It’s that time again. It’s time for gift buying, card selecting, and social media posting about our fathers. Social media feeds will be filled with celebrations of “dad”. However, it is important to remember there are many who are without a father this year. Many have lost their fathers to death, but more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Most of those children either have never met their father or have had very little contact with him. Of course, that does not count the millions of children who may have their father physically in their home but emotionally absent due to working countless hours, consumed with stresses of life, or distracted by other issues. Those dads, whether they sleep in the home or not, are those who may never sit in the bleachers of a little league game. If they do arrive at the ballgame, many are too consumed with their cellphones and work issues to pay attention.
These are the fatherless homes. The physically and emotionally absent fathers in our society make it a difficult Father’s Day for countless children. It is the responsibility of each Christian to pray for those who do not know their father, do not have them in their life, and especially for those who ache to have their father put down the laptop and toss a baseball around in the yard. As a result, statistics show children who are raised in a home without a father are at greater risk of suffering from depression, substance abuse addiction, living in poverty, experiencing physical and mental health issues, as well as having lower academic achievements.
For those who are fatherless, this Father’s Day presents an even greater reminder of what others have and you seem to not have. However, here are some things to remember if you are facing a fatherless Father’s Day.
You are never without a Father: Your biological father may not be present for your life, but you have a Father who loves you more than any biological father ever could.
“and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
“yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and through whom we exist.” (I Corinthians 8:6)
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba Father’. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17)
Your priest is your father: Priests have taken a vow and they live their lives to serve God through serving the Church. There is a reason they are called “father”. They are your spiritual father. They can give you the guidance, suggestions, recommendations, and advice you may feel you are missing with the absence of your father. Talk to your priest. Allow him to be part of your life more than just celebrating Mass. Let God use him to show you how much you are loved and never alone.
Find a father figure: There are many fathers in your parish who would love to help be there for you, to guide you, and to help be the father you desire. Some are fathers already and some may not have children of their own. Pray for God’s leading and guidance. Pray God would show you who you can approach and ask them to help guide you. You may also have a cousin, uncle, or another male relative in your life who already knows your struggles and is willing to be the role model you are needing.
Satan loves to make you think you are unloved, or something is wrong with you because you do not have a father, or your father is not present in your life. Do not give in to the lies of the devil. You are indeed loved. You are indeed cherished. You are indeed special.