Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging journeys one could undertake. More challenging is those parents who do it all alone. Having grown up in a single-parent home where mom was the primary parent, I appreciate the hard-working mothers out there. There is something special about these ladies (read Dear Single Moms – Happy Mother’s Day). Our society naturally yields toward helping single moms with grand words and deeds, and rightfully so. Some men walk away from parenthood, which drives most of the ignorance about the impactful disregarded men.
These impactful men, or single part-time dads, have a whole other story that goes untold time and again.
Our culture uses words like divorced dad or visiting parents to describe these part-time dads, which is further compounded by a legal system that, in the past, positioned a divorced father as part-time.
Yet the impact of these men still shapes their children in the limited moments of influence, for better or worse. We see this significance played out in today’s culture, as both Christian and non-Christian experts agree, fathers are so important for a child’s future.
Being a part-time father for over a decade, I had felt the demeaning words and negative attention from coupled parents, churches, schools, and businesses. Yet my resolve to do everything I could, to participate in my children’s lives, never wavered.
Why? Because regardless of what anyone thought, said, or did, they were my children, and I was their father.
Yet as my children cross into adulthood and my journey as the part-time father of teens comes to an end, I wanted to give other dads who find themselves in the position of limited time and perceived influence, some encouragement.
Keep on participating in the lives of your children even when everything within you wants to run or quit. Purpose and impact on behalf of your children are not found in quitting, but in pushing through the uncomfortable.
Keep on affirming your love for them even when the moments are few, they are distant, hateful, or reject you. Love isn’t lost in brief moments of rejection or lose words, but found in a life of intentional actions.
Keep on showing up for their plays, events, and games even when you are alone, separated, and forgotten by the schools, teachers, coaches, or coupled parents. It’s about your child, and you are not there for other people.
Keep on showing up for them financially even when it appears that everyone is getting theirs, while you are losing yours. What others do is their deal, and temporary; but generosity is always returned.
Keep on speaking God’s truth into their lives even when hope seems far away. God’s word never returns void.
Keep on praying for protection, favor, blessing, joy, and peace over them. Prayer is our way of knocking on heaven’s door and asking God to act on behalf of our children. Prayer goes where we can’t go, and with our children everywhere they go.
I see the benefits today of doing my part in those years of uncomfortable segregation. So, keep your eyes fixed, and set your mind, as diligence ultimately brings fruit. Keep on, my brothers. Happy