give me salvation. Stick it up, you know, I’m here, saving. He’s saying, I’ve chosen you, I, I choose to love you. And I want to adopt you, not just save you want to adopt you. I want you to belong to me. And I’m going to bless you with myself. adopted children, they have their position by grace, not birthright. adopted children have their position by Grace J. I packer and knowing God, he says, and I quote, justification is the primary blessing because it meets our primary spiritual need. But this is not to say that justification is the highest blessing of the gospel. Adoption is higher, because of the richer relationship with God that it involves. So justification takes us in the courtroom. Adoption takes us in the family room. And remember our Savior Jesus, he says, In my Father’s house, there are many rooms, if it were not, so he said, I would have told you, I’m going to prepare a place for you, sister, for you, for you. He’s prepared a place for you. And the more that we gaze upon our Heavenly Father, and allow him to define who he is, we’ve become that restored daughter, we began to heal, and that vertical healing it has to take place between us and God. But then also, as I mentioned, there’s a horizontal healing that has to take place between us and our parents. And often those things are happening simultaneously. And Ephesians, I mentioned briefly that ethnic hostility, you know, Paul, he talks about the fact that there was this wall of hostility, keeping the Gentiles out of the temple. And he tells them that Jesus has torn that wall down that Christ has destroyed it. And just for some context, in Jerusalem, inherits temple, there were four separate courts, the outermost courtyard area, the area far this from the most holy place, that was called the Court of the Gentiles. And this was the only place that Gentiles and foreigners and the impure could gather, literally, if they went past that wall, they actually could be put to death. There was a literal wall of hostility, keeping them out. But Paul tells them, this wall has been torn down. Now, think about the time in which this letter was written. It was written in 61 AD. The physic the temple still exists. The literal walls of hostility is still there. But Paul says, it’s not there. Crisis torn it down. And, you know, these Gentiles, I imagine, you know, you know, saw themselves, of course, is, in one sense, and even how they were treated by many Jewish believers is unworthy, maybe defiled because of their natural heritage. So what did God do? What did God do for them in this situation? God broke past that natural hostility. They could not approach Should Holies of Holies. So God went to them, Immanuel God went to them. God filled them with himself. They couldn’t enter the physical temple. So he made them to be a spiritual temple where he dwells in them. The unclean, the orphan, the way word. And now they were to walk in their newfound identity, as the temple of God, as the family of God. God draws nearer to them, because he’s their father. And they are His children. And he loves them. And God draws nearer to us, because He’s our father. And we’re His children. And he loves us. Ephesians chapter three, verse 19, it says, you know, God desires to fill us with all the fullness of himself, the fullness of himself, which means that we need to know who the father is, through the Son, being indwelt by the Spirit. And when we’re indwelt, by God, then and only then can we actually walk in a manner worthy of the calling we’ve received, right? That’s the only way we can walk out this horizontal victorious life that God actually has for us through the Spirit. Because when your biological father is spiritually or emotionally or physically absent, let me just be real with you, you’re gonna be half, you’re gonna have to be the mature one. You’re the believer, you’re gonna have to be the bigger person. I know. It’s like why I want someone to parent me. But you have to be the one to take the step out and say, Listen, I’m the one who has the spirit, I’m filled with all the fullness of God, I’m the temple of God. And we need the Spirit in order to do this. Okay. In my book, I walked through just some practical things that I have done, and I’m still doing, I just want to share four practical things, for practical things that we can do to live victoriously. And to help restore Lord willing that horizontal piece. The first one, I want to encourage you to write your story down. Be willing to do the very hard work of unearthing your story, the story that’s been hibernating in your hearts, get a journal, or notebook and write it down and try to do it without judging yourself. Just get it out. And it may be helpful, it may be helpful to write a letter to your father. Now, not you may not send this letter your father may have passed, you may not ever be able to present this letter to him. You may not know your father to present the letter. But what do you want to tell him? What do you want to say, to your earthly father? I want you to write it down. Or if it’s more helpful, or you could do this, too, is to write a letter to God. God, I want to just share with you how difficult this is.
