I grew up with a great father and a wonderful mother. In fact, I didn’t know many children in my age group who didn’t have a father in the house. For whatever reason, most of my friends had both parents in the house. Yet, I had a few friends who grew up without a father, and I saw what a difference that made in their lives.
I want to encourage those men who don’t have children, both those who are young and unmarried, and those who are married but do not have children yet, be a father. I write this especially to Christian men. Be a father.
My wife and I moved hundreds of miles away from where we grew up after we got married. We moved from Savannah, Georgia to Louisville, Kentucky, where I pursued a graduate degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. More than the languages, the theology, or anything else I learned from seminary, the most important lesson I learned was from our local church.
Being (comparatively) poor and far from home, we learned how important family really is. We were members of a small church located in an inner city area. While we were there, we saw a church who fed the body, the community, and the local children every Wednesday (no fee, just a free meal). On those Wednesdays, I had the chance to see how desperate many of those children were for a father figure in their lives.
In the years we were there, the church became our family, and we got to see how the men of the church became fathers to the fatherless. You see, God said of himself that he is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), and Christ called his church to follow after him.
Paul comments that he considers Timothy and Titus both to be his sons in the faith. This is the role the church must play in America today, being fathers to a generation of fatherless. But, it cannot be a “church” thing, it has to be the role of the men, individually in the church. So I write this to you who are not fathers in the flesh, and encourage you, be fathers to the fatherless. Most assuredly this applies to those who have children as well, but don’t let the lack of children born to you stop you from being a father. May God bless you on this Father’s Day!