Today, I want to offer some advice to young people who have grown up without fathers.
Fatherlessness has been called an epidemic in the black community of America. According to government statistics, 72 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers. The effects of growing up without a father are devastating to say the least. Children: Our Ultimate Investment reports that:
* 63 percent of youth who commit suicide are from fatherless homes
* 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
* 85 percent of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
* 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
* 75 percent of all teenage patients in drug-abuse centers come from fatherless homes
* 85 percent of all young people in prison come from fatherless homes
If you are a teenager or young person, you may feel that your life will end up with similar results. Perhaps you think that society has already written you off. But I am here to tell you that your life does not have to end up as just another statistic. As the Bible tells us, God has good plans for your life — ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you.’ Even if you grew up without your father in your life, there are some things you can do to survive, to thrive, and to make it in this life. Here they are:
1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father. The Bible makes clear that God has a special protectiveness for children who are fatherless. David said in Psalm 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Maybe you grew up in the church, but I want to encourage you to really get to know God for yourself. He will be the best Father you could ever have. I will show you how you can begin a personal relationship with God at the end of the broadcast.
2. Read the Bible consistently. WIthout a Godly father in your life, you likely missed out on a lot of good, solid advice and counseling as a child — especially if your mother was busy working to provide for you and/or if you did not have teachers or mentors who took you under their wing. However, this can be remedied. The Bible has often been called a guidebook for life — and it is. In the pages of Scripture, you will find all the advice you need to succeed in your relationship with God, your relationships with others, and your interactions with the world.
I strongly recommend that you read through the book of Proverbs. It has 31 chapters, and a good practice is to read one chapter a day; that way, you will get through the book nearly 12 times in one year. Proverbs is full of practical advice and wisdom that will be of extreme usefulness to you as a young person. You will learn how to stay away from bad influences, how to avoid sexual temptation and sexual sin, the value of hard work, and so much more. The book is indeed a gold mine.
3. Talk to God. From time to time in your life, you may have longed for a father to talk to about certain issues. As a young man, there are things your mother will simply not be able to teach you. As a young woman, you may crave a father’s advice on dealing with the opposite sex. Well, you can talk to God about all of those things through prayer. Pour out your heart to Him just as you would talk to your real father. God will hear you and answer you. In the Bible, God said, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee…”
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 will be sharing with you some more of these things in our next broadcast.