My Daddy is Only a Picture

Ahh June, the month we celebrate father’s day. I started thinking about what it means to be a dad and I realized that most of the foster placements we’ve had over the years had one thing in common; they grew up in a home without a father.

Dad and son by the water

I don’t know what the percentage of kids in care come from fatherless homes but I did find some shocking statistics about kids without dads present and active in their lives.

  • 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. SOURCE: U.S. Dept of Health
  • 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes. SOURCE: Center for Disease Control
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. SOURCE: National Principals Association Report
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. SOURCE: Rainbow’s for all God’s Children
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Justice

The key here is that it’s not just about presence but it’s about relationship as well. Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in two-parent households with a poor relationship with their father were 68% more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs compared to teens in two-parent households.

Without two parents, working together as a team, the child has more difficulty learning the combination of empathy, reciprocity, fairness and self-command that people ordinarily take for granted. If the child does not learn this at home, society will have to manage his behavior in some other way. He may have to be rehabilitated, incarcerated, or otherwise restrained. In this case, prisons will substitute for parents. – Jennifer Roback Morse (Parents or Prisons)

When we allow prisons to substitute for parents we are in deep trouble. To be crystal clear I’m not down on single moms. I think being a single mom might be the hardest job in the world. I am however saddened to know that so many men have walked away from their responsibility to their families.

What do I want for father’s day this year? I only have two requests; Men step up. Ladies pray for us.

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows this is God, whose dwelling is holy. – Psalm 68:5 (NLT)

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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