The Grief of the Unknown Dad & Bringing Fathers’ Hearts to their Children Part 1
Do you know what the theme of the last two verses of the Old Testament is? After God addresses this issue, He gets really quiet for 400 years. God talks about a future time when the hearts of the fathers will be turned toward their children and the hearts of the children will be turned toward their fathers. See Malachi 4:5-6.
Some call this youth generation the Fatherless Generation. Everyone has a father, right? Yet, with divorce and with “free love,” there are many kids growing up today who don’t have fathers. Some have fathers, but don’t know who they are. Some have fathers, but the fathers have walked away from the mothers of their children. When a man leaves a family, he makes two decisions: one is to leave the wife or girlfriend for various reasons. The other decision is to leave the children of the union.
Many kids grow up without Dads. Their concept of a father is clouded with rejection and abandonment. I’m always amazed at how these kids get to know Father God when their own fathers left them with such a poor example of a caring and committed father. Worse, some kids have stepfathers or foster dads that come into a situation and choose to abuse children under their care which further compounds things. Another rubric includes kids who have great Dads who aren’t there for them emotionally or are absent most of the time.
Many wonderful men step in the gap. Even a partial role goes along way toward bridging the bottomless pit of rejection and abandonment. Some men offer positive role models through coaching. Good stepfathers are God’s gift to kids, even if not appreciated at first. Teachers can be good role models of character and kindness. Other adults in churches, neighborhoods or community affairs can take an interest in kids. All of these are appreciated for years to follow.
The truth is we have a perfect, loving Heavenly Father. Some people can not bring themselves to get to know him because they have to overcome horrible images of earthly fathers. God designed us to need and benefit from a Heavenly Father. To the extent we can trust God, this relationship undergirds and sustains us.