Daily Devotional


Father to the Fatherless

by Simon Whitton

6 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
7 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
8 and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Mark 10:6-9 (NIV)

My parents separated when I was ten years old.  Over the next few weeks, one of my brother's hair started to fall out, I suffered from bad stomach aches and my other brother also had some sort of physical problem; one of my parents was bed-ridden for days.

When I look back, it was like our whole family was involved in a serious car accident.  Every one of us was injured in some way.  Some injuries heal over time, others you live with, some are so serious that you may even die from them.  The cause of death will be listed as alcoholism, suicide, drug overdose or reckless behavior of some sort, but the true cause could be traced back to that fateful life-changing event.

It was an accident.  It happened, it's done.  It's not about blame, it's about tragedy.  When a young man dies, it's not unusual to hear people say, "and he had small children".   Why do they say this? Because the loss is significantly more tragic when children grow up without a father.

Our culture doesn't appear to have a real appreciation of the devastating effects of divorce.  US Government statistics[1] indicate that children from fatherless homes are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 32 times more likely to run away from home.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape.
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

Society goes to great lengths, and makes laws, to protect children from car accidents.  Each of us should do what we can to protect children from divorce.

Perhaps you are a single parent or a child of divorce and these statistics terrify you.  With God, these statistics will become completely irrelevant, if you commit yourself to Him. Our God is a Father by nature and delights in helping the fatherless.

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
...
You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man,
who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Psalm 10:14,17-18 (NIV)

If you know of a couple struggling in their marriage, pray for them.  If you know of a family that has separated, pray for healing and that God would be a Father to the fatherless.  If divorce has affected you personally in some way, cry out to the Lord, commit yourself into His loving hands, and He will surely help you.

Footnote:

[1] Almost 300 websites translate the data as I have it shown.
Link to: Government Source



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