The headlights were shining on the bare garage wall in front of us.

When my mom, brother, and I left for the weekend- that same wall was covered with dark brown pegboard, holding neatly arranged hooks that my dad used to hold his tools.  Now they were all gone- and instantly I knew he was gone, too.  While I don’t remember much of my childhood, I can still allow myself to feel the inconsolable pain of that night 4 decades ago.

The reasons my parents got divorced isn’t the point of this story, but suffice to say they worked hard to be amiable to each other, especially in front of the kids.

So why bother?

According to the website 365 Dad, the vast majority of teens struggling in the US today came from fatherless homes.  While it’s easy to look at your kids and believe they’re fine- or even better off without their dad- the opportunity to connect with dad makes a powerful difference in a child’s future success.

I remember my mom driving my brother and me to my dad’s apartment for the weekend.  Yes, it must’ve been difficult at times, but she made sure we were there.  It allowed him to speak into my life that helped me grow from a boy to a young man.  At 11, you don’t need a lot of speeches, you’re simply wondering if the top of your fingers will grow hair someday and if you’ll be able to throw the baseball with deadly accuracy, too.

Malachi 4:6 says, “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Dad was interested in spending time with me, and made a point of it when possible- and I wanted to spend time with him, making for some great memories together.

Yes, I’m grateful my dad wanted to have a relationship with me.  Not all kids get that opportunity, whether dad still lives under the same roof- or not.  However, as I get older, I look back with appreciation that my mom was part of making sure I saw my dad.

You already know kids grow up fast, so why not do something special for your kids by going the extra mile to make sure they experience a good Father’s Day this year.  I’m praying that your decision will make a difference for you, too.

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