Trey Reed: A Father to the Fatherless

Posted by in Faith | September 17, 2012

Today I reflected on not having a father my entire life.  This train of thought was partially false and partially true. The part that is true is that my father, John Dewey Reed II was taken from this Earth on May 9, 1991 and i was born May 27, 1991. All I ever knew of my father were stories that I treasure to this day more than anything else in this world. So literally, the man I am named after, resemble and come from, was never there for me by no choice of his own (though if it was his choice, I know he would be sitting next to me, swapping stories and that my life would be very different).

The false part of my train of thought earlier today was that I did have a surrogate father. As cliche as this may sound, God has been my father my entire life. When a man marries a woman and starts a family, his number one priority is to provide for and care for that family. His number one priority is to work as hard as he can to make a better life for those he loves. In my father’s absence, God has done this. My heavenly father has provided for me and my mother in some of the toughest of times. Even when it seemed like we were going to sink, God was working behind the scenes to keep us afloat. Amazingly enough, God directly and indirectly molded me into the man I am today.

Growing up without a father had its many gloomy moments, and when I look at the statistics, I see that I had the odds stacked against. I was 9 times more likely to drop out of high school than normal boys that didn’t come from broken homes; 32 times more likely to end up homeless, on the streets; 10 times more likely to end up addicted to a chemical substance and 20 times more likely to end up in prison… The statistics continue and they only get more depressing.

When I see things like this, and how many in my situation end up, I can only ask “why?” And the reason that boys like me tend to end up the way they do is because a father was never there to show them what being a man is all about. I think it is revealing to all of us just how important the family unit is, and that when it is distorted, broken, or highly dysfunctional, it has long lasting consequences. I can only see it as the work of God that I am where I am today, headed to South Korea, opening a new chapter in my adventure with Jesus.

All of this presses on me the solid truth that God is a father to the fatherless, and at the same time it opens my eyes to the reality that men are too often abandoning their duty as a father when they are given every opportunity to be the men that every young boy needs. My dad and many like him didn’t have a choice as to whether they would be there for their children or not. When I see fathers today running as far away from their responsibility as possible, it saddens me like few things are capable of doing. I encourage men from my generation to be real fathers to your own children and also to the fatherless kids like me when the time comes. God used a handful of men throughout my 21 years of existence to show me the love that only a father could show and to paint me a picture of what a man truly is. Gentlemen, we are on deck, so  when it comes time to step up, let’s make a difference and let’s change the cycle of boys growing up without knowing what it is to be a man. Lets do the work God has called us to do!

– Trey Reed

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