“Children with mentors are 46 percent less likely to do drugs, 33 percent less likely to resort to violence, 53 percent less likely to drop out of school, and 59 percent more likely to improve their grades. One-to-one mentoring has also been shown to lower the rates of teen pregnancy, suicide, and gang involvement in communities.” John Sowers
It’s a few days until the annual surge in tie buying by 5 year olds culminates in a Sunday morning of burnt toast, runny eggs and hand drawn cards that make grown men cry. The ritual that is Father’s Day is almost upon us and for those lucky enough to have their fathers still in their lives it is a special day to reach out, say thank you, and do something for that man in your life who taught you so many lessons both big and small.
For many, their father is or was their greatest teacher, revealing how to live. A healthy father communicates to their children what is acceptable behavior and what is not. They reveal how a child is to act, becoming the ultimate role model that a child aspires to become. The outcome of a child growing into an adult is frequently a direct result of the relationship had with the father, or the lack of one.
James, the brother of Jesus, says in James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” The word “orphan” doesn’t just mean a person whose mom or dad died or abandoned them. The deeper meaning of that word means “one who is without a way.” We live in a world with orphans all around us. At Acres of Hope some of the words used to describe the relationships between our mother’s and their fathers were: absent, abusive, violent, fear, and unknown.
Women learn from their fathers what to expect of a man. It’s why fathers are so pivotal in a young girl’s life. A strong father-daughter bond, will create a young woman who seeks out healthy men who are respectful and loving. A weak, or missing bond creates a hole in the soul that longs to be filled. Often times leaving a woman searching to fill those holes with anything.
Yet at Acres of Hope the women and children who have found themselves with father voids find out that God provides. That He is the father to the fatherless. They learn God sends his people to be His hands and feet here on earth to fill those father wounds. Pastors, volunteers, and Angel Grandpas become the mentors who become the loving guides that reveal the heart of the Father.
This Father’s Day, we encourage all of you to reach out and thank all the men in your lives that have contributed to your journey. Thank you to the fathers who loved, dedicated, sheltered, and sacrificed tirelessly to guide and parent their own children. Thank you to the father figures who stepped in to mentor and fill the voids left by those who couldn’t fill the role of being a father.
It is in that spirit that we encourage you to reach out to the mentors in your life and thank them this Father’s Day. They may not be your relatives, they may not be legally related to you, but if they have had a positive effect on your life, if they have taught you valuable lessons, or been there to pick up the pieces when things fell apart – take the time and send them a card, give them a call and tell them how important they are, and how grateful you are, for them in your life.
Reaching out to those who have helped us up along the journey is rewarding to them, and to us. It won’t take long, or cost much, but it will be priceless to the one who gets that card or that call telling them how thankful you are for their being in your life and showing you the way.
On behalf of all of us at Acres of Hope, we are so grateful for the tireless dedication and loving support given to our families everyday by so many “fathers” - our mentors, volunteers, and Angel Grandpas. You are making a difference and showing them what a healthy, safe, loving man looks like in this world.
To become a mentor, volunteer, or angel grandparent,
Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030