A Dad Who Will Never, Ever Leave

I am a pretty easy-going guy. But there are a few things that get my blood boiling. Probably the most personal is “dads” who leave. My daughter, Gwendolyn (8), has a mitochondrial disease. There are no cures, and it will probably end her life early. We know many other families who are facing the difficulties of these diseases. In too many cases, though, “dad” has left. Now it is just mom handling a child (or children) with special needs. Like Gwendolyn, most of these children need 24 x 7 care. That’s a tough job with two involved parents. Some “dads,” I guess, bail out because they can’t fix the problem so they just move on.  It is abandonment.  I won’t mince words – that is evil.

It is probably more personal to me because I didn’t have a dad that stayed either. My parents divorced when I was 7. I saw my dad each summer for a few weeks, but that was it. (We have built a better relationship as adults.) My mom remarried, and my stepdad did stay for awhile. He was an angry man, though, and the relationship was never strong. After I was gone, my mom divorced him. Anger was not his only problem, though I don’t know all the details. The strongest male figure in my life was my grandpa. I am so thankful for the investment he made in my life as a young boy and teen. However, I do sense that “something is missing” because dad was not around.

The Scriptures reveal to us a greater dad – our Father in heaven.  Listen to the promise quoted in Hebrews 13:5:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  (NIV – emphasis mine)

 Those “nevers” are even more emphatic in the original Greek language, with multiple negatives stacked together. It could be paraphrased as “I will never, no, not ever, no never abandon you.” There is no doubting the intent of this promise. God is a Father who says He will never leave, no matter what.

Can we trust Him that it is true? My experience says, “yes!” When I walked away from God, he did not leave. When I have disobeyed him directly, He did not abandon me. When I shouted “WHY!?” He patiently listened. When I need Him most, I find Him. He has been true to His promise even though I have never deserved it. You can trust Him too!

How have you found God faithful to this promise to never leave? In my next post, I will talk about the results of this ever-present fatherhood.

18 thoughts on “A Dad Who Will Never, Ever Leave

  1. ansuyo says:

    He is faithful regardless of whether I am or not. Even those with dads who stay need to look to the heavenly Father because no one can meet all our needs except Him.

  2. linneann says:

    I’m glad you spoke out strongly. I could have almost written the same thing except I had a good day. But my children’s father left and didn’t look back until recently. He now has stage 4 stomach cancer and my daughter is trying to rebuild something with him. We had 2 sons also, one with Down’s and one who doesn’t even feel like he knows his dad. He said, “It’s hard to miss something you never really had.” Also, like you, despite my leaving God, and questioning Him and sinning against Him, I know He has never and will never leave me or my children. Tears. Thank you for posting this.

    • Sean Durity says:

      Well, I think men need to be challenged to do the right thing and not the “easy” thing. You can’t fix it, guys? So what, stand up and deal with it. Show what staying power is. Now, there is certainly forgiveness available for those who have left. But I hurt for the moms and children left behind. May God turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children. (Malachi 4:6)

  3. successbmine says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sean. I agree with you. The coward’s way out when you can’t fix something is to run. It takes a lot of courage to stick it out when the situation is desperate and cannot be changed. And I doubt that the one who runs is any happier for it.

    I have not really wandered away from the Lord since I was saved, but I have gone through dry periods when I neglected prayer and reading His Word and felt as if He were a long way off. But, of course, He was right there, all the time. I no longer doubt His faithfulness, only, at times, my own. I do not doubt His presence even though I don’t always “feel” Him near. I know He is within my heart. When a person has that assurance, it’s not nearly so difficult to endure the hard places in our lives. His presence makes life worthwhile, and the difficulties draw us closer to Him and make us stronger in our faith.

  4. Peggi Tustan says:

    Sean, thanks for your powerful words that come from very personal experience. Yes, our Heavenly Father is a dad who will never, ever leave. (What an encouragement that is!) But, we NEED our earthly fathers as well. You made both those points powerfully. Go, Sean! You’re a good father. May God pour out his blessing on you, as you continue to father your children, esp. Gwendolyn. Love you blog name, also – clever play on words.

  5. patgarcia says:

    Hi Sean,
    I took the opportunity to read your post this morning during my Quiet Times with the LORD and it was a strengthening aid to what I am already reading by John Bevere, Relentless. I enjoyed your post and it built up my sometimes sagging faith muscles.
    Your testimony of staying by your family, your daughter, is a testimony to all men and women who seek to avoid the difficult times that come upon us.
    Thank you so much for a wonderful blog post and I look forward to the comings ones on this topic.

  6. […] is really my point from the other day, so I won’t belabor it. But a dad’s continuing presence leads to the next Godly […]

  7. Sean Durity says:

    Just had to add a sobering statistic here from Rising Above Ministries: over 80% of “dads” bail out of the marriage within 2 years of a special needs related diagnosis. Over 80%! Wimpy men out there, and evil.

  8. […] first blog is “A Dad Who Will Never, Ever Leave” and the second is “Becoming a Dad More Like […]

  9. Followed the links from Heart of a Mother’s Prayers. Great post, I’m going to send the link to my pastor husband! 🙂
    Blessings on your family!

  10. Sean Durity says:

    Here is a Dad I admire for staying with his family, even through difficulties: http://jeffdavidson.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/the-razor/

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