The importance of a single Parent- a Father’s Love

| by Rachel Levins Kingsbury

(December 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I owe my father a huge thank you! Sure, I need to thank him for all those years of taking care of me and providing a shoulder to cry on. But this year I realized that his contributions to my childhood were much more than that because it will be a lonesome Christmas. Sometimes relatives get amnesia or suffer from delirium tremens-even when we are face to face they ignore us. Lately even in the same elevator my aunts and uncles ignore me owing to the patriotic attitude of my Dad. Yet their unpatriotic values have drifted them away from us- so now only me and Dadda this Christmas.
File Photograph by  E. Proimos/ Alex E. Proimos
He has influenced who I am at the very core of my being. Let me explain.
Recently, I’ve talked with several girlfriends who are in terrible relationships. I can understand how a guy could fool a girl into thinking he is Prince Charming for a while, even though he is not. But after enough time with him, it seems they would have to realize the truth. Why do they continue the relationship after learning that he is controlling, abusive, or domineering? I’ve often wondered why any woman would let a man treat her so poorly.
As I’ve listened to their stories I’ve realized that these women don’t view themselves as being worthy of anything better. Why is that? I would never even consider letting a man treat me the way they have been treated. But why am I any different than them? I think it can be credited to my father.
I grew up as Dadda’s Little Girl. If I had a problem that needed fixing or a question that needed answering, he was the one I ran to. He counseled me through everything from Economics, Business Studies homework as a student to what I am today. He always expected that I do my best in whatever I did, and he believed I could succeed in anything I put my mind to. As a result, I learned to hold myself to those same standards.
He always showed me unconditional love, which helped me learn to love myself. It was something I’d taken for granted until I realized from talking with my friends that they had no similar view of their self worth. Having fathers that didn’t believe in them left them to grow up not believing in themselves.
As I was growing up, my father also modeled how a woman should be treated. He showed me love and respect. My mother left us when I was three years for newer life with a younger man. I never had a mother. But my father was my mother and father. Dadda also modelled the qualities of a gentleman. He is a living picture of godliness, honesty, integrity, and responsibility. Unfortunately, many of my friends had no such role models.
It was only recently that I realized what a profound effect fathers have on their daughter’s lives. That is why I want to thank my dad for the godly example of love that he has been to me throughout my life.
Advise to Mothers
Whether our own fathers were a good portrait of our Heavenly Father or not, our Heavenly Father’s love for us never changes. We should be looking to Him to find our identities and our self-worth. Scripture tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). He cares about us so much that he knows even the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7).
We each have value because He created us and He loves us. He is our pattern of what love should look like. We should study Him, imitate Him, spend time with Him, learn from Him.
Advise to Fathers
If you are a father, please consider the important role that you play in your family. Your daughters are forming views of themselves based on how you relate to them, and your sons are watching you to learn how to act as a man.
God has chosen you to be the father of your children. He could have placed them in anyone else’s care, but He chose you. Allow Him to teach you how to be a godly father. If you are looking to Him for guidance, He will equip you to be the best dad that your children could ever have.
I am thankful to my dad for showing me the path to a godly life and for cultivating in me a desire to know my Heavenly Father. My life and my relationship with God are proof of the power of a father’s love.
I felt deprived of a mother’s love and care – for my mother chose to become a model in the USA – she never bothered to greet me on my birthdays over the years but by that I have learnt how important a mother’s love is for the child and at the beginning it was traumatic but each time I cried, my Dadda cried too. So I made myself believe that I have no mother at all, to my friends I said my mother died when I was a kid. My father taught me to pray in silence and to take it to the Lord in prayer. Often we sing “What a friend we have in Jesus”. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868.
The words of the hymn are inspirational and may be useful to readers who may find solace like me:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
We prayed together and in difficult times we shared meals or he would give me a meal and say he has had his meal- I realized this only recently. What I was deprived of was ambitiously and with great difficulty replaced by my father serving a dual role of a father and mother. Although his status in society is well known he has made me happy and cared for me. He never discusses his personal burdens. This time I offered to buy him a cake he said lets buy two pieces- we have no one else to give. The only tribute I can pay is to say Dadda, Happy Birthday(17th December), I love you-you are the best Dadda.
( The writer can be reached at rachellevinskingsbury@yahoo.com )

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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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