How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 1

How do I forgive my abusive dad

As I continue to work through the dad devotionals in the order provided by doing a search for dad on, I have come to a blog that I know connects with many men, and yet I know that it isn’t me. With being the dads being about all dads, we need to make sure to not limit the topics to the comfortable or easy topics but dig into topics that can be uncomfortable or even difficult. Today’s devotional I found is titled “How Do I Forgive My Abusive Dad? | Devotional Reading Plan | YouVersion Bible“. It is a 5 day devotional by Pastor Mike Novotny from Time Of Grace Ministry.

The introduction to the devotional from is:

Your dad was abusive. How do you forgive him? How do you heal? This video series answers tough questions about how to forgive your abusive father.

How Do I Forgive My Abusive Dad?

Today’s devotional is connected to two verses of scriptures from God’s Word:

‘But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. ‘

Psalms 10:14

‘Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. ‘

Luke 23:46

God knows what we are going through. God can take what was meant for evil and turn it around for good. God’s plan for you is for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope. You are not alone! You are never alone! And I have learned through struggles and pain the importance of struggling well because we will all have to struggle. I have learned that in the midst of the struggles we need to forgive as forgiveness opens the door to freedom. When we keep ourselves from forgiveness, we allow a bitter root to take hold and a downward spiral to start. I know from my own personal experiences how forgiving someone who hurt me freed me up to be able to both move on and also be able to start speaking the truth in love, speaking life into the lives of others who were struggling with unforgiveness. Remember Jesus told us that in this world we will have troubles? He didn’t say may or could but He said will. God’s Word in 1 Peter 5:7 also tells us to cast our cares upon Him because God cares for us! God’s Word doesn’t say to put it on Him, drop it, but to cast it which means: to throw, fling or send; that is, to drive from, by force, as from the hand, or from an engine. So we need to give it up and give it over to God. We need to trust God to take care of it because He says that “vengeance is mine” throughout scripture. By giving it over to God rather than trying to seek or get revenge, we don’t have to carry that weight, that bitterness, that anger, that depression, that sadness, that frustration ourselves. I discovered that the longer I carried it the heavier it got. I discovered that the longer I carried the emotions got harder to carry and contain. I discovered that no matter what positive and encouraging words came my way they were overshadowed by the unforgiveness and bitter root in my heart. That bitter root was blocking the ability for anything good to get a hold of my heart. The bitterness grew because I wasn’t ready to forgive because I had so many reasons for not forgiving them. Until that day when I got to the breaking or tipping point, just about to hit rock bottom, at the end of my rope and needing God’s intervention for something else, and then I was ready to hear what God had been saying about forgiveness. 7×70 came on the radio which broke me and opened me up to receive what God had been telling me for months. So today as we jump into today’s devotional, let’s grab hold of the reality that if Jesus trusted the Father enough to commit his spirit into His hands on the cross then we should be able to do the same no matter what challenge, trouble, or struggle we are facing. Let’s commit ourselves to God and trust Him because He knows best.

Before jumping into the devotional, I wanted to pause and share 7×70 with everyone so that we can be the dads God needs us to do and break the soul ties, the struggles, the troubles, and the challenges by casting them on God and allowing Him to do the work needed to get us back on track. I know it requires you to watch it on YouTube and so I share the link here: For those who might want to learn more about my testimony that I was asked to share with my GoDaddy colleagues, here is that video too:

Today’s devotional has been provided by Time Of Grace Ministry (more details can be found

Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me:
(check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)

I Must Heal First

  • Are you a victim of abuse?
    • It was interesting how when I was seeking God for His purpose for my life and He gave me being a dad that I started to look at other ministries where I serve to see how they align.
    • Men’s ministry – seems to align well with Be The Dads.
    • Teen Reach Adventure Camps – Camps for kids in or who have been in the foster care system. As I reflected on T.R.A.C. its focus area being abused teens who are put into the foster care system or worse- end up on the streets as part of our homeless population. 
    • I realized how important it is to help dads catch the importance of their role and in some cases the need for them to step into being the dads God created and purposed for them to be.
    • One of the topics we cover in training before camp to make sure our volunteers are ready for camp is abuse. We help them understand that for the teens to have gotten into the foster care system there had to be some type of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
    • It’s important for this topic to be discussed because for those who haven’t been it opens their eyes to the reality of what happens.
    • It’s important for this topic to be discussed because for those who have been it gives them time and opportunities to discuss and process what they have been through.
    • The most stories shared the more stories get shared.
    • The safer the environment becomes the more freedom people have to be able to open up and share.
    • Most of the abuse that happens in our lives tends to be from people we thought we could trust.
    • If you are a victim of abuse from your dad – I am so sorry that you had to go through that.
    • I am so sorry if your dad abused you by degrading you with his words.
    • I am so sorry if your dad abused you by hurting you with his hands.
    • There might not be a way to get rid of it or fix it or undo it.
    • There are some incredible healing truths
    • Questions:
      • How do I feel?
      • Why would I forgive?
      • Why is it so hard to forgive you again?
      • What if they lead you down a path that was bad?
  • How do you feel?
    • Feeling a deep wound?
    • How do you start?
    • If the thought of your father or words trigger you
    • Start to heal by reading the Psalms
      • collection or play list of songs that are very different from contemporary radio
      • may of the radio songs are positive
      • Psalms are raw, real, they lament, they weap and many talk about when you have been hurt or betrayed
      • Psalm 10
        • But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
      • God sees the trouble you went through, it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t deserve it
      • God doesn’t brush it under the rug, but instead He considers the grief and takes it in hand and wants to help heal it.
      • Will you commit yourself to Him? your story to Him?
      • God is the Father to the fatherless. We all have a father but if we didn’t have the dad who was like God, our Heavenly Father who is good then we we are fatherless.
      • God wants to help you.
      • As we start to learn how to heal.
    • Ask:
      • Commit yourself to God the Father by reading the Psalms (150 days, about 5 months) and read one a day and then pray God I commit myself to you.
    • Jesus came to give you a new Father.
    • It is hard to go through life without the love, affection, and protection of your father.
    • Through Jesus Christ you have a Father
    • By trusting in Jesus you are adopted to the family of God.
    • He will never leave you and never forsake you.
    • As you consider commiting yourself to God?
    • Jesus was a victim of abuse. On the cross by people’s words. Leading up to the cross the physical abuse.
    • His friends and family had to witness the abuse
    • Jesus said something when He was being abused:
      • “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
      • He dealt with the abuse by committing Himself to God.
    • There is hope and you can heal, commit yourself to God! He is the helper to the fatherless.

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