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I Wish My Dad Cared


“I wish my dad cared . . .”

The presence and involvement of a father is unlike anything else in the universe. That’s because dads mimic what our heavenly Father does for us, His children — He protects, shelters, comforts and loves. As dads our presence and words hold great power in the lives of our teens.

I saw that power at work the day I went with my daughter into a very hip, fashionable store for teens. She wanted to buy a shirt. It wasn’t my kind of shop, but I wanted to show I cared about her so I went where she wanted to go.

As I entered the store, however, I stopped. Adorning the walls were pictures of half-naked young women (probably not much older than my daughter) lying on top of equally undressed young men.

After my daughter picked the shirt she wanted, we took it to the counter to pay. A young man and young woman were waiting to handle the sale. They were probably around 19 years old. As the young man rang up our purchase, I informed him that I was offended by the displays on the walls.

“Please pass my comments on to the manager,” I insisted.

Of course, I didn’t stop there, even though my daughter, embarrassed by my approach, was turning red.

“How do you feel about working in this environment, particularly working alongside a young lady?” I asked him. He sheepishly looked down, not knowing how to respond, I suppose.

Then I asked the young lady, “How do you feel about all this? Are you offended, even a little? Does this promote the wholesome way in which you’d like to be perceived by the young man working alongside you?”

At that point, my daughter blurted out loud, “Dad, they don’t care!”

As if on cue, the young man said, “I wish my father cared as much.”

That was his exact quote. I’ll never forget it.

I wish my father cared as much. Those words resonated in my heart. I suspect that rarely did this young man see evidence of a father standing up for what he believed would protect his child.

Love them enough to speak truth

I know I embarrassed my daughter that day at the mall. But just as my father had done for me, I loved my child too much not to check things out and speak truth into situations. And later as she processed what happened, she told me how grateful she was to have a father who cared enough to be there and say something.

In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, Moses commanded fathers: “Lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

It’s not enough to bring children into the world and care for their physical and emotional needs. There is a spiritual need all children have that must be addressed, and God asks us as fathers to meet that need.

All fathers are teachers. Some are absent. Some are reluctant. But children will learn something from us. A father teaches through his actions, his love and his communication about character and truth in everyday experiences. The question is what do we want them to learn? A dad’s presence and words are as important to teens today as they were in earlier times.

Every experience is an opportunity to teach. Being there is half the battle as a father — being someone who exhibits strength, not measured by how much you can lift, but by how much you can share.

Our children are watching and listening to see how we will act and what we’ll say. May they hear others say about us, “I wish my father cared as much.”

Joe Battaglia is executive producer of the nationally syndicated radio program “Keep the Faith” and coauthor of That’s My Dad!
Copyright © 2018 by Joe Battaglia.
No copyright infringement intended.


  1. Avatar for trylife


    LOVE THIS: “All fathers are teachers. Some are absent. Some are reluctant. But children will learn something from us.” Most people don’t seem to think about it so much any more. But Dads (& Moms) teach their children every day in how they act & react, do & won’t do – basically how they spend their time. My Dad was a very hard worker who made sure his family was taken care of. He always made it known that faith & family are priority. Having 10 kids in his own family growing up, gave lot’s of opportunity to show dedication to family. Mom was an avid reader and education was a priority. These things shaped each of us (my siblings & I) and who we became.
    FATHERS – never underestimate your importance to your children and their future!!
    Happy Father’s Day!

  2. Avatar for trylife

    Rose M

    My heart breaks for sons and daughter that grow up without a strong influence of a father in their lives. Just the presence of a man in the house should bring a sense of safety and security. There is a reason that our loving Father used both a man and a woman to create a family. Without both, there is a void.

  3. Avatar for trylife


    I pray that men who are dads will find the Lord’s will for their lives and be there as a Godly Dad for their kids. Kids need to be protected by a man to feel secure and to be happy. God’s design for families is so beautiful.

  4. Avatar for trylife


    It is so good to see more men being good fathers, and a role model for their children. Dad’s are very important in our homes and families. I pray for a stronger bond in our families. So I wish all the father’s a Happy Father’s Day.

  5. Avatar for trylife


    I am proud of my husband. He had 3 children of his own, yet he took on my two children to raise. We are now raising a grandchild. He is a father to all, even though he did not have to be.

  6. Avatar for trylife


    I pray that all dads realize how important their job is and know that Jesus smiles when they give it their best! Happy Father’s Day!

  7. Avatar for trylife


    Too many parents are concerned about being their children’s friends. GOD gave our children to us to bring up in the respectful attitude of our Heavenly Father. Only then can they be successful both in a temporal and eternal way. Give your children the gift of eternal blessing by pointing them in the right direction…you also will be blessed eternally!!!

  8. Avatar for trylife


    Men are the priest of their family…I pray they surrender their lives to Jesus, follow scripture, pray and bless their family daily.

  9. Avatar for trylife


    Horary for the dads who are stepping up to the plate for their children, especially their daughters. A father’s time, attention, love, and teachings can really influence a young girl in the relationships that she chooses. For dads that feel like they aren’t doing enough, it’s never too late!!

  10. Avatar for trylife


    It is good to see more men doing and spending time with their children. Fathers are very important in children’s lives. I see more fathers praying with their children and going to church. God bless all these men and fathers.

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