Most dads say they are unsure where to begin and feel inadequate in setting the right example. In this post we will look at how important it is to seek forgiveness as part of climbing out of failure.


This is where you can learn to see God work in your life. If you’re trying to be a godly dad—maybe you need to start with forgiving yourself.

To climb out of your failure, you need to seek forgiveness from your child, God and yourself. This post is all about learning to forgive yourself.

Question: Do you find it easier to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone else?

I wrote about Why our expectations are wrong and how to fix them and Faulty fixes you should avoid at all cost. And remember, there’s ten Field Guides to help you with in great detail with doubt and other struggles.

Note, this three-part series isn’t in a particular order—but there are three essential people you ultimately need to ask forgiveness from. We’ve talked about seeking forgiveness from your child and seeking forgiveness from God.

Let’s turn now to another essential person we must ask forgiveness from—yourself.

The third person you should seek forgiveness from: Yourself.

The hardest thing to do is forgive ourselves. This explains why we have a hard time believing that God forgives. We can’t forgive ourselves for what we said, so why should we expect God to?

But then again, maybe we don’t need to forgive ourselves. After all, isn’t the important thing that God forgave us, and our child forgave us too?

Yes, that’s important, but it’s critical that we follow through and forgive ourselves. Forgiveness means the offense has been removed by the other person. When God forgives, my sin is no longer a barrier in my relationship with Him.

But as long as I hold on to the offense, I can’t move forward. I am too busy punishing myself to get on with building my relationship with God and my child.

Some men feel they need to punish themselves; it is an act of penance on their part.

But remember, there is nothing you must do to earn God’s forgiveness and freedom from your sin.

He offers it freely to those who come with a repentant heart. God requires no acts of penance; He only calls for words of penance: “God, I’m sorry. I turn from my sin and I turn to You. Please forgive me.”

And with that, Christ forgives. Now extend the same grace to yourself that the sovereign King of the Universe extends to you.

“But I can’t forget what I’ve done.” No, and no one expects you to forget it. The old cliché “forgive and forget” doesn’t work—and it’s not biblical.

The Lord God said, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isa. 43:25). God is God; with His omniscience, He can’t truly forget. “Remembers your sins no more” doesn’t mean God forgets; it means He chooses not to remember.

“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).

Every time I read this verse, I remember the classic way Corrie Ten Boom in her book, Tramp for the Lord, explained God’s forgiveness:

“When we confess our sins…God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says NO FISHING ALLOWED.”

Dad, stop fishing. Stop dredging up what Christ has forgiven and chosen not to remember. It’s only then that you can move forward.

Question: Do you find it easier to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone else?



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