June 18, 2017 by Calvonia Radford
Did you know that 23.6% of children in the United States live in a father-absent home?
Alarming? I think so.
Significant? Absolutely. Especially since father absence is the main contributing factor for many of our most incurable social ills affecting children. Those being poverty, teen pregnancy, violence, drug abuse and incarceration.
Born into a single-parent home, I was meant to be a statistic. But God had a different plan. I praise him for his sovereign will for my life.
Today is the day our nation pauses to recognize our fathers. We turn our sentimental radars up, pull our pleasant memories to the forefront of our minds and open our wallets for gifts and special dinners. I’m not making light of the event. It’s a wonderful occasion which we should not neglect.
Allow me to pose a question. What about the fatherless children?
Think about those people sitting near you today in worship service. I assume you were in attendance.
Where there any fatherless in the congregation?
Where there any foster children present?
Of those children who had fathers in the home, how many are emotionally disconnected?
How many adults were silently suffering from fatherlessness?
Open your eyes. What do you see?
In my church, with an average attendance of less than 100, we have children from single parent homes (mother-led), young ladies who have lost their fathers from sudden death or divorce and children who attend faithfully while their fathers sit at home.
Today, my eyes were dilated and I noticed those adult children who had reluctantly arrived with fresh grief still salty on their lips and sat there trying to survive.
Some seats were empty. These vacancies usually occupied by those who could not bear to come to church on Father’s day. Regardless if their father was taken weeks ago or years gone by, the gut wrenching pain will not allow them to suffer through the accolades and gift giving of the Father’s day service.
Is there any consolation? Yes, there is hope in God. He has promised to be a father to the fatherless. Though he sits high, he is always there to play the role of father.
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5
We can encourage our dear sisters and brother with those words. God will wrap his arms around us and engulf us with his tangible presence. He is at our beckon call.
“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
If God is a father to the fatherless and we are his children, what does he expect of us?
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. ” James 1:27
What does “visiting the fatherless” look like on Father’s day?
- Share an encouraging word or scripture.
- Make a phone call. and acknowledge their circumstance.
- Give a hug or pat on the back.
- Send a thinking of you card.
- Offer to sit with the hurting during service.
- Provide the funding for a single mother to take her kids out for Sunday dinner.
God wants us to put ourselves in their place and do unto them as we would have them do unto us. Luke 6:31
I am not writing this post because I have it all together. I have been self-centered more than not. Today, I repent!
Lord, I ask you to make me more sensitive to the fatherless, young and not so young. I need the prompting of the Holy Spirit so I will diligently contact others with a word of comfort and cheer. Father help me to represent you better. You have demonstrated for me exactly what you want me to do. Strengthen me, Sir. Make me a blessing. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen
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