DTC Stories

Happy (Mentor) Father’s Day!

A reminder of your important role from Founder John Smithbaker

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. Billy Graham

Fatherlessness is an epidemic in the United States with nearly two out of four children growing up without a dad in the home. The growing trend of abandonment continues to have grave consequences upon the moral, spiritual and social fiber of our culture.

Unfortunately, the full weight of this epidemic falls personally and unmercifully upon boys as they struggle daily under the weight of an unrelenting reality.

Their dad left.

Father’s Day represents another dagger in the seemingly endless arsenal of shame and loneliness in the heart of a fatherless boy. While some boys put crayon to paper in hopes of creating the perfect Father’s Day card and gift for their dad, fatherless boys may grieve, succumb to images of a “fantasy dad” or drift into a slow caldron of anger and bitterness. There’s no one and nothing to celebrate.

Children who grow up in a fatherless home are statistically more likely to run away from home, commit suicide, engage in criminal activity, develop behavioral disorders, and drop out of school. Without a healthy model, many boys will seek to demonstrate their manhood in destructive and reckless ways by imitating movie characters or capitulating to the influence of rebellious peers.

Ironically, many in our society have come to embrace the importance of fatherhood through its absence. Even still, the hole left by a man who isn’t present in a young boy’s life cannot be filled by government programs, good grades, excellent schools, safe streets, or even a loving mother.

We can no longer depend upon the escalating and troubling rhetoric of fatherlessness, but upon the hope that comes from meaningful action. As the prophet Isaiah declared, we engage through intentional and persistent acts of restoration. As men, we must step up and consciously “defend the cause of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17). This is our calling as followers of Christ and our mission at Fathers in the Field.

As we seek to be vehicles of healing to boys who have been abandoned by their fathers, we are inspired by the extraordinary love and embrace of our heavenly father. At Fathers in the Field, Father’s Day means much more than an elaborate Sunday dinner and gratuitous family gifts. We are committed to stepping into the spiritual and emotional void left by dads who surrendered their sons to a hopeless future.

Our goal is not to serve as a mere replacement for an absentee father, but to serve as a reflection of our heavenly father’s love and sacrifice for His children. Rather than sentencing these young boys to the mercy of an empty and disillusioned heart, we lean passionately into the challenges of abandonment through modeling and mentoring.

As I consider the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood, I cannot help but survey the vast and often unheralded ways that my presence impacts the hearts of my own children. Though I would never claim to be a perfect father myself, I enjoy being the recipient of the unabated love and grace of a patient, forgiving and perfect God in heaven. His faith in me fosters a holy discontent to model and speak this truth into the lives of fatherless boys. The personal joy of giving what I have freely received cannot be understated.

My prayer is that you will join me in this Christ-honoring endeavor. While observing the traditional rituals of Father’s Day this month, consider the possibility of inviting an additional guest into your presence or to your table of influence. Rather than just receiving the warm and comforting embrace of those who call you “father,” prayerfully and faithfully extend yourself to a young boy who has no one to call “dad.”

As Mentor Fathers, we are entrusted with the extraordinary task of defending the cause of the fatherless by nurturing the wounded and broken hearts of those whom God has not abandoned.

Please help us defend the cause with your support. Whether you are or feel called to be a Church Champion, Mentor Father or financial partner, every role is vital to fulfilling the great commission God has called us to.

Thank you for your faithfulness.

In His Grip,