The Holy Call of Being a Daddy
I heard the voice of my daddy calling for me, “Charlotte.” I looked and in his hand was a box. I knew the box was for me. I quickly opened it and inside was a beautiful black, leather Book called, The Holy Bible. I still remember the smell of that wonderful Book, the leather and the red and black inks. Daddy had written inside its cover, “To Charlotte. From Daddy. 1959.” I still cherish this special Bible that afforded me a greater means of knowing Jesus. Daddy looked into my eyes and began to tell me the importance of this Bible. “Charlotte, this is God’s Word to you. He wants you to know Him, and you will know Him best as you read its pages. He will comfort, guide, and strengthen you as you read. Let the God of this Holy Book always be first in your life, and He will take care of you in every facet of living.” I will never forget that day, and I took very seriously his instruction to me. Proverbs 4:1 says, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.”
My daddy became more and more absent in my life as his ambition for church growth and sermon preparations occupied his time. I remember longing for his love and attention. “Daddy, look at me,” only to receive a nod and eyes looking the other way. Daddy left us when I was in the eighth grade. I forgave him early on, but I was left with a sense of low self-esteem. “Why doesn’t Daddy love me? Why would he leave us?” I became an over-achiever, truly excelling in all that I did with the longing for affirmation.
Many young girls and boys that do not have their dad’s affirmation are left with an emotional void. For the girl, this may cause them to turn to any male figure in search of feeling loved and significant. Why was this not my experience? First of all, my mother was always encouraging me in all that I did. Also, I held fast to the God of that Holy Bible that I received from my Daddy so many years before. “When my father and my mother forsake me then the Lord will take me up” (Ps. 27:10). Even though, I felt forsaken by my father, I knew that my Lord loved me and would never leave me, nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5). “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Ps. 103:13). I was raised to respect and honor the Lord, His Word, my parents, and those in authority over me. My Daddy chose to surrender his obligation to care for me; but the Lord remained faithful to care. “God will be a father of the fatherless…” (Ps. 68:5).
I determined in my heart that I would never marry. I even jokingly said, “I want to be a Baptist nun.” Even with these convictions, I prayed, “Father, in Jesus’ name, if it would be in Your plan for me to marry, would You please give to me a born-again man, who loves You with all of his heart and would faithfully love me and any children that You would give to us.” The Lord answered my prayer with my husband, Robert. We had four children and had the privilege of raising them in the ways of the Lord. Robert and I celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. He teases me that if I ever leave him, he is going with me. No, I am not leaving, unless it would be by “’til death do us part.”
Has God privileged you with the holy call of Daddy? Then, that is one of the highest callings that you can have. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). Oh yes, you can repent to God when you do not fulfill your call as father, just as my Daddy did; but you can never go back to those precious times when that little girl or boy toddled at your feet or made those first accomplishments in their youth. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8). Providing is not only providing shelter and food, but demonstrating the love of God in their spiritual, emotional, and physical care.