It’s one of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard. A father was to drop off his infant child at daycare on the way to work, but his mind was preoccupied and he forgot. Left alone in the car, the baby girl died from the excessive heat. The father will bear that painful memory the rest of his life.

While this dad inadvertently forgot his child, many other fathers are forgetting their children deliberately—abandoning them to pursue their own selfish desires. They forget their children when they engage in an extramarital affair. They forget their children while they indulge in pleasures, or become preoccupied with work, money, sports, or any number of distractions. As they do, their children are left without the guidance only a dad can give.

The importance of a father in a child’s life is monumental. He is to nurture his children by giving them instruction, protection, sustenance, companionship, assistance, love, discipline, and example.

A good father provides a wide-ranging supply of godly advice and wisdom as he guides his children (Prov. 3:1-12). But a father can’t do that if he ignores his children because he is busy with self-serving activities.

Dad, don’t forget your children. They need you.