24 Absent Father Quotes for Reflection and Encouragement

Having an absent father is one of the toughest challenges anyone can face in life. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who have a loving mother or family members to support you.

However, even then, filling the void of a father who is absent for whatever reason is not a task that’s easily done. In fact, it can leave you with an emptiness in your heart that cannot be filled. 

Below are some of the most thought-provoking absent father quotes that may be just the encouragement you need if you’re about to step into the world of fatherhood. 

1. “It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” – Kent Nerburn

Being a father is more than simply being part of the procreation process. It’s about being there for your child during the good and bad times.

It’s also about providing a haven where your children can grow and develop without fear of danger, hunger, or loneliness. 

2. “Fathers, you are the head and strength of the family unit. If you are not in place, there is a weakness in the link.” – Anita R. Sneed-Carter

If a father is absent, his guidance and protection are missing, thus placing the family in a vulnerable position. As a result, your children will lack a role model to look up to. 

3. “What a child doesn’t receive, he can seldom later give.” – P.D. James

If a child doesn’t receive love, protection, or guidance from their father, they won’t know how to provide this for their own children in the future. 

4. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

Focusing on the negative aspects of having an absent father can cause you to see everything in a negative light.

However, if you try to understand the reasons why they are missing from your life, you can focus on forgiving, healing, and moving forward.

Just because your father was absent doesn’t mean you have to be too! 

5. “Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.” – David Bly

Children are masters of mimicry; in other words, they will emulate and become what they see in their fathers.

For example, if their fathers are fearful, abusive, absent, or unsupportive, they will likely be these things too.

However, if their fathers are strong, supportive, kind, and present in their children’s lives, they will embrace these positive aspects and be wonderful parents to their kids. 

6. “Any fool can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy!” – Philip Whitmore

Making a baby is easy; it’s what gets your name on the birth certificate. However, being a daddy takes a lot more effort.

It’s about toughing it out when the proverbial chips are down, being there when your kid is sick or struggling, tying shoelaces caked in mud, helping with homework, drying tears, and spending time with them. 

A father hugging his two boys dressed in baseball gear.

7. “Fathers, take note! Children will always remember the man who treated them with love and affection! Don’t be an absent father!” – Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar 

If you are never around, your child will look to the next best person in their lives who provides them with the love and affection they need.

If you are absent, you risk losing your child’s love to someone else! 

8. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass 

Once a child reaches adulthood, the negative things they have learned or experienced in childhood are imprinted forever, negatively impacting how they lead their lives.

However, children with a positive father figure in their lives develop into strong, resilient adults. 

9. “It is a wise father that knows his own child.” – William Shakespeare 

Shakespeare was trying to illustrate that a father should know his child’s paternity. In other words, he should know that the child is legitimately his.

However, besides paternity, it’s also imperative that fathers get to know their children as individuals. That way, they will discover how to parent their children positively and effectively. 

10. “To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” – Barbara Johnson

If you want your children to remember you long after they have grown up and you have passed on, you have to be actively involved in their lives today. 

11. “Respect to all moms doing double duty because of men failing to do their part as dad.” – John Mark Green

When a father is absent, mothers must do the work of two parents; in other words, they must be both Dad and Mom to their kids. 

12. “Fathers have a unique and irreplaceable role in the lives of children.” – George W. Bush

Fathers are special; their input into their children’s lives is bespoke because they are connected to them by flesh, blood, culture, and experience.

Their role is to teach and guide their children to develop into well-rounded adults. 

A father reading a book to his two young children in bed.

13. “When your father is absent, you have to believe in yourself.” – Unknown 

Without a father figure to look up to, children must look to themselves for encouragement and motivation. 

14. “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection” – Sigmund Freud

Children are, by nature, innocent and vulnerable, requiring the protection of their fathers to keep them safe from harm. 

15. “Every dad is the family role model, whether he wants the job or not.” – Dennis Rainey

Naturally, children look for a leader, someone to follow and emulate.

Often in families, it’s the dad that children look to for leadership and guidance, regardless of whether he feels he’s the best role model.

Furthermore, if a father is a poor role model, he runs the risk of his children following his example. 

16. “Your children need your presence more than your presents.” – Jesse Jackson

Children need you to be more actively involved in their day-to-day lives than they need you to spend money spoiling them with gifts.

17. “If your children are important to you, you will always find a way. If not, you’ll always find an excuse.” – Unknown 

If you prioritize your child’s happiness and well-being, you will do anything in your power to protect and nurture them.

However, if the opposite is true, you will find excuses to validate why you make no effort and constantly let them down. 

18. “Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.” – Geoffrey Canada

Without a male role model in their lives, boys with absent fathers struggle to understand what it actually means to be a man.

Unfortunately, this may mean they resort to negative or dangerous behaviors as they try to figure it out themselves. 

A sad young boy looking lost set against a blurred background.

19. “A real man takes care of his kids no matter what the relationship is with the mother of his child.” – Unknown

It’s easy to use the excuse of a poor relationship with the child’s mother as the reason fathers aren’t involved in their lives.

However, a real man, one who is honorable and trustworthy, doesn’t let these issues get in the way of finding a way to care for his kids.

Instead, he puts aside his personal feelings and focuses on the important issue of raising his child. 

20. “Don’t forgive him. Forgive yourself for believing there is something lacking in you because he wasn’t there.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Often children blame themselves for an absent father, believing that the reason for their father’s absence relates to them when in reality, the fault isn’t theirs. 

21. “An absent father is like a ghost that lives in the back of your mind.” – Anonymous

No matter how much a child might try to forget about their father, the absent dad is always in their thoughts. 

22. “A father may turn his back on his child, but a mother’s love endures through all.” – Washington Irving

Mothers grow, birth, and nurture their children; their primary focus is the happiness and well-being of their children, even if their fathers decide to abandon them.

They don’t give up and walk away. Instead, they’re in it for the long haul. 

23. “If she could put the hollow ache that haunts her into words, she would tell him ‘I miss the father you never were.’” – John Mark Green

Every child yearns to know their absent father; it’s intrinsically woven into their DNA.

However, even though they are aware of the gap an absent father has created in their lives, sometimes it’s too difficult to put into words or explain the pain they feel. 

24. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

No father is perfect; they’re just human. There will be things in life they can’t change and things they can; it’s about learning to identify which is which and taking action.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re new to fatherhood or the child of an absent father, the one thing that remains unequivocally evident is that a father’s presence is required in a child’s life.

In fact, fathers are integral in nurturing strong children into balanced, well-grounded role models for future generations.