Fatherhood Matters

Post Written: June 14, 2019

I love my dad. My dad had been in and out of prison and court hearings since I was in middle school. He was not there for me at games, school events, or even my high school graduation. Through crucial years of decisions, struggles, navigating marriage and kids, he was absent.

I was 21 years old when my dad passed away.  When I received the call from my mom, my wife and I were driving with my oldest son in the back seat.  My wife tells me that this is one of the few times she has seen me shed a tear. Now I do not want to sound like the cliche macho man, I believe crying is needed and helpful, but I just do not cry often. His death in prison, due to health issues, was a surprise but honestly not something that had too much of an impact on me at that point.  His presence and his authority had not been something that meant a whole lot to me...yet I cried. As I now think back at this time, I am beginning to understand the real reason for the tears that came on that day.

Thirteen years, 8 kids, and a whole lot of learning later, I can see why I cried.  I was scared, I was fearful, I was terrified that I did not have a father to guide and speak truth into my life.  Having one child with our second on the way at the time of my father’s death, even though my dad’s presence did not seem to be much, I desired his leading.  The lack of a father figure in my life helped me to see my need for The Father.   This lacking in my life and fear of the future, led me to seek after God the Father.  The Bible says in Deuteronomy 1:29-31: “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

The Lord has set an example before us, to be fathers who fight for our kids. We fight to protect, we fight to love, and we fight to serve. The loss of my father helped me to not only see the need for the Father in my own life, but to understand the undeniable need for fathers in the lives of their children.  Father’s are pivotal to the growth and well-being of children throughout their entire lives, starting at the moment of conception.  

Here at Hands of Hope we not only care deeply about each woman and child that steps through our doors, but for the men that are a part of their story.  We understand that 50 percent of women in the U.S. have abortions because they lack the support of their partner. Could this be because so many of us have lacked a father figure to lead us and show us the way to lead our families? We are called to fight and carry our children through the times of their greatest need, let us take this Father’s Day and be the kind of Dads that we have been created to be.  

Richard Franco
Community Services Director - Hands of Hope
BA M.ED


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