“Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad!”
I have a small wooden block in my office with this quote on it. It was Father’s Day gift from one of my children a few years back. I often glance at it when going through one challenge or another, as a small vote of confidence.
You see, my father died about a month before I turned 13. My dad was a great guy and I have some fond memories of him. Unfortunately, while I have these memories, with his passing there were many things I did not learn about “being a man” from my dad. I was blessed, however, to have friends and “surrogate dads” teach me important lessons about being “a man” and strong Christian men who helped guide me in my walk. Even with these lessons, though, I still made many mistakes, as a man and as a Christian.
My story is not unique in any way. There are many men who have had similar paths and there are many young men and boys in similar situations today. In fact, I read an article that stated 1 out of 4 children do not have a father present in their lives. There is also data put together by psychologists that show the impact on society by boys who grow up without fathers . “The Fatherless Generation” is what they are calling this period. This data shows a higher probability of poverty, behavioral problems, substance abuse and abuse/neglect.
This has resulted in a generation of men who do not know what it means to be a responsible adult in society. They have not been given guidance, direction and training. As a result of this, for many, this cycle will only continue to future generations.
But we in Men’s Harbor want to do our part to break this cycle.
The real problem here is a lack of mentorship and healthy connection between men in our culture, and as members of society and as Christians we should not sit idly by. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. Our mission at Harbor is to “Help people find their way back to God.” This is not a passive statement. It is an action statement. We need to be proactive in identifying those in need, within our walls and outside, and walk alongside them so they can get to know their Heavenly Father intimately.
Our Men’s Harbor mission is to provide men with the resources to Love God (Luke 10:27), Lead their Families (Joshua 24:15), Live the Gospel (Philippians 1:27-2:2) and Make Disciples (Matthew 28:19). Our hope is that we can help develop men of faith who can then feed into others and help stem the tide of this fatherless generation. I believe that we are all called to be spiritual mentors, spiritual fathers, in a fatherless person’s life (whether this fatherlessness is literal or metaphorical). Jesus found value in every person’s life, so we believe every single fatherless child’s life matters.