There’s an old saying that is quite funny to me:
If your mother never had any children, chances are that you won’t have any either.
What I want to visit with you about today, however has little to do with mothers. In fact, there is a common misconception about mothers that I hope you will see through this article. The mother is not the largest influencer of the outcome of a child’s rearing.
I know – it sounds heretical. But, before you throw me out with the bathwater, please hear me out.
Apparently, back in the 60’s (I wasn’t there, so this is from research), there was a law put in place that allowed welfare to families where the mom was present, but if the dad was in the house there was no money to be had. The reasoning was that the dad was to be the bread-winner so they shouldn’t need welfare if there was a husband/dad present in the home. In a natural reaction to this legislation, the number of households without a father figure present skyrocketed.The number of fatherless homes went from 5 million to 16.5 million from 1960 to 1995.
In our society today, culture portrays the dad as some oaf who contributes little or nothing to a home. He bring in money, but contributes little else. The rise of the feminism movement has furthered the growth of this fatherless generation.
As I look around today, I see many fatherless homes, but not all of those have a father who is off-premises. I see families all the time where the father comes home from work and stays in the garage or shop or fishes or hunts then comes to bed. In the meantime, the children see little or no time with their dad. In churches nationwide, the trend continues. Fathers all over are attending on Sunday morning, but they won’t join the ranks of church leadership nor do they lead their family’s faith at home.
Do a Google search on the role of fathers in the development of their children, and you will find that fathers are responsible for the way children develop socially. When fathers are absent, drug use, violence, and teen promiscuity and pregnancy are prolific. Children with some social awkwardness or violent tendency have had some hurt caused by their father – whether real or perceived – in their past. Even homosexual tendencies can often find root causes in father-child relationships.
This solution to this problem is vital to the survival of the future of civilization as we know it. As the fathers have disappeared – either physically or emotionally – the rate of every social illness has climbed.
The father is the primary influencer of the future success or failure of a child’s development into adulthood.
Moms have influence too, but it is the dad who is missing, and it is the dad who is crucial.
If the social evils in our society increase as the dads are absent, then what can be said about the future of our churches if our dads are spiritually absent?
Dads, if you are not leading your home in matters of spirituality, then your kids won’t imitate you…they’ll likely go beyond your level of apathy. It’s already happening. Children whose dads make their relationship with God as the primary focus of their life, and show this focus by their activities daily, have a very low drop-out rate in churches nationwide. Children whose dads are Christian in name only quickly cease to be Christians at all.
The statistics are scary. Roughly two-thirds of kids in church today will leave when they reach college. Maybe even more. And all this can be traced to the influence of the father in the home.
So, if you’re a dad, then you have work to do to save your kids – and our society as a whole. If your kids have grown up, or if you’re single, then there are millions of single moms out there that need a man to mentor their kids. A dad doesn’t have to be a blood-father. A concerned man who takes a kid under his wing can be just as effective.
Let’s save our kids. Lets’s save our churches. And let’s save our future generations to come by changing the way dads function in society. An old tv commercial once said “Anyone can be a father, but it takes a man to be a dad.”
May you be blessed as you seek God’s guidance to change the present pattern of male absence in our families today, and may we see rapid growth in God’s Kingdom because of it. As always, if there is anything I can do for you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the church office at 245-1611.