The Invisible Father

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Think a minute…A 58-year-old man was sharing his memories of his father. His father had been a workaholic who was always busy with his job and his own personal interests. He never came to his son’s sports games or activities. In fact, the son said his dad rarely even spoke to him. By the time the son was 18-years-old and in his last year of high school, he had become an excellent football player. When his team qualified for the championship, he begged his father to finally come see him play at least one time. So his dad promised he would be there.

On the day of the championship, the son was on the field warming up just before the game when he saw his dad come into the stadium with two other men. Then, just before the game started, his dad left with his friends and never returned. It has now been 40 years since that day, yet this 58-year-old son says the painful rejection and disappointment he felt as a teenager is still very real. When his father died at age 83, he stood alone next to his dad’s coffin at the funeral and said: “Dad, we could have shared so much love and time together, but I never knew you!”

Thinking back on this man’s childhood, and specifically that day of the football game, I wonder what that father thought was more important than being there for his son. Was his time with business associates more important than caring about the happiness and accomplishments of his own son? That father let the years go by without successfully doing his job at home. He failed in his most important responsibility in life: being a dad to his son.  

A father has truly awesome power and influence in the lives of his children—for good or for bad. Studies have shown that the number one cause of troubled boys and men is that they did not have fathers who truly cared. Their fathers did not spend much time with them so they were not close to them. Tragically, there are literally millions of invisible fathers like this. But “No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help his son.” 

How about you? Do you need to give more time and attention to your children? It is never too late to change. Why not ask Jesus to forgive you for not being the father you know you should? Then ask Him to help you start changing, so you can become the caring, loving father your children need and deserve. Just think a minute…

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