This past Father’s Day I received some sweet hand written or orally dictated notes from my two boys thanking me for being their Dad. The “cards” included random and goofy snippets which I didn’t expect. I chortled. I really did.
Though I’ll not forget their sentiment, I’ll surely forget their verbiage before long.
I also got another card from a neighbor and this is what he wrote (in case the picture above isn’t clear).
You are a great father and a great father figure to me. Mrs Amy is like an Aunt to me. Happy Father’s Day. When one has not a good father, one must create one.
Let’s call him Billy. He’s a rising 5th grader and often comes over at our house a good bit during the week to shoot baskets with Connar, play baseball in the backyard with both, or swim with the family. I should also mention that he wakes himself up and gets a ride to church with my wife on most Sundays. At least he has for the last few months. His dad doesn’t live in this country, and so he resides with his grandmother, aunt, mom, and female cousin. No dudes.
When visiting his grandma in the hospital several weeks ago, she told me what I had already feared, “You’re the only adult male in his life.” Wow.
I’ll never be able to be his biological, or even his adoptive dad. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t be a father/mentor in some very real, loving, and influential way. And by God’s grace I/we have. Not because I’ve not been perfect, because Connar, Cade, and I have all had to apologize numbers of times.
This child’s story is not all that uncommon. In my neighborhood alone, we have relationships with several kids like him. Forget the cowboys, where have all the good dads gone?
If you’re a good dad, I know you’re busy parenting your own children. But can I simply propose that you take a little time and look around you to see if there is a kid at your church, on your baseball team, in your neighborhood, who might benefit from a relationship with another adult male? So many boys (and girls for that matter) have none. Zilch.
Take them fishing with your kids, invite them to do stuff or eat with your family. Do a devotion with them and your kids. You don’t have to do anything new, or create a whole new schedule, just bring him/her along with your kids.
You’re not Jesus, and your job isn’t to save them. And it isn’t to replace their biological father. But we are called throughout the scriptures to love the fatherless. Kids, both boys and girls, really do need loving, trustworthy, adult males in their lives. For the record they need adult females too (like my wife, the “aunt”-who spends much more time than I do with Billy) but this is a Father’s Day related post. As Billy writes, “When one has not a good father, one must create one.”
Might you be a “created” dad?
Believe me, it’s not one sided at all. Billy plays with my kids, and I believe that he has blessed us in just as many ways as we we have blessed him. He’s like another one of our boys, and he sits with our family at church.
Should the Lord grant me many more Father’s Days’, I think this one will be one of the most special.
Maybe God will grant you more “children” in this way too.
Just start by looking.
Great post. Made me think of lost opportunities to be a substitute father.