Forgiveness. Merriam-Webster defines this as “the attitude of someone who is willing to forgive other people.” According to Christian singer/songwriter Matthew West, forgiveness is the “hardest thing to give away and the last thing on your mind today.” Even so, Jesus commands us to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22, Luke 17:3-4). If forgiveness is indeed the hardest thing to give away, that may explain why the disciples told Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5), but I digress.
I’m writing about this today because Father’s Day is just around the corner, and while it may be ‘the last thing on your mind today,’ it’s important to forgive your father. Jay Payleitner recommends this in his book 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad.
“A lot of people reading right now have not talked to their dad in 10 or 15 years because of some stupid thing,” says Payleitner. “Maybe it was a big deal, but I challenge dads to reconnect if possible.” Payleitner acknowledges there is a lot of pain out there, and men hold on to a lot of things. “You got what you got,” says Payleitner. “Keep the best and chuck the rest and move on from there.”
At the very least, Payleitner recommends a dad say something good about his father in front of his children. Doing so provides a generational connection or appreciation. “If you want to include some warnings in there, that’s great also,” says Payleitner. “Your legacy has not yet been written, and you can begin today building a legacy of love and respect and truth with your kids as you move forward.”
That means dealing with what your father left and appreciating what if anything he gave you.