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Monday, March 11, 2013

I needed a father

Today my father died. Even though he abandoned us when we were children he is the man God chose to bring me to life. I have never written about it anywhere but I have always thought about the role of fathers and dads in their children.  I have also done a bit of reading about the role of father's in children's lives. The conclusion is indisputable (see this here and here). Fathers are important in the lives of their children. I guess that given the choice of a not so good father and a father, I would have chosen to have one. It was not granted to me. I do not hold any anger or resentment nor do I judge the man who God chose to grant me life. He is certainly giving account to God now (Hebrews 9:27). I am thankful I live and that God has blessed me with the gift of knowing Him.  It has always been very puzzling and disturbing though, how men can walk away from children they willingly conceive and never turn back. I have yet to understand this.

Growing up without a father was not easy. Living with women (seven and my mom) was not easy. I had no one to look up to. I had no concept what a man should be. I was insecure. I needed a father. Up to the age of 13, I had no male role models, none, not even granddads.  It was when I joined a church at the age of 13 that God put male role models in my life. The two youth leaders and my youth pastor became my role models. They weren't perfect at all, yet God used them to shape me as a man. And yet, I still needed a father.

At the age of 21 I became a father myself. I had studied books and had an idea of what a father should be, yet experience taught me I really wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. I needed a father. I wasn't really good with my hands as well (even now), I was no handyman, I needed a father.

As I look at my 20 year old son and see how much he is like me makes me glad (and the fact he still calls me "Daddy."). Not because I am perfect or because I feel I did so well as a father, but because I know he has a father. He has a role model. He knows what a man should be.  He has a point of reference for the day when he becomes a father himself. Yes, I took my role as a father seriously. It is my duty as a Christian.

Even now after all this time, today, when I heard my father had died, I thought how much I needed him.

I needed a father.

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