The Father Factor

The statistics are well known. One out of three children do not have a father at home. Poverty, incarceration, education, obesity and other “bad factors” are too often the outcomes of fatherless homes.

Father and son fishing

I remember sitting in church listening to my pastor talk about the spouses that he prayed for for each of his children. One of his requests to God was that they would come from a stable, intact home.

I was single at the time and it struck me that my pastor would not want his children to marry….someone like me.

I think about the 24 million children, many of whom will never have a dad to cheer for them at a game or sit proudly at an awards banquet. Would my pastor (and others) know the odds that are stacked against these millions already?

A young man that I mentor, Rob, was voted to be captain of his college golf team one year. Rob’s father had committed suicide a few years before. One day I got a call from Rob. He said that there was a Father-Son Weekend and asked if I would come up and play golf and go to the banquet with him. It was a proud day for me to be included in such a special event. I remember hugging him at the end of the weekend and telling him how proud I was of him.

The “Father Factor” is real.

Many people, like me, have nothing come to mind when they hear the word “father.” But we are strengthened when others come alongside us in life and in prayer to serve and worship “our Father.” One of my favorite hymns is “How Deep the Fathers Love For Us.” I especially like the words that say that His love is “vast beyond measure” and that He proves this love by giving His Only Son to make us His “treasure.”

The Father brings “many sons (and daughters) to glory”; those with and without fathers.

This Father’s Day, do something special for your dad. But perhaps also set a goal to reach out to one of the many who do not have a dad to cheer them on or kiss them good night.

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