Today, I want to conclude our series of advice for young people who have grown up without fathers. Already, we have discussed nine 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.
7. Do not let the absence of a father in your life become a crutch or excuse for not reaching your potential.
8. Commit to having an others-focused view of life.
9. Learn the principles of life from successful men in history.
Now, here are my three final words of advice for young people things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.
1. Make the decision to be mature. In other words, grow up. If you have younger siblings whom you have had to help take care of throughout your life due to the absence of your father, you may be forced to grow up faster than you would otherwise, but that is fine. However, did you know that many adults have the mentality of teenagers or children? They interact with and react to the world in a childish manner. For example, if something happens that they don’t like, instead of accepting it and dealing with it, they complain about it or retreat from the world and refuse to deal with it.
You don’t want to live life that way. Perhaps someone has told you before to “act your age.” That is good advice. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Do not be afraid to put away childish things and childish ways of interacting with the world. You may feel insecure or you may lack confidence because of the hole left in your life due to your father’s absence. But, remember, your Heavenly Father is there to fill that hole. You do not have to shirk your responsibilities or shy away from difficulties. With God’s help, you can handle the punches life throws your way.
2. May I encourage you to live a structured life. Perhaps you have heard your peers use the phrase, “I’m bored.” Perhaps you have even used that phrase at times. What you are really saying is that your life (or a particular day) has no structure, no goal, no purpose. You have nothing to aim for, and therefore, there are no steps laid out before you which you should take.
If you live a structured life, you will never have time to be bored. What is a structured life? A structured life is one that is defined by goals and purpose. If you have a purpose to live for and goals to reach, then everything you do should move you toward reaching those goals and fulfilling that purpose. Start by structuring your days. Buy yourself a daily planner or download one of the numerous organizational apps that are available. Make a list of things you will do each day and follow that list. Put down even the simplest things such as praying and reading your Bible in the morning, exercising, eating a good breakfast, etc. Keep your schedule full. Even write down what you are going to do for fun and when. One of the benefits of living a structured life is that it will cut down on the temptation to do evil or to get involved with the wrong crowd. If you are single-mindedly focused on your goals in life, you will not have time for foolishness. As someone once said, “The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.”
3. Determine to be a good father or parent to your children. Just because your father abandoned you, that does not give you an excuse for abandoning your children if you are blessed to have children in the future. If anything, your experiences should make you even more determined to be a good father or parent to your children. Do not repeat the mistakes of your parents; you are not bound by their failures. Learn from them, but determine never to repeat them.
If you are a young man who grew up without a father, you may feel inadequate because you did not see what a Godly father looked like throughout your young life. Do not let that hinder you. Look to God and His Word as your first example of what a father should be like. Godly men such as Tony Dungy, Tony Evans, James Dobson, and others have also written books on how to be the father your children need in this day and time. Get those books and read them. With God’s help, you can be one of the faithful, loving, strong fathers that this world so desperately needs.
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.