The Love of a Father: What Strong Mothers Know About the Importance of a Daddy

 

the-love-of-a-father

In today’s society, single mothers are strong, tenacious, able women who can juggle the pressures of family and work without skipping a beat. I should know….I was raised by one! It’s amazing that these moms are able to keep pressing on – giving their children the best family life they can under unfortunate circumstances.

Even though they can do it all themselves, it is sad when these strong mothers sometimes fail to recognize the importance of a father figure in their children’s lives. Proverbs 17:6 says, “The glory of children is their father” (NKJV). What a powerful statement that is! Our society has tried so hard to say that it makes no difference whether a child has both parents active within their lives, but we know deep down that’s not true. If a father is willing and able to be a part of his child’s life, a strong mother will encourage it, knowing that he will make up for the areas where she is weak. The child will only benefit.

Mothers who set out to eliminate good fathers from their childrens’ lives are unwittingly setting them up for lifelong insecurities and identity issues, causing the children to seek that love in ungodly relationships that often result in addictions and emotional or physical abuse.

I currently have a client – a wonderful, financially-stable single man in his thirties with a 12-month-old daughter. The baby’s mother doesn’t want him to have parenting time; she didn’t let the child have her father’s name, and she would be happy if my client would just continue to pay exorbitant child support, but otherwise, go away for good. She thinks this would be best for the baby, largely because she was raised by a single mother herself. Now that she and the baby’s father are estranged, she believes that she and her mother can raise the baby best without the trouble or input of the father. However, this is not in the best interest of the child.

My husband cringes today when he recalls how our infant daughter wailed the majority of the time that I left him alone with her while I taught a part-time college class two evenings a week. Sometimes when I came home, he was waiting at the door! If I had divorced him, I could have argued that he did not have a strong relationship with her – that he worked while I did most of the care-giving and that she would be better off spending most of the time with me. It would have seemed right at the time, and I would have been dead wrong. The way my daughter dotes on him today as a teenager, as well as her strong sense of who she is as a young woman and as a woman of God, is directly related to the steadfast love and presence of her father throughout her life.

Typically, children that have not experienced the love and care of a father find it hard to relate to the love of our Heavenly Father. The earthly contributions of a father’s love, rules and boundaries teach children how to receive love and give love while establishing the foundations for respect and order in their personal and spiritual walks.

If the child’s father has passed away or is unable or unwilling to be a part of his child’s life, for whatever reason, there are still many alternative male role-model relationships that a mother can encourage. An active grandfather, uncle, or close family friend can help fill the void of the father figure and help alleviate a little of the parenting pressure that even the strongest of single moms may experience.

As a family attorney who has counseled many clients over the years, I understand the impulse to be protective of one’s children and their relationship with their father. However, it is important for single moms (even the strongest!) to recognize their shortcomings and remember that the presence of a good father can make a world of difference for their children. I have seen firsthand the fruit of Proverbs 17:6. The glory of children truly is their father. And as a mother, there’s nothing better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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