James 1:27 - "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (KJV)
It's Father's Day weekend and I'm a daddy, so I enjoy the Holiday. My kids (with my wife's assistance) are taking me out somewhere on Sunday and I'm looking forward to it. But, let's face it, Father's Day is not pleasant for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.
Some have grown up in sexually and/or physically abusive households. Others have grown up not knowing their real father. Even more were devasted by the divorce of their parents as they grew up. And then there are those whose father died years earlier. No, it's not a joyous occasion for many people.
Several years ago, I preached a message called "Are You My Father" from the scripture above (and modifying the title from a Dr. Seuss book called "Are You My Mother"?). The bottom line was this, scripture exhorts us to take care of the fatherless and widows and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Visit means more than just 'drop by the house'. Combining Thayer and Strong's definitions, it implies 'to inspect, examine with the eyes, to look upon in order to help or benefit'. It is an action word. You don't just pity them. You do something to help them.
The amount of single mothers in our country is staggering. And the amount of boys that grow up not having any male role models is equally unencouraging. But that's where all of us can be a blessing. Start to visit the fatherless (and widows) and ask yourself 'what CAN I do to help'. Then go out and do it. And especially if you are someone who grew up with an absentee or ungodly father, don't allow your past to dictate your future. Be the blessing to someone else that you always wanted someone to be for you.
I pray that on this Father's Day all of us will open our eyes and examine the need around us. We truly live in a fatherless generation. But for us there is one God and Father of all, who is above all and in all and through all. And it is Him that everyone needs to know as their very own heavenly father.
Now, I once again have to go and kick myself for writing yet another blog that I will now be forced to apply in my own life. Perhaps next time I'll choose a more personally advantageous topic, like 'The God Who Rewards Openly" or "10 Bible Reasons Why Bloggers Need Government Grants (or Bailouts)". God bless everyone and Happy Father's Day.