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What is a father?

Thoughts from our Founder and Executive Director

The greatest commandment in Scripture is this: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5) Going back to verse 2, we read, “So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” And Following Duet. 6:5, we read, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (vv. 6-7). 

But what about the child without a father? 

Statistics show that approximately 18.3 million children in the US grow up without a father in the home. This accounts for about 1 in 4 children. Nearly 80% of single parent homes are led by single mothers. This leads to more mental and emotional problems, a greater likelihood of poverty, drug addiction, lack of education, having a child out of wedlock, and even greater likelihood of ending up in prison. Research even has a name for growing up without a father or parent – it’s called the absent parent syndrome and the consequences are significant. 

Every mother that has come through the SONshine Home has not had a healthy relationship with the child’s father and in many cases, he is unsafe and even dangerous. The same is true for their own earthly fathers. So how do we as Christians stand in the gap? 

Looking at Mordecai in the Bible. He was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, carried into exile by king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Not much is known about him until we read the story of Esther. Mordecai and Esther were cousins and Mordecai stepped in the gap to raise Esther after her parents died. We know from the book of Esther and her legacy, that Mordecai was diligent in instructing her in the ways of the Lord. He was obedient to the commands of Scripture to train up a child in the way that he/she should go, and when he/she is old, he will not depart from it. 

Mordecai displayed humility and dependence on God’s Word for instruction on how to be a parent. Despite insurmountable odds – There was a plot to kill Mordecai and all the Jews, but because of Esther’s bravery and both she and Mordecai’s dependence and trust in God, the plot was exposed, and the people were spared. One of my most favorite Bible verses is Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows where you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” 

Men: This Father’s Day, let’s remember our moms who are raising children without fathers and perhaps pray about stepping in the gap. There’s power in prayer. Let’s embrace community and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Let’s show them what godly men look like. Ways you can help:

1. Prayer – join our strategic prayer team.

2. Meet with our leadership team to help develop a community of healthy male role models, and

3. Community activities to support our young moms and their children.

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