Remembering the Fatherless Ahead of Father’s Day

Everywhere we turn in June, Father’s Day hits us in the face: TV commercials, newsfeed advertisements and funny videos, sale signs in shop windows, all reminding us to buy a gift or make a reservation or plan a celebration of dad. As well we should! Many dads love their families and make sacrifices to support them in all the ways. 

But for a variety of reasons, including divorce, death, abandonment, and incarceration, millions of children are growing up without a father in the home. Others are estranged or distant from fathers who are struggling with addictions or bearing their own deep wounds. For still others, broken relationships make Father’s Day painful, something they’d rather just get through. Like Mother’s Day last month, Father’s Day is not festive for everyone. 

In these days leading up to Father’s Day, take time to check in with the fatherless kids in your churches, neighborhoods, and social circles. Spend time with a fatherless child and as the Spirit leads, ask good questions to help her talk about Dad (or lack of dad) if she wants to. You might also grab a cup of coffee with that lonely single dad who shares custody and longs to have more time with his child, or with the father who blew it years ago and just wants his son back. You don’t have to fix anyone’s sadness or pain (you can’t), but you can offer your presence, your prayers, and perhaps a word of grace from our perfect heavenly Father.

Some Resources on Rooted:

A Trinitarian Prayer for when Father’s Day is Hard by Davis Lacey 

“We are all affected by broken fatherhood, one way or the other – to the point that, either explicitly or implicitly, we tell both ourselves and others, “This is just the way things are.” Few conclusions have as much potency to distort or altogether destroy the gospel narrative in our hearts and minds. The gospel is a story about children being restored to right relationship with their Father, and how we view fatherhood will inevitably affect how we view the gospel.”

Father’s Day Comfort for the Fatherless by Frances Connor and Mac Harris.

“ …knowing and believing that God is my Father doesn’t make the pain go away. On numerous occasions, a well-meaning friend would say something to the extent of ‘I’m sorry for your loss, but at least God is your Father.’ Yes, this is true. And to be honest, this is often what I told myself when I was afraid to let myself be sad. But as Job’s friends teach us, theology alone–good or bad–doesn’t heal a wounded heart. There is a time to be reminded that I have a Father who adopted me at the greatest personal cost, but there is also a time to mourn.”

Ministering the Love of the Father to the Fatherless by Anna Meade Harris

“… whatever you do, don’t give up on a fatherless kid. Children who lose their fathers are often angry and wounded, and this can lead to some long-lasting, unloveable behavior. Don’t quit loving them. Wait on that front porch for the prodigal, and pray for him continually. He desperately needs to know that the love of the Father ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things’”(1 Cor. 13:7).

Blair Linne and Collin Hansen on Fatherlessness and the Church, TGC

“Depending on the study, research shows that somewhere between one third and one fourth of all children in the United States are growing up in homes without a father. These fatherless children, their single mothers, and their absent fathers must be an urgent concern for the church.”


Finding My Father: How the Gospel Helps the Pain of Fatherlessness by Blair Linne

God’s Grace for Every Family: Biblical Encouragement For Single-Parent Families and the Churches That Seek to Love Them Well by Anna Meade Harris

Please also see our resources pages for fathers and for single parents