Today’s Scripture: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Psalm 27:10

In historical Roman culture and society, a father would be presented his newborn child. They would take it and lay it down in front of the father. If the father picked up the baby, it meant he accepted the child as his own, and would be the one to nurture and provide for the child. If the baby was laid down and the father did not pick it up, that meant he had rejected the child. The child would then be sold, given away, or even the extreme of letting the child die from exposure. I can’t comprehend how anyone could not pick up their child.

Some of you have a hardship in your past relating to your dad. It amazes me as a pastor when I try to counsel and help people, and I hear stories. When you didn’t have a good experience with your father, often that translates into the way that you are going to act as a dad.

Sometimes though, it’s the opposite. Sometimes, a person will say, “I’m not going to be like my dad,” but usually it’s the other way around. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it’s because that’s all they’ve seen or known.

So how can you break the cycle? How can you be a good parent, even if you didn’t have a good father figure? Whatever your situation is, if you focus on what God has said about raising kids, you can be an epic dad. You can learn how to do it by surrounding yourself with those who can support you and warn you when they see you slipping into those errors that your dad had in his life. Above all, stay close to your Heavenly Father – He is the best example of all. He will always pick you up.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.