Fathers in the Field

Faith • Fatherhood • Forgiveness

Word From Base Camp: COMMITMENT

John Smithbaker

“Let’s roll!” Those were the last known words spoken by Todd Beamer, one of the American heroes aboard United Airlines Flight 93 who foiled the efforts of 9/11 hijackers to cause more death and destruction in Washington, D.C. After Flight 93 had been overtaken by knife-wielding terrorists, Todd and several of his fellow passengers realized their only hope was a counter-attack. Armed only with determination and a commitment to save as many lives as possible, whatever the cost to themselves, the group rushed the hijackers on the command of Todd Beamer—“Let’s roll!”

While those brave men and women aboard Flight 93 lost their lives when their plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania, they ultimately won the battle. They committed themselves to the just cause of saving countless innocent lives below. Not a single person on the ground was injured.

It is that kind of commitment that we need today in the battle against fatherlessness. Twenty-four million children are growing up in America without their dads in the home. Father abandonment is terrorizing American families and societies. Among the casualties are millions of boys who are at dramatically higher risk of substance abuse, criminal activity, promiscuity, and suicide. Without much-needed fatherly guidance, odds are that they will self-destruct and destroy a lot of other lives in the process.

Triumphing over fatherlessness is, no doubt, a daunting task. But that should not deter us. Just like the Flight 93 hijacking required extraordinary commitment on the part of Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers to overcome their enemy, whatever the personal cost, the hijacking of our homes and societies by father abandonment requires an equally strong commitment on our part.

Fathers—we must commit to not abandoning our children in the home. Whatever the cost to you personally, your children need you in the home. Do whatever it takes to be there for them.

Churches—we must fully commit to answering God’s call to care for the fatherless. It’s not an option. God’s Word tells us that He has a special place in His heart for children whose fathers are not in the picture. Whether their dads intentionally abandoned them, or were taken from them in a heroic act like that of Todd Beamer, the children left behind suffer. We have a Biblical mandate to come alongside them and care for them.

Godly men—we need you to commit to standing in the gap where boys are left to function without a responsible, godly, male mentor in their lives. You don’t have to look far. There are countless opportunities in your own backyard to invest in the lives of kids whose dads have tossed them aside like trash.

Godly women—we need you commit to supporting the efforts of your church family and your own family in coming alongside hurting, abandoned boys.

It is going to take all of us to reverse the disastrous trend of fatherlessness in America. But with a unified effort, directed by our Father in Heaven who loves us so much that He committed to sending His own beloved Son to die for us, we are promised ultimate victory.
Commit your future to the LORD! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.
~Psalm 37:5

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
~Proverbs 16:3

God is asking for us to tackle the challenge before us with everything that we have. The word “commit” in the verses above means “roll” in the original Hebrew text. Literally, we are to roll ourselves onto the Lord and trust Him with the outcome. Millions of abandoned children are waiting for someone to commit to helping them heal their wounds of abandonment. God is calling us to care for the fatherless and He promises success to those who take a stand in His name. So, are you ready? LET’S ROLL!!!

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