Our mental health is not dependent on the presence or absence of a human father.
Now I understood that I had a Father that would always be with me. That Father was God. He would love me unconditionally, guide my life and protect me.
Father’s Day 2012
“No One is fatherless”
Thomas Mitchinson C.S.
As Father’s Day approaches, I remember an article published in Psychology Today entitled, “The decline of fatherhood and the male identity crisis” by Ray Williams. In it he states, “America is rapidly becoming a fatherless society, or perhaps more accurately, an absentee father society. The importance and influence of fathers in families has been in significant decline since the Industrial Revolution and is now reaching critical proportions.”
He quotes the research of David Blankenhorn, author of Fatherless America, and chair of the National Fatherhood Initiative, along with research conducted by Popenoe and other researchers, who state that fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance and teen pregnancy. Also, lack of a father often makes it more likely the family will live below the poverty line.
My dad died when I was fifteen and my sister was thirteen. It was a very tough time for my mom and us. I remember one day someone called me “fatherless”. I grew cold inside and wanted to cry. This shattered the feelings I had that somehow my dad was still with me, even though I could not see him. This made me feel so alone and rather unloved.
There are many avenues to look for help in life – advisors, books, friends, and social media. Christian Science teaches that when you need help, you can always turn to the Bible for advice. I did that. Jesus talked a lot about God as Father. Since he was literally the Son of God, that makes sense. But when he taught us how to pray, he said, “Our Father….” To me that meant God is the Father of all of us.
There is a heavenly Father that loves you and gives you every idea you need to live a productive life. His peace silences anger, distrust, fear and anxiety. It strengthens each of us, giving us the mental poise we need. Our mental health is not dependent on the presence or absence of a human father. While it is great to have that human contact with someone who loves us, if that is not possible, the divine Father is here for all of us.
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