“Daddy’s Home!”

My favorite part of the day: walking in the door at the end of a workday and having both of my boys run at me full blast, bounding into my arms with full confidence that I’ll catch them.

“Daddy’s home!”

Little arms around my neck, sweet kisses. Eager to tell me about their day. Seriously, does it get any better than that?

I am a blessed man.

While that may seem a bit Norman Rockwell to some of you, for me, it’s not only reality but it reveals a deeper, important truth in the lives of my sons. They don’t come running to me because they’re surprised I’m home.

They’re running to me because their expectations and their confidence that Daddy will be there have just been met. They can count on it. And I love giving them that assurance.

man hugging a boy

Father and son in Nicaragua

I wish every child could live with that same confidence that Daddy is coming home at the end of the day. But the truth is, throughout much of the developing world, little boys and girls never get to run into Daddy’s arms.

I’ve traveled to well over a dozen developing countries in the past eight years and one thing that seems to be common in almost all of them is that so many fathers are missing from the picture. Gone.

And one of the most common reasons men abandon their families in the developing world: shame.

Poverty strips away dignity. It eats away a man’s self-worth. In cultures where the man is expected to be the provider, the shame of not being able to put food on the table can be overwhelming. So they leave.

Church, we need to lift these men up. We need ministries that teach men that their worth is much more than how much is in their paycheck.

At Compassion, we work with young men to teach them the value of family. We help them learn skills so they are employable when they get older. We teach them that being a dad is about much more than being a father. We teach them scripture-based principles.

man holding a girl

Father and daughter in the Philippines

But we also need the Church to work with adult men throughout the developing world. Restoring dignity. Building that confidence in little ones that Daddy will be there at the end of the day.

This Father’s Day, please pray for the millions of men who work hard all day for pocket change. Pray for the men who come home sweaty, dirty and stinky from a long day of toiling just to put a little bit of food on the table.

And pray for the men who are missing hugs, kisses and the joy of catching their son or daughter in their arms at the end of the day because shame has driven them away from home.

4 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Luke Andrews July 2, 2014

    What a great post. Thanks for sharing. I am encouraged as a father to take the little moments and treat them special because I know not every family has a father. Thanks,

  2. Kate Sharma July 11, 2012

    Love your posts as always Tim! They just cut to the heart of the emotion. Thank you.

  3. Teresa June 14, 2012

    An absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I’m a “Daddy’s girl”, always have been, always will be. I’m grateful my dad stuck around, even on the hard days. I’ll be praying for more men in the world to stay in their home, even when they feel defeated.

  4. Christine June 13, 2012

    Wonderful post. Heartbreaking. You have given the problem depth. It’s so tempting to vilify the men that leave, but this point is so true. My own husband, when he lost his job, struggled with this and still does. Not everyone brings home an impressive paycheck. And indeed, the paycheck doesn’t define the man. My husband has God to remind him of this, and me, and I pray the same for men in the developing world. That they will let God define them.

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