I’m a bachelor with no children. Now that I got my relationship and family status out there let me assure you that this is not a “Hey I’m single…wink, wink” kind of post. This is a post about being a never married, no biological children kind of guy, but find myself nevertheless sort of a father. As a result, I strive to cultivate a father’s heart patterned after God’s heart.
Throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, God is named as Father. In fact, he is described as the one, heavenly, eternal Father. He is the Father who created humanity and is over all His children. The Father who is tender and compassionate giving good gifts and providing for His children. He disciplines but also protects his children. He is the father to the fatherless defending, protecting and adopting orphans. This is the type of father I want to be.
Looking back on my life, I wanted to be married and have kids. I thought I could be a good father, but that dream and desire has never become a reality. However, as I reflect, I see that God has used me in my singleness as a father figure to the fatherless. There has been many times in my career in social services that I have met troubled youth without a father in their lives, and I was there to provide compassion, mentoring and support. I have provided fatherly support to kids experiencing autism conditions because many parents with kids with special needs end up divorcing due to the stress on the relationship. There was the time when I was a live-in father figure to a 56 year old man with developmentally disabilities. He had grown up with a father, but the father passed away leaving a man functioning at a child level, to live on his own. Presently, I lead a hospitality house for refugee young men who are transitioning into independent living. They arrived in the U.S. several years ago unaccompanied, meaning that they were not with their parents for whatever reason. Thus, they don’t have parents, and at this stage in their lives, they need parental support and mentoring in order to learn how to live independently.
All those years, I was focused on the loneliness and frustration of not being a father and all the while God was using my fatherly heart and desire, as a father to the fatherless. I may never have children of my own, but there will be children who look to me as a father figure. I trust my heavenly Father will teach, lead and grow me in fatherhood, even if it is as a bachelor father to the broken, lost, poor, needy or fatherless. Whatever our life status, may we be open and available to our heavenly Father and how He may develop our hearts to be more like His.