I went to watch a little bit of the Horace Mann vs. Bowie 7th grade football game to support a few kids I know on Monday afternoon. Everytime I go to Travis or Mann games, I’m struck by the lack of dads on the sideline. You see a few, but most of the men on the sidelines are older brothers or grandfathers. Dads just arent around. Ben plays for Mann and had asked me to go. His dad is in jail and he longs to have some older men in his life. I suspect he’s not alone.
Earlier on Monday, a boy named Daniel was excited because his dad had called him on his birthday. He lives in Arizona, and Daniel told me they hadn’t talked since his birthday last year.
Daniel’s sister has no relationship with her father (different from Daniel’s) due to the fact that when he was in her life, he used to beat up her mom. She told me that when Daniel and I were discussing his dad.
At Mondays Bible study, two boys asked to pray for their fathers, both of whom are in prison.
Kids so desperately need their fathers in their lives. And so few of the ones I work with have them. It seems I was reminded of that on Monday, time and time again.
I have to remind myself not to lose sight of that fact. In the midst of planning bible studies and playing games and paying bills and gathering backpacks and juggling the “business” side of Mission 2540, the most important thing I do is show these kids what it means to be a man, what a father is supposed to look like.
How can kids understand the love of a Heavenly Father if the only picture they have of a dad is the one who got their mother pregnant and then left? Or got arrested. Or hit them. Or spends most of his time high on drugs?
My job is to represent the Abba Father’s love to them. Whether that means showing up at their games and concerts, eating lunch at their school, or giving them a stern speech about their report card or behavior.
These kids need Godly men in their lives. I know that, but sometimes it takes a day like Monday to remind me again.