Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Importance of Fathers

Being a father is important. The following information is from It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy (pages 14-15):

"The Results of Fatherlessness

The United States is the world's leader in fatherless homes. The results of our actions, according to the Father's Manifesto:

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
85% of youth in prison grew up in fatherless homes.
75% of all adolescent patients in drug treatment centers come from fatherless homes.

Children from Fatherless Homes Are:

5 times more likely to commit suicide.
32 times more likely to run away.
20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
14 times more likely to commit rape.
9 times more likely to drop out of school.
10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
20 times more likely to end up in prison."

As the apostle Paul wrote, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).



It's the fathers who leave who do the most damage. Fathers who die don't cause the same dysfunction, by and large.

The act of leaving voluntarily suggests to a child that love is impossible, and they adjust their outlook on the world accordingly.

When Jesus said he wanted the children to come to him, and that he didn't want anyone to hinder them, he had been telling his disciples not to divorce their wives. The "stumbling block" is not absence per se but loveless behaviour, rejection and abandonment.

Children have to discover a mental framework in which such behaviour makes sense, and since it doesn't, but they don't have other models to copy, they rationalise it in their adoption of self-destructive behaviours.

Guilt is another big thing that happens to kids whose parents have split up: by taking responsibility for the split, the young person can regain some control over what seems to be a fractured situation. If they are somehow "guilty" of it, then they feel that they can punish themselves, or somehow work towards the resolution of the situation. Many kids of divorced parents fantasize about their parents getting back together. It is not surprising that the things you highlight happen. Sad, but not surprising.

Mike said...

Having grown up without a father I completely agree with you. Just as well GOD is my father ;)

Terry said...

Thanks for the comments, Ed and Mike. Both of you made good points that needed to be added to my post.