- Not to long ago I cared for a man just a couple of years younger than myself. His reason for hospitalization was based on poor decisions he made for his life which is often the main reason of injury or illness in thirty-somethings. I don’t say that with any hint of judgement. It’s merely a statistical fact. Anyway, we spoke at length as I’m prone to do with my patients. Upon conversation, he shared with me that he had two daughters. The firstborn he stated was nine years old. He then shared that he had not seen her since birth. Naturally curious, I pursued further on the specifics of such a tragic situation in my eyes. I can never be certain of the full capacity for truth in these matters, especially when the person in question is coming off of mind-altering substances. He gave many reasons why he couldn’t see his daughter, and I’d honestly be lying if I said I felt any of these excuses were valid. A reason like geography or the mother’s dislike of you is not a good reason to never see your child in my personal opinion. I wasn’t angry at this young man. I was simply sad. I was upset for him, and the lost relationship with all the beautiful things that entails that he was missing, and I was also upset for the poor young woman who did not know her father.
- When I become aware of a situation like this, I take it personally. I can’t help it. I think of my own biological father. He was a man who sadly cared only for himself, and any other human being always ran a distant second place. My childhood memories with him are of broken promises, his constant, repeated absences, and unfortunate situations like stealing my birthday money to buy cigarettes. I don’t think men are aware of the lofty position they are ordained by God when they father a child. God places men in a position over their children where they are expected to exemplify to the best of their ability the characteristics of our Father God in Heaven. They are to be a protector, a provider, a fortress of strength, a place of unconditional love where their children may find comfort and rest. When this role is not fulfilled, it sets the child up for future failure, being uncertain of themselves, and lacking in an example to serve them throughout their adult life. Young girls, I believe, are especially affected by this lack of earthly father love. They feel rejected, unworthy of love, and will have a poor example of a man’s character with which to base on future relationships. I was gifted by God with a second chance to learn these precious examples. He placed another man in my life to step into a father’s role. Many women never have that opportunity, and in my opinion are left lacking an example of strong character for future choices in a mate. I also believe there is an empty place in their life that they may try to fill in unhealthy ways. I think they will always feel a sense of rejection and unworthiness due to their father’s absence. My own biological father was eager to relinquish parental rights for me in the face of impending medical bills. Although it was for the best, as I was adopted by my loving dad, I honestly still have issue with his quickness to abandon a relationship with me. It’s something God has worked with over time, and continues to do in my life.
- As I spoke with my patient, I explained to him my own feelings of rejection from my biological father. I urged him to work on himself, change his life for the better, if not for himself, then for his little girls. I warned him that she would be forever affected if he continued to accept a nonexistent relationship with his daughter, that one day she would wonder why he didn’t try harder. Men have a weighty responsibility placed upon them when rearing a child. It is not for the faint of heart, or for the non-committed. It is the highest position, the most important job you will ever be given. The outcome of your efforts will influence a generation, and make or break the future for them. It is not a task to be taken lightly, but a calling of utmost importance to mold young minds, protect hearts, and build-up spirits. I only pray that more young men will see the gravity of their actions, the responsibility that has been placed upon them, and the ramifications if unwillingly to take their role seriously. God gave fatherhood as a reflection of His love. It can’t be taken lightly. The children will suffer.
That is all
I would like to add that I am aware that men are not the only parent who can shirk their responsibility. Though I can’t imagine such a thing, and cringe at the thought, I am sadly aware that some women are capable of neglecting the responsibilities of being a mother, the best gift God ever gave to me. I chose to write this blog mainly on the absence of a father because that is what impacts me personally. It is not meant to imply that only men leave. That being said…
That is all, again.