Title: The Effects of Fatherlessness
The effects of fatherlessness
Most of you are aware that I grew up in a home with a single mother. I didn’t really notice because divorce and single parenting was pretty common where I grew up. I only noticed it when I moved from Warren to Utica. It was then that I began to realize that I was different.
It was kind of a culture shock because almost everyone I knew in my new neighborhood had a mom and a dad that lived with them.
For the first time, I really became aware that something was missing and recognized that family life was supposed to be different.
The statistics on fatherlessness are clear. Children who have fathers that are actively engaged in their lives have; less emotional and behavioral differences, more satisfactory adult marital relationships, and have less psychological distress in adult life. They are less likely to use drugs, commit crimes, be in jail, drop out of school, or have a child out of wedlock.
The extent of fatherless homes in the United Sates has continued to rise for many decades now. According to the latest US Census, 22% of children live without their father in the home. It has become increasingly more common for children to grow up without a dad. This has some major implications to our society.
Here are some sobering facts about children from fatherless homes:
- Children from fatherless homes are 4X more likely to be raised in poverty
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes
- 71% of all adolescent substance abusers come from fatherless homes
- Children from fatherless homes are 10X more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
- Children from fatherless homes are 9X more likely to drop out of school
- Children from fatherless homes are more likely to score lower than the norm in reading and math
- Children from fatherless homes are 11X more likely to show violent behavior
- Children from fatherless homes are 20X more likely to go to jail
- 70% of adolescents in juvenile correctional facilities are from fatherless homes
- 60% of rapists were raised in fatherless homes
- Children from fatherless homes are 9X more likely to be raped or sexually abused
- 70% of teen pregnancies happen in fatherless homes
I don’t know about you, but those statistics scare me.
It doesn’t take much to conclude that’s dads play a significant role in raising a child. A dad brings something special and unique into a family and a home. It has always been God’s intention for a mom and a dad to raise a family. It was God’s intention for moms and dads to each have a suitable helper alongside them to raise children. Can it be done by a single mom or a single dad? Of course, it can, but that is not what God intended. Anytime we do things outside the way God intended, we cannot be surprised when the outcomes are different from what were intended.
What does this mean if I am a dad and my kids live with their mom? Just because you’re in this position, it doesn’t mean to give up. It means to make sure that you are spending quality time with your children every chance that you get. It means going to sporting events and school concerts even when it’s uncomfortable. It means being involved in your children’s lives.
Why does any of this matter because I am a dad and I live with my kids? It matters because being present isn’t enough. You need to be involved in their lives. The stats of children with uninvolved dads trend similarly as ones without dads in the home.
I don’t even have kids, why should I care? You should care because if you are planning to have kids, you can gear up for the job God may give you, so you can live up to what God expects. If you don’t want kids, it is important to note that you can make a difference by helping our children who do not have fathers in their lives. You can be a mentor and someone who can stand in the gap for those kids that are craving a father figure in their lives.
Carey Casey is the CEO of Championship fathering. He works as a chaplain for the NFL where he works with many professional football players that come from fatherless homes. He says that many of them would gladly give up all of the fame and fortune to walk out of the locker room, look up in the stands, and see their dad in the crowd cheering them on.
Being a dad is extremely important. Being a dad is a huge responsibility. You have the choice whether or not to accept that responsibility and be the dad that God (and your child) wants you to be.
The next two months, we will discuss the importance of motherhood.
Your partner in ministry,
Family Life Pastor