On Being A Father To The Fatherless

  • March 5, 1983 (my date of birth)
  • May 19, 2002 (baptism)
  • September 1, 2002 (wedding)
  • August 12, 2008 (became foster parents
  • August 14, 2008 (welcomed our fist foster child, one day old baby boy)
  • October 9, 2009 (said goodbye to our first foster child)
  • August 4, 2010 (my first son Austin was born)
  • July 10, 2012 (my second son Jaxon was born) 

    We all have a list of days in our past that help define who we are today. I can tell you that from the list above Aug 4 2010 and July 10 2012 are my proudest, the days my boys were born changed my life forever. The day I got baptized and the day I got married are the most joyous, and the day we said goodbye to our first foster son was the hardest. I will never forget the sadness I felt when we left him for the last time, his outstretched arm and tears running down his face are etched in my memory forever.

    If you know me you know that being a father is not a job I take lightly. God blessed me with two boys and I intend to make godly men out of them. Unfortunately for most other boys in our country today, fatherhood doesn’t top the list of priorities, in fact it often doesn’t make the top ten. 

    Did you know that more than 40 percent of kids will go to sleep tonight in a house where no father is present? 40 PERCENT! Almost half of all kids do not have a dad to pray over them and for them as they lay down to sleep. 

    Of the 60 percent of kids who are fortunate enough to have a dad, many of them don’t know the dates of their birthdays, they don’t know what their kids are in to or even what their favorite hobby is. Many of these kids who can say they have a dad, can’t say that their dad is at home, at the dinner table every night of the week. 

    The fact is that we are facing an epidemic, and it’s not Zika, the Swine flu, the Avian flu or SARS. This epidemic is not a viral thing, it’s a heart thing and sadly, it’s taking over the world. 

    To acknowledge the fact that many kids don’t have a father, or at least a father figure in their lives, is also to acknowledge the heartbreaking truth that culture today does not know what a good father even looks like. 

    Our society teaches that life is all about me, God teaches that a good man leads a selfless life. A good man works and provides for his family, a good man leads his family when it comes to both their spiritual lives and as a protector in this one. A good man will lay down his life for his wife and his children. These are all teachings you can find in Scripture but I find the best biblical example of a good father is God Himself.  

    I am aware of how secular society sees God and again they’ve got it wrong. God is patient, not short tempered. When I see how long God put up with the grumbling of the Israelites, I think of how people say you shouldn’t keep warning your kids to behave, you should be firm and dole out consequences right away. My response is… God waited a long time before the people felt His wrath, if God can be patient with a few million whiners than I can be patient with two boys who won’t listen. 

    As a father I have fallen short many, many times. On most days I don’t even come close to being the father that the Bible says I ought to be. Thankfully because of what Jesus did, I know I’m forgiven. That does not free me from the obligation to at least try though, and if you ask me that’s how you can determine whether or not any particular father is a good one. 

    Sadly, I have personally witnessed fathers who ignore their kids. I have seen a child finally accomplish something that for them, was a big deal only to be shrugged off by their dad. I have seen men flat out ignore their child when he cries for daddy. 

    I’ve seen the heart of a child break when he learns that daddy won’t be around for Christmas. I’ve seen the pain caused by a daddy who doesn’t care enough to at least visit. And as a foster parent I’ve been the father to many kids who would not otherwise have known what a dad is supposed to do. 

    I’m not bragging about how good of a dad I am, rather I’m speaking from experience when I talk about the heart breaks I’ve seen. It’s those experiences that motivate me to keep going, keep trying, keep begging God to give me the wisdom required to be a good father. 

    I’ve seen kids cry themselves to sleep cause their parents failed them, I’ve seen kids lash out in anger because they think they aren’t loved, I’ve seen what a child can turn into without the love and guidance of a good, strong father. 

    Sometimes we have to experience, or at least witness the bad things in life so that we know good when we see it. If we can recognize bad, we can strive for good.

    The world is a tough place, and kids are the most susceptible members of our society. If we intend to turn our kids into good, Jesus following people then it is our responsibility, our duty, our life’s work to model for them what a Jesus follower looks like and what a good dad ought to be. Because if we don’t,  we can’t act surprised later on when our kids don’t turn into what we expected. 

    Take a look around you, do you see the bad? Now go! And be the good. 

    Thanks for reading! Please take a second and share this. The world needs to know Jesus and maybe this will be exactly what somebody needs to hear, but we won’t know if we don’t share. 

    Thanks again.

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