Singles and Fatherlessness

Can a single person play a role in the life of a fatherless young man?

By Paul H. Boge

Fathers are called to instill in their sons a sense of approval and identity. But when positive male role models are missing, we may be called to invest our time into the life a young man in need.

That stamp of validation is critical to a young man’s life. The Bible has many examples of the need for a father to show his approval to his son as he trains him in the way he should go. Proverbs includes numerous verses starting with “My son…” The best example follows Christ’s baptism, when God the Father said:

“This is my beloved Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” Matthew 3:17.

These are words every son needs to hear—either directly, or inferred in a way that the son is able to receive.

As important as it is to hear these words from an earthly father, it is much more important to hear them from our heavenly Father. He speaks them to each one of His sons. We can exhaust ourselves seeking validation from others, or we can rest in the ultimate validation we receive from the cross.

Once we have received that validation from God, we have the opportunity to point others to that same rest.

Some men have had wonderful, affirming fathers. Others have had fathers who walked out, or perhaps never knew them at all. Some men are fathers themselves, while others are single.

No matter what the scenario, we can still speak words of validation into the lives of the young men around us, who may be dealing with their own lack of fatherly influence.

If you are single you are already dealing with not having something—not having a wife and, in some cases, not having children. This is a reality, not the whole picture. Singles are complete in Christ, and have great opportunity to impact the young men around us.

Maybe you had a great father and can pass this on to a young man who is searching for a role model. If the opposite is true, perhaps you can come alongside and give your understanding and support to another young man in the same position.

I grew up with a great father. I can’t speak to being fatherless. But a friend of mine sure can.

His name is Charles Mulli. As a six-year-old Kenyan boy he was brutally abused by his alcoholic father. He woke up one morning and discovered his family had abandoned him. He went from hut to hut begging for food, trying to find any way he could to survive. He got kicked out of school for not having the required fees.

As a teenager, near the end of his rope and ready to give up, a friend invited Charles to a youth rally where he gave his life to Christ. He later started a small taxi company. It grew and he branched out into oil and gas distribution, property management, real estate and insurance. He became a multi-millionaire and even knew the president of Kenya.

And then his rags to riches story took a dramatic turn.

Charles knew what it meant to have nothing. And the plight of the hundreds of thousands of fatherless street children in his country grew stronger in his heart.

One day, God called him to sell everything he had, to go into slums and to rescue street children. Charles obeyed. Today he has more than 2,000 children who call him Daddy. And thousands of young men have since had the privilege of being his sons and being led to Christ.

You and I may not be able to be a father to thousands of children. But perhaps we can be that person for one.

Is there a young guy you could befriend, whose father has passed away or walked out him? Can you spend an evening once a week or once a month taking him out to a movie, playing paintball, watching a hockey game, letting him know you are praying for him, telling him that you love him—something to validate him in his struggle and to point him to the cross?

Maybe you can be used by God to speak those life-giving words to a young man. Whether you had a great father experience, or a difficult father experience like Charles Mulli, take a moment to ask God if He wants to use you to speak life into a young man.

And see what God will do in his life.

Paul H. Boge is a filmmaker, engineer and the author of Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story. He’s single and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


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