Life without a father

Photo of Robin Harris Kimbrough

Dr. Robin Harris Kimbrough

One statistic shows that 15 million U.S. children, or one in three, live without a father in the home. Most of these children live with their mother. Life without a father can be a struggle for the child and the mother. Fathers are an important ingredient to the structure of the family and the home. There are many children living without a father because their father has died; the father has abandoned the home because of drugs; or perhaps simply a fear of bearing the responsibility of being a father. The good news is that children do not have to live their lives without a father.

There are plenty of men God has called to mentor boys and build them up. Jesus could have come into this world and lived his life without a father, but Joseph accepted his call to be a father (Matthew 1:18-25). This call is not an easy one to answer at times, because it requires the man pour himself into a boy or a girl, thinking less of his own needs. The duty of the father to protect and provide for his children is not one that a man can do on his own. He needs the grace and power of God to watch over his children and the mother of his children. Also, the father must be an example to his son or daughter. The son will become the man he sees, and the daughter could potentially marry a man similar to her father.

This is why it so important that fathers treat the mothers of their children and other women in their lives with the utmost respect. There are many fathers who are around, but they are not setting a good example for their sons and daughters. One of the facts that came out about Chris Brown’s life after he assaulted Rianna was that he had witnessed his father beat his mother. Unfortunately, often men in the home (instead of being the king of the home, working, paying bills, and handling business) are living like one of the children—while the mother struggles to work, pay bills, and take care of the children.

This is life without a father. There is no reason for a child to have to live his/her life without a father. Yet so many children do.

If we look at our penal systems, most of the men in jail had a life without a father. Boys hanging out in gangs and on the streets are living life without a father. Many of the men committing domestic assault crimes lived a life without a father/man to teach him how to treat a lady. Although women raising their boys and girls do an excellent job, they still need a Joseph to come into the lives of their children to give them some fatherly advice and set a good example.

Men, let us follow the example of Joseph by answering the call of fatherhood. Let us respond to this call by taking care of our business as men and unloading the burden of so many single parents—so no one will have a life without a father. Can any of us imagine a life without our Heavenly Father? Could we imagine a life without his love, a life without his grace, a life without his discipline, and a life without his care and protection? No one should have to live a life without a father.