Growing up without a father has an incredible impact on a child. But that impact “ripples out” like a stone dropped into a pond. Today I want to share an elegant solution.
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Fatherlessness is associated with almost every societal ill facing children today.
Being fatherless accounts for …
63% of youth suicides
90% of runaway children
85% of children who develop behavioral disorders
80% of rapists
71% of high school dropouts
75% of adolescent patients in drug abuse treatment centers
85% of youth in prison
71% of pregnant teenagers
Those numbers are staggering !!!! Children who are growing up fatherless are in desperate need for the care, direction and control of a loving Dad.
Our verse today calls God Almighty A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, A DEFENDER OF WIDOWS, IS GOD IN HIS HOLY DWELLING
Over the years I’ve been deliberate about building relationships with young men who were fatherless or who had fathers that were “out of the picture” in terms of their day to day lives. Sometimes this was caused by divorce or being the son of a single mom. At other times the father was himself controlled by alcohol or drug abuse, and so he had essentially abdicated his role and any positive impact he may have had.
My family and I have poured our lives into these young men. We’ve built deliberate relationships, modeled a more positive version of family life than they knew and built bridges. Today most of these “boys” have become men. They have grown up to become US Marines, Navy sailors and Army soldiers. They’ve become police officers, medical doctors, welding shop foremen and teachers. One is also battling drug addiction. Another took his life.
Having a father-figure in your life is not a guarantee of success, obviously. But not having one certainly stacks a massive number of odds against you. I’m not claiming to have done fatherhood perfectly; there are many times I don’t even think I’ve done it well.
Then God steps in and offers to be A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, A DEFENDER OF WIDOWS.
Having God as your Heavenly Father is an ABSOLUTE life changer. He is always close by to comfort, clarify, correct and direct. His word (the bible) is always available to speak to any and every life issue. He NEVER gives up on us, never leaves us or abandons His children. That’s utter DAD-ication.
I could spend a great deal of time speaking to clergy about their role representing the Heavenly Father and His DADicated love for His children. One of the greatest honorifics of a priest or bishop is the title “Father” – and it is a constant reminder to me of His call to be a spiritual Dad to those He has called me to serve. He wants me to be truly DADicated, too. The sons and daughters within the flock God has placed under our care as His servants need our DADication.
A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, A DEFENDER OF WIDOWS, IS GOD IN HIS HOLY DWELLING
If you’re alive and breathing, you NEED a Dad. The difference that having someone who is DADicated to you and your life success is beyond measure.
Last month marked two years since my earthly father passed from this world into the next. I miss him every day. But I am not fatherless. First of all because my father is more alive in heaven than he ever conceived of being on earth. His love and prayers for me continue, and are probably better informed and more powerful now that he sees my life from the vantage point of that great cloud of witnesses.
But I also have my Heavenly Father. His care, His Spirit, His power and His gifts fill me and equip me to be His tool to touch lives.
Do you need a father? God’s invitation is open to you.
He’s A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS, A DEFENDER OF WIDOWS – and He is inviting you to come home.