Born and raised into circumstances beyond my control…
..my adolescence was filled with controlling the little I could building intrinsic values like loyalty, integrity, and respect. Opportunities presented themselves to challenge God given skills and talents in basketball by moving away from familiarity and comfort to live with my father and his wife to attend a really, really good basketball program for high school; nationally ranked in the top 10 my junior and senior year good. Fatherhood had little meaning to me at this point raised by a single mother and spending majority of my time with maternal family.
Interestingly enough, God presented the opportunity to play against that same nationally ranked team (7th) in a tournament championship game my senior year. I relied heavily on my own understanding based on the gifts I knew God gave me, and begin to falter for the temptations and worldliness surrounding me around this time in life.
Consequently, I had a Moses moment.
God did something similar, placing me on the mountain top overlooking everything I envisioned by remaining loyal to my maternal roots and attending the same high school my entire maternal family attended; giving the school and program national attention, recognition and ranking. I was so close, could smell the fear in my opponents sweat because several of them played on a travel team with me and knew of my lethal skill.
Everything leading up to this point was not of God, for I had forsaken my relationship with God. My Heavenly Father placed me right where I wanted to be only to humble me and make me realize the humility and sorrow of forsaking the most important relationship in my life.
Reflecting deeper, the pattern of forsaking my father here on earth laid the foundation for forsaking my Heavenly Father in a crucial way, a crucial moment. My relationship with God, my Heavenly Father has grown to take precedence in this life given to me.
I am thankful to have a father in this world focused on his relationship with God, which I focus on when interacting with him. There is not much to be done for all the lack experienced growing up without a full-time father and married parents, and thankfully I am in a position to share God, Gods word, and the gospel with the man who helped my mother bring me into this world.
These experiences transcend any and all worldly reactions and emotions that once got the best of me in my adolescence. As a father myself, being delivered from my tribulations, temptations, backsliding, and worldly lusts drive me to overflow the compassion, grace, mercy, and unconditional love my Heavenly Father has for me unto my children in Jesus name. Not to take away from the efforts, be what they may, of my father of this world, but my model of fatherhood is based on the relationship God has reserved for me in Christ Jesus.
Growing up fatherless ought not be an excuse to forsake a man’s ability to be a father to the children they partake in bringing into this world, nor the relationship their mother deserves. Growing up fatherless ought to be motivation to fill the gap and voids present in being a fatherless child to end the cycle.
Being a father is about loving your child unconditionally, raising them to know respect, and helping to shape them to realize their potential in contributing godly work in this world severely lacking godly men, and godliness in general. May the peace of God be within you, and godly refinement enter your life to transform everything you thought you knew.