June 13, 2019
There is a generation of fatherless men and women nowadays. It could be because their father had already passed on or maybe their father had abandoned the family. It could also be because their father is virtually present but practically absent as he is always working and away from home. To some, their father may be present but is either passive or abusive.
Wherever you may be experiencing this, the truth is it hurts to not have a father or not have a good one at all.
Others recognize the need of having a father so much so that they start blaming their fathers for everything that has gone wrong in their lives.
The tricky thing is that this hurt or longing does not go away with age. One time, I was listening to an 80-year-old describe his dad who had recently passed away. His dad reached a little over 100 years old, and as he was describing his father, I could sense hurt and bitterness in his voice. Imagine that, a son who still hasn’t gotten over this hurt despite the decades that had passed!
The good news is there is redemption for those who experience this. You don’t need to shrink back in hopelessness or be bitter about your situation. In Scripture, God reveals Himself as the Father, Defender, and Sustainer to the fatherless.
You may not necessarily believe in God, but nonetheless He extends His love to you and has shown this love for you in an extraordinary way—He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you just so He could have you back. And if you would respond to this love, He could redeem your experience and make you whole.
I have an artist friend who I met in church about 16 years ago. He was my age, he was fatherless, and he used to live with his mom and sister. I was his pastor when I was still in Imus, Cavite, and part of my role in his life was to help him with his walk with Christ and in practical things as well. I encouraged him to leave his job as a draftsman so that he could pursue painting full-time. I even officiated his wedding.
In one of our conversations, I was surprised when he said that I was like a father to him. That didn’t make sense to me initially, but then I understood that to a man who is fatherless, my role in his life as a pastor approximated it. You can find the same in church community, and I am praying that you do.
If you’ve been abandoned, violated, or betrayed by the one who should have protected you; if you have been unguided, unloved, and left to yourself; if you seem to have missed out on a childhood because you had to carry responsibilities early on—all of that can be redeemed, because God wants to represent and protect you.
My wife, Let, was born when her dad was 71 (no joke!). He was a widower when he met her mom, who was 39 at that time. He took great care of Let despite his old age, but he passed on when she was 12.
In that bleak moment, Let breathed a simple prayer where she found solace with God, saying “Lord, because you’ve taken my father, You will be my Father from now on.” It seems God really took her in after that simple prayer of faith. God provided for her and her mom through a simple rental apartment, then even put her through college as a scholar, making sure that she’d meet me there (alright!), and that she’ll be taken care of for the rest of her life!
If you are fatherless, you don’t need to live in bitterness or hopelessness. As you yield your life to your Father in heaven, He will make you whole and let you experience a double portion of what you seem to have missed (Isaiah 61:7).
This Father’s Day, I pray it would be a different one for you, forever.
Photo credits: Katherine Chase