Question of the week: How do I handle Fathers Day with kids who have absent, uninvolved fathers?





Father’s Day is upon us again. I’ve been watching all the Father’s Day ideas on Pinterest and Facebook pages that serve children’s ministers. I’ve also received a slew of emails from prominent children’s ministers and children’s organizations talking about honoring fathers on this up-and-coming Father’s Day.

I’m seeing some great ideas, and I’m glad to see churches reaching out to fathers. It is a much-needed quest to present fathers in an honorable way, especially in today’s society. We need to educate young children and teens about how the Lord expects us to honor our earthly fathers.

Many times, children from single-mom homes get left out on this very important day. It’s hard to teach little boys and girls to honor fathers when their fathers aren’t present, have deserted them, or have hurt them. So many church leaders shy away from including these children. But these are the very children we need to concentrate on when Father’s Day rolls around.

These children need examples of godly men who know how to love and care tenderly for children.

  • Boys need godly men they can imitate to help them know how to be a dad later in life.
  • Girls need godly men, so before they get married, they can be exposed to how godly men should treat women.
  • Children need godly men who can lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We shouldn’t shy away or ignore these kids. This is a very important day, and with thought, love, and prayer, these children can be included.


  • Approach various men in the church, and ask their permission to allow children to make them Father’s Day cards. Explain the reason behind the request. Ask the men to pray for any child who needs to make a card for a father.
  • You can create a special name for this father-type person, such as church father, sub daddy, or you-da-man-daddy. Get creative. Better yet, ask children for their suggestions of what they would like to call a kind man who would like to fill in as a father figure for them for the day.
  • Find “fill-in” grandfathers. This could be an older, grandfather-type person who needs some attention. Perhaps his kids and grandchildren live in another state.
  • Ask the door greeters at your church to be on the lookout for kids from single-mom homes on Father’s Day. Perhaps they could present these children with a special gift, such as a small Bible, devotional book, or a special pin they can wear to remind them there is a Heavenly Father who will never leave them or forsake them.
  • Ushers, teachers, and others who come into contact with kids from single-mom homes can be ready with a new, shiny pen and a Father’s Day note the kids can sign and send to their dad the old-fashioned way—via snail mail. Or encourage them to hand the note to their father the next time they see him.

The closest little kids can come to understanding a Heavenly Father is the relationship they have with their earthly fathers. When that earthly father isn’t present on a regular basis, then the church family needs to be there.

The Lord did this for my own children. He sent godly men into their lives. Some were close friends of their dad’s, and it meant a lot that they continued to be my children’s friends and stayed in contact with them after their father moved out.

Others offered advice, like the time my son was petrified to drive on ice, and one of the men in the church saw him standing in front of his car in the church parking lot. He went over and calmly gave my son instructions on how to drive on ice. Even though it was the same thing I had said, it meant more coming from a man. There’s also the band director who took a special interest in my daughter in middle school and encouraged her in band all through that year.

Kids in single-mom homes need “men with skin on.” They need men to reach out, talk to them, help them, mentor them, and befriend them.

Make this Father’s Day a memorial one for some little kid who needs to learn what it is to honor a father.

Be assured we haven’t forgotten the dads who stay connected and involved with their kids. Single fathers who have custody of their children deserve our support and encouragement. We applaud all of our single dads who play major roles in their children’s lives.  



This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on June 15, 2015.

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11 thoughts on “Question of the week: How do I handle Fathers Day with kids who have absent, uninvolved fathers?

  1. I was raised by a single mom and when other kids made their dads a card I would make one for my mom telling her Happy Father’s day to the best dad a girl could have my mom. Maybe something like that could help other kids. I know it made my mom feel good that I knew how hard her job was being both mom and dad.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal experience with us Nancy. Sounds like you learned how to honor a parent and that is what is important.

  2. I have found a willing sole now but before i had My father and grandfather would step up and help me with my son and still do from time to time when my current partner does not feel comfortable bringing up a topic or does not know enough on how to help him because it is out of his knowledge. I have also had many of the older men in the church help my son as well as my daughter. It takes a village to raise a child is one phrase i was told when i was little and my father was stationed out of the US it does even today take a few close knit people or a community to raise a child

    • I too believe it takes a village to raise a child especially in a single parent home and that village is the church. Thank you for sharing.

  3. What if your church has abandoned and / or ignored you since one has been in divorce process for past couple years?

    • I’m sorry Buday that has happened to you. It is difficult to exist in that environment. I know because it happened to me after my divorce. I just kept going to the Lord asking for His direction. Eventually the Lord lead me to a different church where I could grow spiritually and heal. One thing I tell people over and over is “They don’t know what they don’t know.” In other words many church leaders simply don’t understand the hurt, pain and grieving that goes along with a divorce. I suggest you find a church that hosts DivorceCare ( You don’t have to be a member to attend most DivorceCare groups. You will find acceptance in that group.

  4. Pingback: How Do You Handle Father’s Day For The Kid Without A Dad? | Brian's Blog

  5. I have my daughter make things for her papa and she feels very special being able to do so as he is the only fatherly type in her life. Works for us. Great ideas from many!!

  6. Pingback: DC4K » Practical tips to honor noncustodial dads on Father’s Day

  7. Pingback: How Do You Handle Father's Day For The Kid Without A Dad? - Highvoltage Kids

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