How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 2

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:

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Hebrews 12:15 NIV

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Luke 23:34 NIV

Today’s verses speak to the power of forgiveness and its importance. I know when I got to share my story with my coworkers I used the analogy of taking poison and expecting the other person to die, it doesn’t work. Continuing to take the poison of unforgiveness is like adding fertilizer that the bitter root can use to go deeper and get stronger. Continuing to take the poison of unforgiveness causes that bitter root to produce even more toxins like sadness, depression, anger, frustration, and could even push you to the point of impacting your loved ones who aren’t even involved in that issue or situation. Because I had allowed it to happen, I didn’t even check with the person I was partnering with at work to see how the decision impacted them till many years later when I learned that they were equally impacted even though in terms of the distribution of the work “he won” but in reality, it overloaded him and set him up for failure too. So before we allow a bitter root to grow up and cause trouble, defiling many, let’s reflect and consider forgiveness as the response instead. So before we allow a bitter root to group up and cause trouble, defiling many, let’s forgive and then work to bring health to the situation by partnering and addressing the situation head-on. If you were Jesus upon the cross, having just been beaten and abused and then nailed to the cross, do you think you would be asking God to forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing? Do you think you would be wanting to forgive them after the atrocity while they were dividing up his clothes by casting lots? Well, Jesus shows us the example of even when things are looking tough and what they did may even seem unforgivable to others, we are to forgive them. Forgiveness brings health to our hearts and minds and soul. Forgiveness takes back the power and the control. Forgiveness brings healing and strength back into you. So today let’s consider as we look to be the dads if there is anyone we need to forgive or apologize to and ask for forgiveness. Let’s be the dads who forgive and apologize when we do something wrong. Let’s be the dads who won’t allow a bitter root to mess up our relationships with our wives, our kids, and the world around us.

After sharing my story at work I asked if it would be ok to post it up on YouTube and got approval as they said it was my story.

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)

Why Should I Forgive?

  • Being wounded by someone you can trust may cause you to ask the question.
  • You might feel that you have every right to hate them
  • You might feel bitter, feel bad, feel guilty, feel damaged, or broken
  • Abuse is never your fault!
  • Are you mad or bitter and don’t think they deserve to be blessed by forgiveness
  • An abusive father can mess up our view of God when they were supposed to be the dad who reflects our Heavenly Father.
  • Our Heavenly Father who is love. Love that is patient. Love that is kind. Love that doesn’t envy. Love that doesn’t boast. Love that isn’t proud. Love that doesn’t dishonor others. Love that isn’t self-seeking. Love that isn’t easily angered. Love that keeps no records of wrong. Love that doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. Love that always protects. Love that always trusts. Love that always hopes. Love that always perseveres. Love that never fails.
  • Were you raised by someone who twisted the meaning of love and the trajectory of your life.
  • Last day was around healing.
  • Why to forgive?
    • Forgiveness isn’t saying that what happened was ok.
    • Forgiveness isn’t saying that we are going back to the relationship we had before.
    • You can forgive without reconciling.
    • God gives us an answer for your sake and for Jesus’ sake.
    • For your sake – Hebrews 12:
      • see to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble – Hebrews 12:15
        • when you were abused it was like a seed was planted in your heart
        • if you don’t stop that see it will grow roots and wrap up your heart
        • it will sabbotage our faith
        • it will skew our view of our Heavenly Father
        • it will mess with our view of sex which was a beautiful gift that God gave to marriage
        • it will mess with your view of man or trust or relationships
        • your father could be gone but he could still victimize you if that bitterness is still there
        • for your sake, for your future, forgive
        • refuse to give back and the right to punish them
        • “the person who wants to burry their enemy should dig 2 graves” because bitterness doesn’t just kill them it kills you too — paraphrase of old Chinese proverb
        • Commit yourself to God
    • For Jesus’ sake – He died on the cross and was severely abused
      • He died on the cross for our sins
      • He was abused on the cross for our sins
      • He wouldn’t have been abused on the cross if it hadn’t been for our sins
      • Jesus, Holy, Perfect, Son of God – went through the abuse and suffering because of our sins
      • Luke 23:34 – He looked up God and said:
        • Father forgive them
      • We have been forgiven so much and so we should forgive too
      • It may take us forgiving multiple times
      • It will help us get to the right and healthy place
      • God suffered, forgave, reached out His arms to receive and accept us
      • So we can end up in a better place and the perfect family of God with no suffering, no pain, no flashback, no triggers
      • So let’s forgive for Jesus’ sake so we can find joy and closeness and the perfect Father who looks into your face, accepts you and protects you forever and ever and ever
    • So let’s forgive for your sake and for Jesus’ sake.

Leave a Reply