how hard it’s been. This is why I asked that first question what words come to your mind right? When you think about your earthly father? What do you feel to help start that process? Because oftentimes, we’re dealing with things and we don’t know that it’s inside of us until we get it out. And truth is a virtue. The world just says they say find your inner child and pretend as though you know, you just cling to somebody else, or parent yourself, all the different things that they say. Start with being honest, write your story down. Because only then will you know what you need to actually cast over to the Lord. And that will help fuel even your prayer life before your heavenly Father. Number two, I want to encourage you to pray for your parents. I know this can be a hard one. But if your parents are alive, pray for them as often as they come to your mind. You know, as I mentioned, so many of our parents are spiritually lost. They’re emotionally broken. I want you to pray that your parent Your father will model first of all that he will know your heavenly Father. But then also he would be able to model the Father in heaven. Number three, ask God to help you to forgive. Again, as I mentioned, these are things that you need the Spirit’s help to do. If you’re struggling with unforgiveness, a helpful place to start is Matthew 18, the parable of the unmerciful servant And the Lord has used that in my life tremendously to help us understand the extent to which we have been forgiven. We have received much forgiveness. And that will help us realize that we’re just a fellow struggler. Our parents are strugglers, many broken needy, ask the Lord to help you to forgive. And I do want to clarify what this does not mean. This does not mean putting yourself in danger. This does not mean not having any boundaries, I think sometimes we confuse the idea of, you know, because we forgive because we’re releasing the offense that someone has done against us that that means we need to snuggle up with the person, that does not always mean that we have to be in close proximity, especially in a situation where it’s harmful. There are times where boundaries are needed, like that’s wise, it can be wise to have those boundaries. Number four, I want to encourage you to prioritize your redeem family prioritized, prioritize your redeem family, because the Scripture prioritizes, our redeemed family. Scripture says who is my mother or sister or brother, remember Jesus saying that it was funny. He didn’t say who’s my father because he knew his father was. But whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother. And our spiritual adoption. I think this is a piece that a lot of the times we kind of sleep on. We know that in our spiritual adoption, we have a father in God, but we forget that we have a family in the church. The church is supposed to be a family. And I know that it is unfortunate that many people so actually, so few people have experienced that. But that is actually what the Scripture says, even above our nuclear family, were to prioritize our, our heavenly family, our redeemed family. And, you know, I pray that you’re in a healthful, healthy church situation. I want you to think is there maybe even one godly person, one godly older person that I could just, you know, go to, for support to say, Pray for me, I didn’t have a father growing up. Or maybe you’re even an older family, maybe a husband and wife, you say, Well, you guys just walk with me. I didn’t have a father to teach me about finances. I didn’t have a family that I could observe what it’s like to be a wife, right? I didn’t see that modeled for me. So prioritize your redeem family. And just for the sake of time, I want to give a word of application for those of you who might be here you’ve had maybe a wonderful father, but you want to know how to care for the fatherless. And I just want to say that God has charged the church to help the fatherless, he’ll, in our spiritual adoption, we have a family in the church, right? If we just keep reading Ephesians, it talks about the fact that we are members of the household of God that we are one. And there’s a reason why God calls the church to care for the fatherless, because he does. And there are many scriptures throughout the Bible that speaks of that. But even James talks about the religion that is pure, and part of that is caring for the fatherless. The Lord desires to use his church as a means of grace in the life of fatherless children, to teach them what they may not have learned. To walk with them through a holistic discipleship, training them up as family, because that’s what we are Christians, our family, we have spent we should have spiritual fathers and spiritual mothers and spiritual sisters and spiritual brothers that we can rely upon. How are we with time? 15 minutes perfect. The Scripture says in Galatians, chapter six, verse 10. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Christian, I just want to say your father may not have been what you wanted him to be in your life. But God, I want you to hold on to that but God, God does not leave you alone. And him you have the best father there is. The final question I want you to write down and consider is, what truth can we cling to now? Because of what your Heavenly Father has accomplished? What truth can you cling to now? Because of what your Heavenly Father has accomplished? Okay, that’s what I thought. Okay, perfect. Well, that was the end. That was the final question. Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, our Father, Lord, help us. Help us to see you for who you truly are. Help us Father to cling to you, accepting the adoption that you have given us in love. Help us to know who we are. I pray also that you would help us in our relationships with earthly father, father that you would heal the wounds that we are dealing with Father, help us to cling to our redeemed family to begin this process of being who you’ve called us to be as your daughters. We thank You Jesus who makes all the difference in our life. May your name be praised, and may the cycle of fatherlessness be broken here today through us in Jesus name, Amen.
Blair Linne is the author of Finding My Father. She is a Bible teacher, actress, spoken word artist, and the creator of the podcast GLO with The Gospel Coalition. Blair has toured globally and is known as one of the originators of the Christian Spoken Word genre. Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through speaking and spoken word is her passion. She and her husband, Shai, live in Portland, Oregon, with their three children.