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Spiritual fathers to a fatherless generation

With Father’s Day around the corner, many will not be celebrating.  What a shame that fatherlessness in America is rampant.  So many children either grow up without fathers or in dysfunctional families. They grow up insecure and unprotected, struggling to feel loved. The Bible says, “Yo…
By Seth Barnes
With Father’s Day around the corner, many will not be celebrating.  What a shame that fatherlessness in America is rampant.  So many children either grow up without fathers or in dysfunctional families. They grow up insecure and unprotected, struggling to feel loved. The Bible says, “You don’t have many fathers.”  And while it could be talking about natural fathers, it is referring to spiritual fathers – that person in our lives who helps us locate our identity and become who God intended us to be.  Spiritual fathers serve their sons and daughters by helping them to discover, “I’m really, really OK.  Whatever other people say about me, I’ve got nothing I have to prove to feel loved and secure in who I am.”
 
We who have raised children and who follow Jesus need to respond to this crisis of fatherlessness.  We have a moral obligation to give out of our abundance to those who feel orphaned.  Having raised five kids, I have a burden for those who at their core feel abandoned by their fathers.  I think about the subject and write about it all the time (see these blogs). 
 
God’s heart breaks for orphans of all shapes and sizes and he has chosen people like you and me as his instrument to give them the love they yearn for.  Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow.” Psalm 68:5 says he is a “Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.” Psalm 82:3 tells us to “defend the cause of the weak and fatherless.”
 
So many of society’s problems can be traced back to this issue of an absentee dad.  Where do psychopaths come from?  Usually there is a derelict father who has split the scene, leaving deeply wounded children. Interview a group of prison inmates and ask how many of them had good, loving fathers. And the cycle continues: by virtue of their absence from the home (sitting there in their cell), the generational curse is passed on to their sons and daughters abandoned by their daddy.  It’s a tragedy that cries out for fathers who follow Jesus to intervene.
 
Those of us who have been blessed with fathers need to commit ourselves to fill the emotional gaps in the next generation.  In the interview below, my friend and covenant brother, Gary Black, describes the essence of spiritual fathering and mothering:  We serve our kids and help them get to greatness.

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