Recently I noticed something as I looked at the stories of the youths I’m counselling – each one of them has an absent father.
- Absent because he only provided money and games the rest of the time
- Absent because he has multiple women in his life and moves from one to the next
- Absent because he is intoxicated every day and only reacts in rage over the children’s mistakes
- Absent because he is silent about all issues except for watching TV
I hear their stories and I see how come these youths are rough around the edges, feeling insecure, cannot concentrate in school, develop anxiety and addicted to video games.
Beneath the “identified issues” that the school tells me about, are youths who had to fend for themselves, with no experiences of being heard, of being loved.
One youth told me
I can’t be scared in front of my mom, she tells me to man-up. But I see why, she has to be both the mom and the dad
Another told me,
You’re too cheery, all I’ve ever experienced is gloom
Wow. Can you believe that. I hear these stories and I grieve about the perpetuate brokenness in many families.
But believe in this – together, we can make a difference!
One youth told me that he was thankful his friend’s parents “adopted” him into their home. Through this family, he could feel what it means to have a family who cares, and role models to look up to.
I was so thankful to hear that because the one hr I meet him each week is scarcely enough. It is having others in his life who cares about him that is going to make a difference!!
I write this in hope that we open our eyes to see the real stories around us. Hear them out, take time to be with them. Great things can happen when we extend beyond ourselves into others lives.
This is God’s heart – Isaiah 1:13, 17
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your worthless assemblies….
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Especially men who are reading this – you as males are strong anchors that no woman can replace! Would you consider being a male figure that are absent in so many kids lives.
So many absent fathers – even though they are physically present in the home.