What a Father Means…

Sadly, far too many people out there are void of what possibly might be the greatest earthly gift I’ve ever been given…a father who is crazy about them!

My dad has never kept it a secret that he loves me and the rest of my brothers.  He has been leading us with great passion and love ever since we were born!  He’s enthusiastic about our endeavors, interested in our lives, and loves us deeply enough to hold us accountable when we’re doing something wrong.

I’ve been blessed with a special person in my life, and I take it for granted far too often.

Dad4

Too many people lack this very special gift in their lives today–especially in America.  As a teacher, I see it far too often in our schools–kids who don’t have a father to look up to or to lead them to become the great young people God wants them to be.  Approximately, 40 percent of our children are living in homes without their biological father!

Joe Ehrmann describes the situation in his book InSideOut Coaching,

“Too many dads have abdicated their roles as providers, protectors, and partners in parenting as well as moral role models for their children.  This absence creates feelings of deep personal rejection and assaults children’s sense of self-worth, self-respect, and personhood.”

These dire consequences come of no surprise.  For the Bible tells us that a child’s father is supposed to be the spiritual leader in the household.  The one who models for his children how to be a responsible adult who follows after God and uses their unique skills and abilities to achieve things greater than just pursuing their own desires.

As an ISS teacher, I see children all the time who don’t have a father or have a father who’s involvement in their lives is all but absent.  I can’t imagine what these kids are going through!  How does it feel to not have that person there for you?  To not have him there to acknowledge your achievements with love and pride?  To not have him there to discipline you when you’re going astray?  To not have him there to offer advice only a father can give?

Dad's day

A lot of people have attempted to diagnose some of our country’s problems over the years.  Some blame our government, some blame our schools, and some even blame God.  As a teacher, however, I’ve seen the devastating consequences that come when kids don’t have a strong father in their lives, and I can’t help but feel that our country’s ever-increasing lack of emphasis and accountability on being good fathers to our children has taken a tole on our country’s welfare.

Social scientists have produced research that shows conclusively that when children lack a healthy relationship with their father, they are at a higher risk for several negative emotional, educational, and psychological outcomes.  Yet, as a society, we seem to like to pretend that a family without a father is okay.  That no family structure is more ideal than any other.  That a father can be involved as much or as little as is comfortable for him because it’s his life, shouldn’t he do as he pleases?

The Bible tells us no.  The Bible tell us that being a father is a special duty given to us from God, and that we have a responsibility as men to be there for our children.  That there is no excuse for totally abandoning your kids and there is no excuse for not caring for them with the love and compassion they deserve.

I’m one of the lucky ones.  Never once in my entire life have I ever thought my dad didn’t care or didn’t love me.  I’ve always known that he’s got my back when I need him; that he finds great joy in being around me and takes pride in my accomplishments, and that he follows the Lord and believes God has a special plan for my life.

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Thanks for everything Dad.  I love you and miss having you around.

-BH

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