Visiting Fathers

This is a must-read post from Joe Carter on the subject of visiting fathers. Dads, if you are thinking of leaving your family or even in the midst of divorce proceedings, you need to stop and read this article. Thank you, Joe, for sharing honestly from your experience and from your heart.

Here is a clip from the post, but I encourage you to visit Joe’s site and read the whole thing.

Over the past twelve years I’ve learned being a part-time dad is not enough. Our children always need more.

That is why I want to address a specific, narrow audience with the rest of this post. I want to address those fathers who are on the verge of leaving their families.

I want to start with a basic premise: When your first child is born, your life stops being about what you want and starts being about what they need. If you disagree, then you can stop reading now. The rest of what I say will only make sense to those who understand that this is the foundation of fatherhood . . . [Your children] need you at home. If you’re a man and aspire to being a dad, that is all you need to know . . .

I couldn’t ask for a more thoughtful, accommodating woman to be my former spouse. But as hard as we work to make it easier on our daughter, everything we can do is not enough. At the end of the day, my child lives in a house where one of her parents is missing. Divorce doesn’t just end a marriage, it ends a family.


  1. Barrie says:

    Pastor Ray,

    This was an excellent article and I think Joe Carter hit the nail on the head. I can tell you from first hand experience, I don’t care how hard you try, you cannot be the good dad that all children deserve if you are not there 24/7. I went thru it with my son and know the personal pain that was caused to both of us. I hope that any father that is contemplating a divorce would read this article and give the situation much thought and PRAYER before they take that tragic step.


  2. Sia says:

    My one, lonely opposing comment on this would be (and I’m a girl btw)….
    Children can sense when a marriage is in distress, even before the screaming and yelling and/or silent dinners come into effect. While it is not favorable to grow up in a one parent household, I feel it is a form of abuse to attempt to raise children in an environment of hostility and bitterness. So, yes, stay if you can find a way to stay, but stay and be 100% devoted to making the marriage work, even if it is for the sake of the children. DO NOT STAY if you are embittered and you are completely unable to love and respect your wife to the degree that your children never have to question your devotion to the marriage. Children are little people and they can spot a fake marriage a mile away. What message does it send a little boy or girl if you disrespect the Mother they have all their trust wrapped around? In the end, do the right thing for EVERYONE, not just you, and not just your kids. It’s all intertwined and you have to do what will be in the best interest of everyone long term…not short term.
    Thanks for reading this and letting me provide a view other than that expressed.

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Sia – Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I think we both agree it is best when Moms and Dads can work things out and provide a stable and secure home for their children.

Leave a Reply