Today, I want to continue sharing some advice with young people who have grown up without fathers. Already, we have discussed six things that you should do.:
1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father.
2. Read the Bible consistently.
3. Talk to God about anything and everything through prayer.
4. Choose not to become bitter toward your father.
5. Choose to love, appreciate, and thank God for the parent or parent figure you do have.
6. Ask God to give you godly, older mentors and friends.
Here are three more things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.
1. Do not let the absence of a father in your life become a crutch or excuse for not reaching your potential. Often, when a person grows up with disadvantages or has some kind of disability in life, they will use that disadvantage or disability as an excuse for not accomplishing great things. Every time they fail or every time someone asks them why they did not reach a goal, they eventually come back around to an explanation that begins with, ‘Well, my father was not in my life…’ or whatever their disadvantage happens to be.
You don’t want to be that person. Your entire life does not have to be defined by your father’s absence from your childhood. Instead of viewing it as a permanent handicap, simply view it a hurdle that must be overcome. And, the Bible says that through Jesus Christ, we are overcomers. Learn to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Don’t be afraid to dream big and to set big goals. Don’t let a disadvantage hold you back from accomplishing everything that God wants you to accomplish.
2. Commit to having an others-focused view of life. Another trap that some people who grow up with a disadvantage fall into is living a self-centered life. Of course, all people struggle with this malady, but some who have a disadvantage may feel like they are entitled to feel the way they do. This is a sad way to live. Someone once said, “A person wrapped up in himself makes a small package.”
Don’t be a ‘small package’ person. Have an others-focused view of life. Think more about what you can do for others and how you can help others than about what others can do for you. In this case, your disadvantage of growing up without a father is actually an advantage because it places you in a unique position to help other young people who also do not know their fathers. You understand how they feel and what they are going through, and if you have overcome the challenges of such a childhood, you can help them do the same. Second Corinthians 1:4-5 says that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Once you put Jesus Christ first in your life, commit to having an others-focused life so that you can be used by God to bless and help those around you.
3. Learn the principles of life from successful men in history. One of the traits of great men is that they leave a legacy behind. You can learn about the lives and legacies of such men by reading books, watching a documentary regarding their lives, or listening to them give a speech or interview. You can learn from the experiences of great men such as Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and so many others, both dead and alive. You can learn from their successes and their failures, what to do and what not to do, and you can see how certain principles benefitted them throughout their lives and helped them reach the level of accomplishment that they were able to reach.
Take these principles to heart, learn from them, and apply them to your life. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” In the Bible, the Apostle Paul told young believers, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day…” What he was saying was, ‘You saw how we carried ourselves, you saw how we worked hard night and day. You ought to do the same.’ He also told another group of believers, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Dear friend, you don’t have to do this thing called life all on your own. Learn from the examples of others. It can save you a whole lot of trouble in the days ahead.
These are just some of the things you can do as a young person to get on the right track even if you have not had the benefit of a father in your life. I hope that you will take heed to these things so that you can live a happy, successful, blessed, and productive life for God’s glory.