The thought of being a father some day always frightened me. I wasn’t afraid of being a “bad dad,” I was terrified of being a destructive dad. Bad dads are aloof, uncaring, disconnected and discontented with their own life.
A bad dad is a self-protective dad who can’t rise above their own past, problems or personality. Bad dads just can’t get over the pain or they become trapped by consequences or addictions of previous decisions. Bad dads can still be excellent providers of the necessities – roof, food & stability.
I was positive that I would become a bad dad, but I thought I would eventually become a destructive dad. A destructive dad takes poor parenting to the extreme by hijacking their children’s ability to be healthy.
A destructive dad isn’t selfish, their purposeful to inflict pain on everyone around (specifically family). When a destructive dad sees their children pulling away to find “normal” or “beauty” or “love” they proactively sabotages those opportunities, friends, connections. They hold their children hostage to fulfill some dark game they play. Two of my dad(s) were bad dads- one out of struggle, one out of pain and the last was destructive & wicked. One time I told him that I forgave him for the way he treated my mother and my sister. He just laughed in my face. That weird, deep kind of laugh that sent chills down my back.
If you’re are wondering how or why I would ever be fearful of being a Dad (having children). It’s because I didn’t have anyone tell me different. I thought I was destined to be what I had seen and heard and felt. Jesus made the difference. It was only by His promise and a chance to trust Him that I began to change and eventually trust enough to get married and agree to have children.
Looking back I’m embarrassed that I was so fearful and, if you know my wife and kids, you’d probably agree that it was an unwarranted reality. All I know is those thoughts and feelings were very real to me at the time.
So am I grateful to be a Dad? Absolutely! Jesus changed my heart and mind and then I married the most wonderful girl ever. After fathering Dave, Matt & Janae most would say it looked “easy.” That always cracks me up! Yeah, they are amazing adults today. However, I can promise, it wasn’t easy and it took God, a great wife and a Church family to make it happen.