How do I forgive my abusive dad

How do I forgive my abusive dad? – Day 3

As I continue to work through the dad devotionals in the order provided by doing a search for dad on Bible.com, 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 Bible.com 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:


‘For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. ‘

Galatians 5:17

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ‘

Galatians 5:22-24

Today’s verses from God’s Words speak to a struggle, a battle, a reality that affects us all. The struggle is real and we need to struggle well. The struggle is real and we need to persevere. Jesus speaks to us about the reality that in this world we will have troubles but that we can take hope because He has overcome the world. So in the battle within between our fleshly also known as the sinful desires (sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like) and our spirit also known as the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) we need to cling to and lean on God to keep us in pursuit of the desires of the Spirit. So let’s bring any of the sinful or desires of the flesh and nail them to the cross. Let’s not be tempted into sin but resist the devil so that he will flee. Let’s choose to be the dads who produce the fruits of the Spirit in and through our lives. Let’s be the dads who love! Let’s be the dads who have and bring joy to the situation. Let’s be the dads who have peace and give peace to others. Let’s be the dads who are demonstrating tolerance, toleration, patience, resignation, endurance, fortitude, stoicism, long-sufferingness, leniency, lenity, clemency, indulgence, restraint, self-restraint, self-control, moderation, temperance, and mildness. Let’s be the dads who are kind and show kindness to others. Let’s be the dads who are good and demonstrate goodness to others. Let’s be the dads who are faithful and demonstrate faithfulness to others. Let’s be the dads who know how to be gentle. Let’s be the dads who have self-control. Let’s be the dads who are producing the fruit of the Spirit in and through our lives! Each day we are going to face trials and troubles and God’s Word speaks that we need to consider it pure joy and persevere. In James 1 we read:

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ‘

James 1:2-4

So today let’s be the dads who choose to take heart because we know that Jesus has overcome the world. Let’s choose to be the dads who consider it pure joy when we face trials and troubles of many kinds. Let’s choose to be the dads who know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Let’s choose to be the dads who allow perseverance to finish its work so that we can be mature and complete, lacking nothing.


Today’s devotional has been provided by Time Of Grace Ministry (more details can be found https://timeofgrace.org/welcome-to-time-of-grace/?togipsrc=youversion&togpreselect=1-2)

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 Forgave. Why Do I Still Feel This Way?

  • If you are trying to follow Jesus and you forgave like Jesus then why do you still feel this way?
  • Ever wondered what is happening today? Why are you feeling this way today?
  • There is an answer in the Bible to this question: Galatians 5:17
    • ‘For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. ‘
    • There are 2 spiritual forces in your heart – the spirit that wants to forgive, love, and commit to God
      • the flesh doesn’t want any of that. it wants to be mad. it wants payback. it doesn’t want to do the work of forgiving.
    • They are in your heart and at conflict with each other – which is why it is so hard and to be the dads we need to fight daily to not worry, not be afraid, to be pure, to be kind, to be generous, to not be anxious – every day is a fight.
    • We need to deal with this conflict and so we need to figure out how do we win?
    • It’s like the cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other trying to get you to do it their way.
    • How do we listen to the angel and forgive and not listen to the devil and not forgive?
    • The Apostle Paul has an answer – Jesus.
    • Read all of Galatians but as we saw above, in Galatians 5:24
      • Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
      • We want to kill the sinful nature, put it on the cross and walk away.
      • We belong to Christ Jesus!
      • You have the Holy Spirit now because you belong to Christ Jesus!
      • You have commited yourself to a Heavenly Father who will empower your spirit when you don’t know or think you can do it along.
      • Let’s be the dads who belong to Jesus and so can walk with prayer and answered prayers from our Heavenly Father.
      • Like saplings that have supporting posts and ropes to connect to it to support it when the winds blow the stronger posts can support it.
      • You are not alone! Jesus is the stronger posts to help you stand and do this.
      • It will be difficult but it will be possible!
      • With God all things are possible!
      • So with God we can forgive even when we don’t feel like it!
      • Let’s be the dads our kids, our wives, and this world needs us to be irrespective of what happen to us in our past!
      • Let’s be the dads who live out our lives a children of God!
      • Let’s be the dads who trust in Jesus and walk out this life in His ways!
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