For You From The Word
Though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right …he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:14-15, ESV)
For You To Think About
Troy Gaines wanted his father’s approval but never received it. As a boy, Troy played football to get his father’s attention. His team won three championships. After each game Troy waited for his father to show up and see his star running back son … but his father never came.
Without a father’s presence, Troy found other people to teach him things, many of them illegal. Soon Troy was arrested.
On the day he entered prison, Troy left behind his girlfriend, Stacy, and his one-week-old son Xavier. Soon afterwards, Stacy was shot and killed by drug dealers.
“At that point, I had to make serious changes,” says Troy. “If I didn’t straighten up, then Xavier would probably follow in my footsteps.” Troy knew he didn’t have the answers but needed guidance on fatherhood and being a better man.
He found a mentor who met with him and coached him. Troy wrote down his goals. He wanted to get a job and he wanted to be involved in Xavier’s life. He knew that the choices he made would affect his son. A support group of dads stood behind Troy as he learned how to change.
Today, Troy and Xavier spend time together. Troy attends all of Xavier’s football practices and games and helps his son with his homework. “He is very good dad,” says Xavier. “He loves me and he would do anything for me.”
Troy took the initiative to change – and get support to follow through – to break the cycle of absentee fathers in his family.
For You To Pray
Thank you for modeling what it means to be an active, loving Father. Move birth fathers to find a mentor who can support them in the changes they need to be active dads.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.