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Too many fathers are absent from their children’s lives

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

This coming Sunday, June 16, we will celebrate both Holy Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day. In this column, I’m addressing Father’s Day.

Even though Father’s Day is a happy occasion, which is dedicated to heaping accolades upon our fathers, it is also a sad day for many children and adults in our nation. They do not have or have ever had a father. Therefore, they do not have an appreciation for the duties of a father.

Consequently, when I conduct children’s sermons, I am guarded about the things that I say about fathers in the home. How can I talk about what the father means to the home when so many children are growing up in homes without a father?

Too many fathers are absent from the lives of their children. I have a disdain for men who boast about the number of children they have, yet they make no contribution to the lives of those children.

Dr. Stephen F. Duncan, in an article entitled, “The Importance of Fathers” wrote, “Father involvement makes a real difference, whether in the areas of intellectual development, sex-role development, or psychological development. Most kids do better when their relationship with dad is close and warm, and when dad lives with them.”

I know that there are numerous children in our nation who are conceived out of wedlock. Notwithstanding this, anyone who calls himself a father should stay actively involved in the lives of his children. Children yearn for the attention of their father.

In the words of another person, “a father’s role is to provide growing children with guidance, which helps them navigate the world. A father dispenses advice and is supportive of his children’s various activities.”

In our nation today, mayhem is rampant within our communities. The authorities seem to be at a loss as to how they would rectify this malady.

The answer, for the most part, lies within the family unit. Too many fathers are absent from their children’s lives.

Our boys are going astray because they are growing up in homes dominated by women. They are being taught by women, who cannot teach a man how to be a man. Only a man can do that.

Many years ago, when I was growing up, even if a father was not present in a home, there were men about – grandfathers, uncles and even neighbors –  who filled the void and acted as a surrogate father. Unfortunately, that nucleus seems to have disappeared.

In the small community that I was raised, most of my friends had both a mother and a father in the home. The few who did not have father and mother, had both their grandmother and grandfather and uncles. That was a cherished part of our growing up.

My father was there to guide my siblings and me. He steered us on the right path. The above text says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

This is so true. One may say that even children who grow up in the proper environment with both a mother and a father, go astray. That is also true, however, that child knows what is right and what is wrong. However, the child who grows up in a one-sided home, many times does not have an appreciation for what is right and what is wrong. That is the dilemma in which we find ourselves. Pray for our men and our nation. Happy Father’s Day! Amen.

• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; telephone 426-9084; e-mail lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; or website www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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