Encouragement for Children Experiencing Fatherless Pain

God intentionally designed families to include both a mother and a father. Ideally, when the family is formed within the bounds of a marriage covenant, children are molded, and their character is shaped by the influence of two parents, a man and a woman. Mom and Dad each offer important guidance unique to their gender and specific role in the family. Mothers provide nurturing and comfort, while fathers give strength, security, and protection. The husband and wife make a beautiful team that balances one another.

Sadly, many children grow up without the gift of two parents, with orphans experiencing a level of suffering beyond imagination. Growing up without an active earthly dad is experienced for a number of reasons beyond loss by death. Divorce often limits consistent contact and interaction with the dad, and abandonment by desertion ranks as the most painful of all. 

Surprisingly, children whose loss is experienced by a dad who is in the home but disengaged from the family will also cause a child to feel rejected. The response of adopted children to the loss of a biological father is varied. Some adopted adults wrestle with the why behind their biological parents giving them up, while many share their trust in the sovereignty of God, accepting their story as a beautiful picture of God’s adoption of fallen mankind. 

Encouragement for the 6 types of father loss: 

  1. Death: “He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth” (Isaiah 25:8, NASB).
  2. Divorce: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, CSB).
  3. Desertion: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10, NLT).
  4. Disengaged: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).
  5. Orphans: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
  6. Adoption: “But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, ESV).


The lives of children who experience the loss of an earthly dad, irrespective of the reason, are impacted for years, if not forever. Yet, even though the scar will remain, healing is available. It is crucial that forgiveness is given so that the enemy doesn’t have an open door to bring about further destruction. 

God offers an important promise for every fatherless child to hold onto, “A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, ​​is God in His holy habitation. ​​God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Psalm 68:5-6, NKJV).