She sat with her hands tucked under her watching all her friends dance with their daddies.
The Daddy/Daughter Dance was a big deal at her school: pretty dresses, corsages and even fancy dinners together. She was grateful that her uncle was willing to take her this year but deep down, she longed for a dad like the other daddies.
It was confusing and sad. “Doesn’t everyone have a daddy? Why don’t I have a daddy that wants to play with me and take me to the park? Why do some people get a daddy and some don’t? Where do daddies come from and how come I didn’t get one?”
There are 2 kinds of absent dads: those who can’t and those who won’t.
My father died when I was 3-months-old and my sister was not yet 2-years-old. My mom was 26 at the time. For the next 5 years, my grandfather was the father figure in my life; his love and attention during those critical years was an amazing blessing to me.
There are so many little girls that do not have a choice. Orphans and foster children. Girls of young widowed moms, daughters of moms that have been abandoned by their husbands and girls with single moms. Many women have been left with the challenge of filling the hole where daddies were meant to be and are doing the best they can.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
It’s not always a choice. What about amazing military dads that have been deployed or dads that are sick or injured and cannot be fully present the way they have been in the past? What is our responsibility as a body of believers?
“If I have denied the desires of the poor
or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
if I have kept my bread to myself,
not sharing it with the fatherless—
but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
and from my birth I guided the widow—
It is powerful to see family members, men of the church, teachers as well as other Godly men step in and do what they can to model the Love of Jesus to fatherless children. Whether it is filling the gap of a man that can’t or a man that won’t, the intentional investment in the life of a child is a demonstration of grace, kindness, compassion, and love.
This quote by Franklin P. Jones is a frightening reflection of the culture we live in:
“All women should know how to take care of children. Most of them will have a husband some day.”
Daughters need daddies. Good daddies. Grown up daddies – not just a guy hanging out on the couch watching T.V. Daddies that can and will.
This does not, in any way, diminish the love of a mother nor does it mean that all mothers act in the best interest of their children. But mothers should not and cannot replace the role of a man in a little girl’s life regardless if the father can’t or won’t. It is often too much to bear and not what God intended for moms to be burdened with alone.
Little girls are taught how to be treated well by a man when their daddies have the opportunity take responsibility. How will little girls learn what a father and a husband look like? If the dads won’t, other Godly men can.
The responsibility of father is great and an amazing privilege. As a church, we can encourage and support the efforts of fathers to be the best for their children and at the same time, teach our children to always look to their Heavenly Father as the model for all.
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