No daddy to run to and say “I hurt myself today,” or even, “I got in a fight today, but I won!”

What happens to that same little boy when his mother remarries, but tells him, “Never disturb your step-father; he is too busy for you?”

For me, these realities set in motion a selfish pattern of life. I tried to hide my longing to be noticed and loved, but at the same time I tried to fulfill it. As I grew up I became domineering, using power over others to rise toward professional success.

When I met an attractive young woman, I quickly decided to marry her (no time to waste!). I needed to move on in my quest for success. Finally, I reached the top position in a company employing 3000 workers. Finally, my step-father was proud of me. I was the boss.

Meanwhile, my job was pulling me away from time with my family. I saw them less and less. My children were missing their father…just as I had missed mine. Would history repeat itself?

One day the security guard at work paged me with some shocking news. My two children were in his office crying, terrified about something. I went down and hugged them, asking what could be wrong. They told me that they had read a book that clearly said their sins were keeping them from God. They knew they were going to hell.

The first thing I did was to find that children’s book and throw it out. I told them they were too young to have done anything that bad. I was sure of it.

But I began thinking about myself, and what I had done. What about my sins? I started to read the Bible for answers, and though I thought I was alone as I read, Someone else was there. I read in John 1:12, “to all who receive Him, He gives the right to become children of God.” A few weeks later, I received Him as my Savior, my Lord, and my heavenly, perfect Father.

My own ambitions and advancement lost their appeal. I left my corporate position, began to work for the Lord, and took a cut in salary (quite confusing to my stepfather). I began to make more time for my wife and children.

No longer am I a fatherless child. Nor am I a ruthless social climber. I am a loved child in God’s family, and I love Him back.