Every day, I thank God for my father.
Words really fail to express the depth of impact my dad had on me. He was an honorable, hard working, funny, wise man who loved my mother well and showed me self-sacrificial, unconditional love. It was easy for me to believe in a loving Heavenly Father because I had such a tremendous earthly example for a dad.
It’s really remarkable how good a father mine was when I stop to realize that he grew up without a father of his own. My grandfather died when my dad was a young boy. He didn’t have the fatherhood advantage that I had; yet, my dad just seemed to know how to be a great dad.
The truth is that he didn’t just guess right or figure out fatherhood on the fly. I’m sure that some of his parenting was a reaction to what he didn’t have in a father, but everything he did wasn’t just an effort to give me what he never had.
He was blessed with some men that stood in the gap for him and his siblings. He had uncles and neighbors who taught him to fish, to captain a boat, to fix things, and to be an amazing craftsman. They also coached him to be honest and to work hard. It wasn’t the same as having a father, but it was hugely significant to him . . . and to me and my children and the children my children will one day have.
The men that invested in my dad left a legacy that stretched far beyond their own family. This is the way that God intended for it to be. Take it from Job. When Job talked about what’s important about being a man, he said,
Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. (Job 29:11-16)
UNICEF tells us that there are 153 million orphans worldwide.
These are kids whose mother and/or father have died. Adding in all the vulnerable kids across the globe that the Bible would call “fatherless” makes this number much higher.
Every one of those kids needs someone to stand in the gap for them like these men did for my father. Some need men to become their fathers through adoption. Others need men to father them for a season through Safe Families or foster care. Still more need deeply invested guides and coaches who will show them Christ and how to be a man. In short, they need all of us who claim the name of Christ to help.
This Father’s Day, Lifeline wants to challenge you to think about those men that have impacted you the most and to honor them.
#WhoWillYouHonor is an opportunity to acknowledge those men through social media and to give a gift that will care for a vulnerable child.
It’s simple. Make a donation in honor of a significant man in your life. Then, record a short video honoring him and challenge your friends to follow your lead. Let’s show the world the power of men investing in children! Go to lifelinechild.org/fathersday for all the details.