“When your father dies, say the Irish, you lose your umbrella against bad weather… When your father dies, say the Russians, he takes your childhood with him.”
– Diana Der-Hovanessian, from the Shifting the Sun
There’s not really a better way of putting that. When you lose a father, you lose your safety net. Suddenly your carefree ways, aren’t so carefree. Or, the reverse is true, it hurts so bad you don’t care about anything.
I was beyond blessed to have had an amazing Father. Losing him has been the worst thing I’ve ever had to endure.
Although I’ve heard and read statistics on the impact a Father has on his child, it didn’t really resonate until I lost my Dad. There is a huge hole in my life, a sense of more responsibility, a deep sadness, and constant unseen grief, that is now a part of me… I’ve lost my umbrella…
Father’s Day can be hard for many who fall into the category I do, but I also think it has opened my eyes to those who’ve never met their father. Essentially, those who’ve never had a childhood. Of course, everyone has a childhood, but a huge part of childhood is a sense of innocence and ignorance to the problems your Father handles without telling you. The bills he pays, the sacrifices he makes, the protection he provides all while you are having fun.
Fatherless girls tend to grow up feeling they have to protect themselves; or desperately search for someone to protect them. Fatherless boys tend to grow up feeling a huge responsibility to be the “man” because they never had one. Our society tends to bad-mouth fathers. I can understand that to some degree. A friend of mine had a father who was her sexual abuser. There are cases where a father, quite frankly, didn’t act like a father. And for those who fall into that category: I am deeply sorry for the pain you endured.
I believe with all my heart that God made fathers to protect, provide, and be playful. It tends to be the Dad that does the crazy stunt with the kids or makes his wife laugh after a long day with the kids. To me, fathers are the family’s first responder. When the first responder is gone, the family goes into survival mode.
A family is a lot of work. Each family desperately needs a leader. I know God has used some amazing women and mothers to step up and take charge due to infidelity, divorce, abuse, or death. But I think if those women had a choice, they would choose to have a godly husband and father to lead them.
This Father’s Day, I want to challenge myself and you to fight for the widows and orphans.
Over 24 million children in the United States are fatherless.
In South Florida alone, 2,400 children are removed from their homes every year. We can never be their umbrella, but we can always help hold an umbrella over them. This may look like a million different things. God has given each one of us gifts and means. You may not have a ton of money, but do you have a washer and dryer. Maybe a single mom could use yours. Do your kids have a bike? Invite a fatherless kid to come over and help him learn to ride his bike. Notice your neighbors without a dad? Invite them to come over for a meal.
At Hope Women’s Centers we have a program for men called Men of Hope to reach men that come into our centers with their partners, recognizing that men need other men to discuss what they are going through. Under our Men of Hope Program we also have a confidential abortion recovery group called “Healing a Father’s Heart” for those men that have been part of an abortion decision and need to experience healing in their lives. This group is led by men who have been there and understand what it means to be on the other end of healing. If you or someone you know wants to connect with one of our Men of Hope team members, please connect with us at: 954-372-7089.
Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
About the author: Christi has been on staff almost one year and while she is new to her role in the organization, she is not new to Hope Women’s Centers. Christi has volunteered at Hope’s fundraising events throughout the years and is now using her talents to help grow donors. Her father Bill was one of the founders of Hope in the late 80’s and was a beloved husband, dad, friend, pastor, and author. In her spare time you can find Christi training for her black belt in Karate, writing, and traveling to new places around the globe.