Fatherly Love

Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter.
Esther 2:7

This week we’ve addressed the awesome privileges and responsibilities of fathers. I’d like to speak tonight to a group of dads who are especially close to my heart: stepfathers.

My own father was an alcoholic. As a child I often hid when he arrived at our run-down home in the early morning hours, drunk and shouting threats. I remember finally praying to God in desperation: If Dad isn’t going to change, then please get us out of this house and give us the kind of father that will love and provide for us.

After much suffering related to my father’s continued drunkenness and an illicit relationship, my parents divorced when I was in sixth grade. My mother, brother, and I moved to a tiny house where at last we could sleep through the night in peace. A year later, my mother married a man who had been a confirmed bachelor. My new stepfather was a faithful husband and good provider. Though he wasn’t a Christian at the time, both he and my mother later committed their lives to Jesus.

I am so thankful that the Lord answered my prayer and delivered this wonderful man to our family. Joe Kubishta brought high moral standards, warmth, and much-needed stability into our lives. My mother, my brother, and I fell for his sunny disposition and big smile. Even though I wasn’t his “real” daughter, he showed me the fatherly respect and kindness I had longed for.

If you are a stepfather, I encourage you to display the same caring and sensitivity toward your stepchildren. They may not accept you as openly as I did Joe; they may even want nothing to do with you. Underneath such outward appearances, however, are vulnerable girls and boys yearning for a man who will demonstrate genuine fatherly love.

No matter what your family situation, I implore you to be the kind of father that our heavenly Father calls you to be. Your commitment will be the answer to a little child’s prayers.
-Shirley M. Dobson 

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at OnePlace.com.  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.