What does it mean for a father to turn his heart toward his child?

Look at it this way. What is the opposite of having a heart turned toward a child? The opposite is to have the heart turned away.

Here are three examples: Ā 

Neglect

Fathers can have their hearts turned away from their children by ignoring them. When they are so swallowed up in work, all the children get are the dregs of the fatherā€™s life.Ā 

Abuse

Fathers can have their hearts turned away from their children by being abusive. It may be that without even hearing themselves, fathers’ communication with their children is a litany of disapproval and put-downs.

Fathers can have their hearts turned away from their children by being abusive. It may be that without even hearing themselves, the fathersā€™ communication with their children is a litany of disapproval and put-downs.

Why? Because their heart is not toward the children.Ā It is frozen in a posture of habitual unkindness. Or worse, sometimes it stems from the sexual abuse of children.

Here, the father’s heart is curled around like a snake in love with its tail and consuming itself on its filthy passions.Ā 

Disappointment

Finally, fathers can have their hearts turned away from their children through an embittered spirit of disappointment: that their children forget them, or that they have let the father down in the way they live, or that they have taken the father for granted and never said thanks for all you did.

Where is the heart then?

In the poisoned puddle of self-pity that threatens to grow into an ocean of resentment, the child becomes depressed and disconnected with his or her family.

Prayer

Lord,

You see these men, who are fathers. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts and bless them with leadership and wisdom. I pray for these men to step out in faith and be the fathers. You are calling them to beJesusā€™esus’ Name, Amen.

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