I heard stories all day long about how his mother tried to get help for his mental illness and, to no avail, kept hitting road blocks that might have led to success. I can see, as I often do in my profession as a parole and probation supervisor, how this single mother’s desperation grew, along with her fear for her own, her family and others safety. It must have been paralyzing for her and good intentions never amount to much in these situations.
These factors, coupled with what many believe was Asperger’s Syndrome and its associated difficulties must have been unbearable. We will never know the kind of conversations that might have taken place in the deceased mother’s home or in any other context but it must have been frightful that morning.
The questions I keep coming back to are these:
- Where was the father in all this?
- What input did he have in his son’s upbringing?
- Did he abandon his family?
So far, I have heard no one in the saturation of media coverage ask. As a Christian and father to an 18 year old son, husband to a wonderfully loving and intelligent wife, these questions are critical to me.
Like many children with social difficulties, Adam was bullied for his differences. Behavior and appearance that didn’t fit in with the others. All too common and accepted, albeit politicized, by school systems and the media.
If Dad was not involved in his children’s upbringing when he had the option–indeed the obligation– to be, God has something to say about that. The obligations of fatherhood never end just because the marriage does. Who but a loving, nurturing Father, would have the level of wisdom necessary for all human fathers? What God said was this:
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8
In the apostle Paul’s time, this meant fathers, especially of boys, because household authority went through the men from one generation to the next. Fathers have the unique responsibility for passing on the faith to their children. It is easy to see that this not only didn’t happen in this case, but rarely happens at all anymore.
I love my wife and son passionately but I often fall short. If there is no faith in the household, what defense did the mother have? I know that the father is alive and his life is in turmoil too, like the parents of those little children at Sandy Hook. Prayers must go to him for strength in this, also.
As hopeless as this scenario might seem, I want to encourage you, dear reader, to reach out to those you know who are suffering as single parents. Reach out in faith for yourselves, for them, and for their children.
Here is where you will find God, and His Son Jesus, in the horror. He didn’t come into the world to save us from physical death. He came to bring us to eternal life. Here is where hope is. Seek it and you will find it.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6