Author - Tanya Pinto, Australia
I grew up in a home where I was loved warmly by two Christian parents. I am the fortunate beneficiary of parents who were great supporters of my life. I lost my father 20 years ago, and while I miss him every single day, I am thankful to both him and my mother for the opportunity to be raised in their nurturing home. Remembering my father’s presence and patience with me as a child and adolescent helps me daily as I endeavor, not always successfully, to be that parent to my own children today.
As we prepare to acknowledge all the father’s this weekend, I’d like to speak specifically about the fathers we serve globally who are lost, broken and who do not yet know the love of their Father, Jesus Christ.
The righteous (father) walks in his integrity – blessed are his children after him. Proverbs 20:7
To become a father is both a great joy and a privilege. But more importantly, it is a great responsibility. It is a father’s duty to love his children, to bring them up knowing how to live well in this world – how to remain true to themselves and how to treat others with reverence, mercy and grace. Sadly, this is unknown territory and almost an impossible feat for many fathers who have lost their way.
FEBC is using media to change lives and inspire people to follow Jesus. Today, I share some truths about the struggling fathers our teams are working tirelessly to connect with.
Mongolia is a nation struggling with significant social issues including alcoholism, domestic violence, suicide and family breakdown. For many, life is a daily struggle. As COVID-19 restrictions continue, so does the downward spiral of unemployment and alcohol abuse among men. As a result, domestic violence has become the number one social problem in the country. It is a serious issue for both families and authorities here.
Today, we know that over 60% of women in Mongolia have experienced either physical, sexual or emotional abuse in their homes and 20% of divorce is due to domestic violence. 1 in 3 children are living in welfare institutions as a result of running away from domestic violence in the home.
In Eastern Ukraine the story is similar. Families affected by war, returned fathers who fought on the frontlines suffering PTSD, are struggling to adjust to a life at home. Again, unemployment, poverty, feelings of inadequacy, depression and alcoholism, coupled with the current COVID-19 pandemic are major causes of family breakdowns.
Our FEBC teams globally are sharing programs to support families and in particular father’s through these very difficult times. We are educating families, raising awareness and helping fathers to understand the triggers contributing to domestic violence and abuse.
The content within FEBC radio broadcasts offer educational information to everyone with access to the internet or a radio. The programs raise awareness and bring to the forefront the issues rarely talked about openly. They promote strong family values to help listeners make positive and healthy changes.
We are helping father’s teach their children about love.
FEBC produces specific talk-back programs to engage men, offering opportunities to speak with experts and counsellors. Our listeners say, that it is the friendly voices, music, bible messages, family education and health programs they enjoy the most.
We are making inroads and hearts are changing.
We pray that through these programs and messages, fathers will see that courage and faithfulness are part of a loving relationship. They will learn, in short, the cost and the value of fatherhood. Our aim is that as fathers, they will do all of this, because they come to know God and listen to His word.
I found a beautiful version of Psalm 103:13 in The Voice translation. As I read it, I felt the childhood embrace of my father’s arms around me. Something I long for, but know I always have the warm embrace of Jesus when I soak in His Word.
An earthly father expresses love for his children; it is no different with our heavenly father; The Eternal show His love for those who revere Him. Psalm 103:13 (The Voice)
So, as we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day with our loved ones and families, and remember fathers and significant father figures who are no longer with us, I ask you to join with me in prayer. As we pray, may we lift up all the father’s in the world who are struggling.
As father’s day is celebrated at different times of the year around the world, it may not be their day this Sunday, but I would like to pray they come to know and understand the real love of their Father, Jesus Christ.
In your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless all the fathers in the world today and always. Give them strength and courage, that their faith and love shines through - exemplified in the life of Jesus.
Father, we ask that You guide them to be good role models and loving to their children. May these fathers do everything in their power to bless their children so that all might draw near to You experiencing grace and discovering Your love as we do.
Give them patience to handle all situations in a loving way. Strengthen them by your love, which they may become the present, loving fathers they are meant to be.
We pray this in Your Name, Amen.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our wonderful FEBC father’s and their families a blessed and safe Father’s Day 2020. During COVID-19, it may not look like Father’s days of the past, but I pray you have the opportunity to spend time with or be loved in some way by your family on Sunday.
P.S. If you are a son or daughter looking for a gift for your Father or Father-like-figure this Father’s Day consider gifting a $30 radio to reach struggling father’s with hope-filled broadcasts. Your donation will touch the lives of fathers, wives and children across the world during COVID-19.