Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
We were at my Dad’s house yesterday celebrating Memorial Day. My Dad hasn’t been outside his home in almost 2 years. He has bad knees (and a bull head.) He won’t get his knees fixed (the doctors/hospitals killed his wife) and he can’t stand up anymore because his knee joints are just bone on bone. Everyone of his kids has begged him to get the operation, but he refuses. Despite all that, his family is building him a deck and ramp so that he can get outside in his wheelchair .
My son and I were helping by doing the tedious work of bolting the planks to the sub flooring that had been anchored in rock (Quickcrete) the day before. Every few feet all along the length of the deck we were inserting fasteners to hold it firm.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25
As we were working out in the hot
HOT! sun, I was listening to the conversation going on in the kitchen through the screen door just a few feet away. I overheard my Dad tell my older sister, “I always thought you were the smartest of the whole bunch.”
Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Psalm 27:10
painfully responded, “I heard that!”
His comment reminded me that I am not my Dad’s favorite. I am probably his least favorite of his six children, and he reminds me of that often (and usually in front of a lot of people) by bringing up past incidences when I was a little girl, intending to ridicule and shame me.
May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. Psalm 35:26
The first incident (I don’t remember it) must have happened when I was only a toddler and, as Dad joyfully and freely relates it to anyone who will listen, I walked buck-naked
alone down to the neighbor’s house where they were having a graduation party. They had to call and let him know that I was there. He said he whooped my butt good when he got me home.
If I am guilty–woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction. Job 10:14
The other incident (I do remember this one) involved my little brothers and cousins and me playing hide and seek in the corn field behind our house. My little brother got lost and it took all day for the family to find him. According to my Dad, they found him curled up in a ball, asleep. I got blamed for that one, too. I got a whoopin’, a good tongue-lashing, and had to spend the rest of my day in my bedroom.
My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame. Psalm 44:15
As a matter of fact, remembering these two instances reminds me that my Dad’s favorite thing to do with
me us when we were little was to rub one index finger over the other and say drolly, “Shame. Shame on you.”
Shame is a powerful weapon of the enemy.
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Satan loves to shame little children especially, and make them feel like circumstances are all their fault. He tries to flood little children with guilt and shame.
Especially when it’s false guilt and shame. There is real conviction when one has done a real wrong, but that is different from what I am talking about here.
The path of guilt and shame, false or real, leads to hopelessness and despair. And the enemy knows that well.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! 1 Peter 1:3
The deeper questions I ask myself as I get older
wiser is, “Where were my parents? Where was my Dad when I, just a little girl, a baby even, was toddling down to the neighbors (did I mention that a 14 foot deep ditch runs the length of that road?) Where was my Dad when we were playing in field corn way too high for our own good? Why didn’t he ever warn us of the danger? Why isn’t wasn’t my Dad wise enough to recognize that the fault lies with him; that he wasn’t living up to his responsibility before God as the head of the house?”
This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. Ephesians 6:12
The enemy through My Dad, even yesterday, again tried to shame me by bringing up the fact that, as a child, I loved to take off all my clothes and run around naked.
Don’t a lot of little children do that?
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a (wo)man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Cor 13:11
I was sharing these stories of my childhood with a wise friend who has the Spirit of Counsel and she asked me, “What would happen if, when your Father tries to shame you, you reject the shame, because Jesus himself scorned the shame of the cross?”
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
I had never thought to do that before.
I did it yesterday
secretly in my hidden thoughts when my Dad made the comment about me always running around naked.
…then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. Job 11:15
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
I feel sad for my Dad that when he sees me all he sees is
his own shame. Maybe next time I will reject shame out loud as an example for him to follow.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
Abba Daddy, forgive me for all the times I did do wrong as a child and deserved real shame and your eternal condemnation. Set my earthly Daddy free from real and false shame, too, through your Son, Jesus, and the work he did on the cross for the whole world. And, if possible, use me. I love him so much because he’s my Father, as rough and gruff and unfair as he has sometimes been to me, and even though the enemy used him in a major way to fill me with shame. I accept all real shame and place it at the foot of the cross knowing you paid the price for it, Jesus, and I completely reject all false shame, Lord. Only you can “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.” As my Dad tries to project shame on me I pray that it would mirror back on him until he no longer even likes to tell those stories anymore. Shine the light of your Truth into the area of the enemy’s dark lies. I love my Dad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.