This post is from the perspective of a teacher. I will be starting my eleventh year of teaching this fall…I’m getting old I know, but one thing stays consistent and that is the power of a father in a child’s life. I have taught both third and fifth so I can say that age does not matter, but relationships do. Sadly, I have seen my fair share…in fact too large of a share of absent fathers. Now, it might be the environment I work in (lower income), but absent fathers are becoming more of a norm instead of an exception and it radiates through every aspect of a child’s life.
I want to thank those of you that are fathers taking your responsibility seriously. Financial support is truly a small part of it…your influence runs so much deeper. I love to see an involved dad or involved couple in the classroom. It is also good to see these men modeling loving their child’s mother or at least respecting her if they are no longer together.
Mothers are equally important, but thankfully I rarely see/read of absent moms. I do read journal after journal about missing their dads, not knowing their dads, or hating their dads because they were never around. To be fair, I also read many journals of the father being present, but inattentive, drunk, abusive or mean…I applaud the moms that were brave enough to get out instead of staying for the financial support-a lifetime of abuse is damaging as well and young girls especially need to see a model of a man treating a woman right. I see way too many preteen girls looking for love in a boy that they are missing from a father.
I can’t judge as I too have been in relationships with guys that I just thank God that he never asked me to marry him because I would have probably said yes and ruined my life…they were not good men and would not have been good fathers. So many boys are making babies and then abandoning their kids because they were never ready to parent…just watch 16 and Pregnant to see that in action.
I thank God my husband is a good dad to my son. My husband not only was ready to be a dad, but he is a dad to our adopted son and you would never know it was not his sperm that created the baby…biology does not matter, but love does and he loves our son. We pray to be a healthy influence to our son so that he supports his family, loves his wife and loves any child or children they produce together. Satan knows how to distract a man and he loves to break up a home by attacking the father.
I pray that in the future every kid comes into my room and whether the dad is in the home or not, at least they have a relationship. (Moms know best on this one and if the mother chooses to stop the relationship then it must be for a good reason.) It does matter and will make a difference much more than you know. For those where dads are not around either in death or other circumstances, then I hope they have an uncle or grandfather or coach or step dad that can fill that role and give the child some balance. To all you men that are fulfilling this role well then I applaud you today as it is not easy and you are doing the right thing.
The good news is: if you did not have a dad around for whatever reason and are missing that love that only a father could give then know God can be that love. He can fill that hole and he will never leave you. You never have to want in His presence.