Today was another reminder about the impact of a father in a child's life. One of the biggest things missing in the lives of children are honorable fathers who display love for their children. As the number of single parent homes rise (most of them being run by the mother) and the number of fathers in prison rises, I see the results of this abandonment more and more. Today I sat down with a student who has struggled with behavior issues the whole semester. I asked him if he had any brothers and sisters and after a little hesitation he answered, "I think I have 8." He told me he lives with a younger brother and sister and that his father is in jail. There is no father in his life, no honorable man to follow in the footsteps of. How is he going to know how he should act and how to respect a woman, when all he sees is abandonment from his father. This is the first background story I have heard from a student in my class, and it broke my heart.
Later that day another student, a boy who is always disrupting class mentioned that his father had passed away. A completely different circumstance, but again a loss of a father. I do not know if he has a step-dad or a father-figure in his life, but what an impact a father makes. Tonight I watched "Bridge to Terabithia" and about half-way through the movie you find out the bully of the school is being abused by her dad. Even though this is just a story, this happens all the time. The abuse of a father deals huge wounds to the hearts of children.
These stories have made me examine my own behavior and attitude. Everything I do will impact my child's life, will in someway direct my child's view of a father and what a man should be. It makes me reflect on the question, how should an honorable man live his life? I believe one of the biggest things missing in this society is respect. Respect for others, for authority, and for parents. For women it may be the respect for yourself and for men I know respect for women is lacking. As young men see their fathers abandon their mothers by abuse or going to jail and see their fathers lack of respect for women, the problem only seems to get worse. How is my attitude? Would my attitude, actions, and words reflect a Godly man who seeks to live in the joy and freedom of a Great Creator? What a hurt and deep wound the children of this world have and yet we expect them to climb out of their circumstances and become something great with a broken heart and broken mind. We are telling these young men and women to callous their hearts because this is life and this is just how it is. People, this is not how it is supposed to be and never let your heart or mind believe that. The lies of Satan are clever and witty, but our God created us for a greater purpose and created us with something unique called the Heart, which allows us to Love and care for others. Our hearts have been broken though through many different ways and Satan has these lies that tell us to harden our hearts. These feelings have become something that is viewed as pain, but it is something great and wonderful, something that makes us come alive. The Love of a Father, dying on a cross so we could be saved. This is the role of a father, that we would Love our children so much that we would do anything to be there with them through everything, to Love them enough to sacrifice everything, putting to death our selfishness that exist. Oh, the impact of a father. Thank you Jesus for showing us what Love is and help us to Love like you have Loved us!