According to the Census Bureau, there are about 13.7 million single parents in the United States. These parents are raising roughly 22 million children under the age of eighteen. Only 17.8 percent of those numbers are single fathers, while 82.2 of them are single mothers. I could ramble off more statistics, but that's not the point. I am not here to expose the problem; I am here to reveal the solution.
I was one of the 82% that grew up with a single mom. In my younger years I longed for a father but didn't really understand that it was abnormal not to have one. However as I grew older, I began to recognize in myself the repercussions of a life without a father.
I had managed to become very independent. I learned that such an unnatural independence was the result of never having anyone to truly rely on. After all, a father is supposed to be the one that a child can run to for anything. But I didn't have that, so I did the best I could at living without it until I realized that relationships cannot flourish without trust.
Sometimes, without a father, a young woman can turn to other things or to other men in attempts to fill that void of familiarity. While dating, I would subconsciously stay in relationships that might not have been the best ones for me because that person became a familiar and safe face. It's often necessary to realize that a significant other cannot fill the void of a father, because we simply weren't created that way.
Even as I recognized these things in myself, I also realized that I didn't want to stay that way. I didn't want to be the girl who had a hard time making connections and maintaining relationships due to lack of a good example.
I didn't meet my biological father until I was eighteen years old. The biggest step in my moving on from my childhood was understanding that I didn't owe him anything. The fatherless can have great lives too. No characteristics of his have to be characteristics of mine, nor do they have to be yours.
I also realized that kingdom of God contains the ultimate Father! In His house, independence is frowned upon, trust is easy, safety is a constant, and you have access to the best fatherly characteristics in the world. If you are reading this blog, chances are you may have had a similar experience growing up, whether with a single parent, or an absent parent. But let me encourage you—just because you are daddy-less doesn't mean you have to have daddy issues. Draw close to God as your father, learn his character and watch your life flourish as it was meant to!
Anna Nay is a worship leader, ministry student and contributor to A Modern Voice blog.
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