Father’s Day is a day of celebration and barbecues in the United States. Father’s Day is a day when children honor their dads with words, cards and gifts. It is a great time full of emotions and memories but it doesn’t work that way for everyone.
Usually, Father’s Day is a day where dads are served and catered to by their children. But what if you don’t have a dad or if your experience with a father wasn’t a positive role in your life? Have you ever thought about what Father’s feels like to a child that suffered from abuse and neglect?
For children and adults that have suffered abuse by their father, Father’s Day is not a positive day at all. In fact, it is a reminder of their abuse and just how different they are from the rest of society. So, when you are out buying cards and gifts there are people around you that are tempting to forget and forgive their father.
Last week, I had the privilege of sitting with some former foster youth we serve at Covenant Community Services. We began to discuss Father’s Day and here are some of the responses:
“I am not celebrating fathers day – I don’t even know who my dad is.”
“Father’s Day … My dad isn’t anything to celebrate.”
“I never had a father.”
As I listened to these replies and other statements, I reminded the youth that they do have a father and He is none other that God in heaven. Psalm 68:5 states,
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5 NKJV)
God, as part of His heavenly job description is a Father to the Fatherless. As such, it is our task to help the abused and neglected child know that God loves them. We do this as we reflect His love and care as mentors, foster parents, coaches, volunteers and friends. The idea is not to fix the past but bless the future. When we help folks through abuse and neglect, we are restoring lives and thereby transforming generations.
I trust Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and other family holidays are looked upon in a different light due to this brief note. Remember, not everyone comes from a wonderful family full of blessing and joy. There are victims of abuse and neglect all around you. Take the time to count your blessings and pray for those that may not have lived the blessing but have suffered from the curse.
Covenant Community Services, Inc. (Covenant) is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) social service organization serving foster children, former foster youth and their families in Kern County and through replication efforts, the United States and the world. Covenant provides hope to foster children, former foster youth and families through a diverse and creative team of dedicated individuals. At Covenant, our purpose is transformation of lives and thus our community. Covenant meets the needs of “hurting and hopeless” children/youth and families through partnerships with local churches, community-based organizations, individuals and businesses. Covenant exists to transform our community with the love and hope one child at a time!