The Absent Father

I had this crazy revelation today as I was sitting in church. Yesterday was Father’s day as everyone knows. And my pastor had asked a few of the men church leaders to get in front of the congregation and share about their experiences with being a Christian father. Very good stories had been shared as a few men talked about how their father wasn’t in their lives much, but eventually discovered God was their Father and He was able to show them what it meant to be a Godly father. They came to actuality that their kids watch their every move and how they needed to become better examples to some of their children. My father had also spoke about his experience being raised up in a Christian home, serving in the church and having his dad show him how to work hard. He began to get very emotional as he explained how his goal was to raise his girls (my sister and I) in a Godly home, teach us how to work and also to serve the Lord. It was a very beautiful Father’s day service that surpassed greater meaning than any sermon that could have happened on Father’s Day.

I began pondering upon my earliest thoughts from this week and also thoughts during church service yesterday. I recently had my family come to visit me this week and I had a lot on my mind about growing deeper relationships with everyone. As well as what it really means to have a father in my life because a relative of mine had recently lost his father 3 years ago this year.

My heart filled with sadness and also surprise as God brought an interesting thought to mind. This is what I felt as I thought about the absence of several father’s in our “family tree”: “Pretty much all of the family on my mom’s side of the family has lost their fathers and daddies to some cause of death; whether it’d be physical sickness, alcoholism, or being shot. My next thought shifted to my dad’s side of the father. I wondered what fathers were missing on my dad’s family but I couldn’t think of any. That’s when God gave me a second revelation on how there aren’t any fathers missing on my dad’s side, so what was it then? (My grandfather, all uncles and my father were all still alive). What I did get from that revelation, though, was that many of the men on my dad’s side were not physically absent but mentally and more even emotionally absent in their kids lives. Sure, they worked and provided for their families. They raised kids to become successful, but they had not been their emotionally to give their children real fatherhood that they needed. This is not a blog post to discredit any of the men in my family. But the truth of the matter is after sitting in church yesterday and hearing about the physical absence of fathers’ in so many lives of young struggling boys…mental and emotional absence also has an affect on a child. I am in no place to say which one is greater or smaller impact on a child because I believe everyone is wired very differently in the way that they are affected emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. Point blank, psychologically we cannot limit a person’s dealing to this or that. I am just heart broken though. Because I have seen the upbringing of several different relatives in my family. I see the way deaths have hurt my mom’s side of the family as well as I’ve also seen how lack of needs being met in the lives of babies to grown children on my dad’s side.

Photo credit to themattwalshblog.com

I left church very grateful yesterday. As I’ve expressed many times, I was heart broken because what affects my family most definitely affects me. But I grew thankful in a way I never have before; to understand that my dad is still in my life. Though he is not perfect and is growing in ways to become a better father and meet the needs of his family, I have seen growth in him. That’s something a few of my family members will never be able to see from their deceased fathers or from their fathers who don’t care enough to emotionally be there to support their children. I wrote this to say…God is good! First off, He has been the Father I’ve always needed. I always try to acknowledge him each year for how great He has been to me. I am an extremely imperfect daughter that tries to abound in His presence regularly. What my earthly father cannot even give me, thank the Lord that God above has been able to supply and satisfy every need/desire and fill every void in my heart. Also, I have grown to a deeper appreciation of my earthly father because I am aware of the impact of not having a father can cause a person. There have been times when I suffered from the lack of emotional support from my own father. But I praise God because I see him seeking God daily in order to grow as a Godly husband, father, leader and provider. I am grateful to God because I don’t think he would be growing so much in faith and fatherhood if God hadn’t stepped in and showed him how to take the lead. It’s been a test of faith and much prayers, and there’s still growth. Don’t give up on your fathers, y’all. One day you’ll be surprised what your prayers can actually do. My prayers happened in the spread through a few years, but God is faithful.

Please check out my blog below. I wrote this shortly after this one because I was inspired to write a letter to my future husband and future husband as it pertains to fatherhood.

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