It’s Father’s Day across this nation and in other places of the world. However, there are many fathers who are not able to celebrate this special day. They struggle to get through Father’s Day because they are thinking about their teen in crisis.
A father might be in the hospital due to his teen’s suicide attempt. A father might be wishing his daughter would find her way back home after running off. Maybe he’s the dad who had all these goals and aspirations for his teen and in one moment he found his hopes dashed. Now his teen is before a judge after his latest drug bust.
Yes, these are heartbreaking situations that no father wants to think about. Instead, fathers are plagued by the “what ifs” and regrets of not doing more or doing too much. He is heavy burdened with guilt and shame.
A father recently said to me, “I’m a failure as a father. I should have done things differently.”
Every parent has felt like a failure when they weren’t able to help their child. Often times, parents have no idea that their teen is suffering until it is almost too late. Other parents see the problem, try to get help but unfortunately their teen’s actions only lead to further destructive behaviors.
So as a father, how do you handle your situation when you are faced with having a teen in crisis?
- Pray! Pray to your Heavenly Father who sees all, knows all, hears all and does all. He can reach your teen in their deepest despair when you can’t. He created your child and knows every detail – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes that means letting go of your teen and trusting God to intervene and do what is necessary to get their attention.
- Remind yourself that no parent is perfect. No teen is perfect. Maybe we are broken for a purpose – so that we can rely on God instead of ourselves. So stop criticizing and shaming yourself. God picked YOU to be the parent and advocate in their time of need.
- Use God’s Word to empower your mind, body and spirit. You will need this power to come against the enemy whose desire is to tear you down as a parent. Use His Word to give you encouragement daily and to speak words of healing for your teen.
- Find support. There are support groups of all kinds so that you won’t feel alone. Mental illness, drugs, alcoholism, self-harm, attempted suicide, depression, and more. Parents who support other parents walk together side by side. Support is what keeps you moving forward in faith and hope.
- Get counseling. Don’t keep it bottled in or be alone. Parents need just as much counseling as their teen in crisis. You will also learn coping skills and encouragement tools to carry on in your journey till your teen is out of crisis and on the road to recovery.
- Be thankful! That’s right, be thankful. Thankful that God will heal and restore your teen and will give you the strength to carry you through the difficult days ahead. He will provide you with resources and support so that you can be an example to others who are going through the same thing. Be thankful that your foundation in Christ is the rock on which you can stand and trust in.
- Have hope! Without God hope would be lost. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13. All of our needs will be cared for and given to us. Leave your concerns to God. That is His responsibility. This is what God does for us as a father.
God’s love for you and your teen in crisis has no bounds. He gives strength to the weary and encouragement for the discouraged. He knows better than anyone else how you are feeling. Today, know this, God has never left you. He continually is beside you and will be with you in this journey.
Dear Heavenly Father –
I lift up each and every father who is hurting right now over the destructive decisions that their sons or daughters have made and are now in crisis. Help these fathers to rely on You in their time of worry and fear.
Show every father that you are the anchor in the midst of their storm. As they hold on to your foundation of faith and trust, I pray that You will deliver their broken family along with the shame and guilt they carry.
I ask that every father who has made bad choices and decisions over their teens, that You would forgive them and extend grace and mercy towards their family. Guide them to repentance and direct them to the right resources, support, and counsel, to carry them into the next phase of restoration.
You oh Lord, are the great physician that heals every sadness, pain, hurt and brokenness. Be the Healer of each father and their teen. Touch them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually as you restore that which was lost.
Help them to be thankful in all things; from small to large, to the seen and unseen. Give them opportunities to share about Your love towards their teen. Build up their hope and give them peace throughout all circumstances.
Yes, we thank you Lord for Father’s Day, because You oh God, are the greatest Father of All! AMEN!