Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

“You are not a man because you can make a baby. You are a man when you can raise a baby! It is time to man up and defend your child” 

Creative Commons CC0.
Creative Commons CC0.

As soon as Rhys heard the front door open, he jumped up and began shouting for joy, “Mom Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home!”. His heartbeat racing and his brown eyes shining excitedly, anticipating playtime with Daddy. A wide grin spread across Rhys’s face as Daddy acted like a big bear. Daddy quickly dropping down onto one knee so that he’d be at his son’s height to horse around the living room. Sadly this scene is becoming a rear sight to see.

Today let’s talk about the invisible dads, the ones who don’t marry Mummy, don’t support their kids and don’t hang around for the hugs, kisses and nappy changes. There are millions of them around the world, and their numbers are growing.

“Today, more than one in four births is to an unmarried mother, and more than one in 10 births is to a teenager. These numbers portend a future of fragile families. Once considered primarily a racial problem, fatherless homes have increased across a wide range of demographics over the last ten years.”

How have we come to the point where a child with two parents is the exception rather than the norm? It is time that we put the issue of fatherless families front and center on our national agenda.

So who’s the real problem here? And why should we care?

It is time to shift our attention to the issue of male responsibility, and to the indispensable role that fathers play in our society.

Firstly, it would be an oversimplification to assume that two parents are always better than one as there are many courageous and loving single moms and daddy’s who are able to balance the competing demands on their time and attention, to care and provide for their children alone.

However, contrary to the sentiments of our culture and though our society is only beginning to recognize it, the presence of fathers within the home is vital to the moral integrity of a society. The short-term effects are already far too evident as statistics reveal that the loss of fathers is reverberating throughout the world in the form of social pathologies ranging from teen pregnancy to drug abuse.

Fatherless children are five times more likely to be poor and twice as likely to drop out of school as children who live with both parents.

Boys, without proper male role models, look to other sources for the male bonding they need. In the inner cities that often entails gangs while in the suburbs it tends to be online.

“According to the latest statistics, the increase in the proportion of single-parent families accounted for about half of the overall increase in child poverty from 1979 through to 1987.”

The Scriptures warn us about the power of fatherhood, as well as the long-lasting impact that fatherhood has on us all. Exodus 20:4-6.” Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” could be both about habits/behavior and also looks. Have you ever thought about that? Do you often find yourself reacting to a situation the way your father did? or scarier yet…do you ever see your mannerisms in your son? The footprint of a father leaves a permanent mark on the soul of a child.

Fatherhood is under assault

We hear a lot about the war on women…but it is the war on Dads that is causing the greatest damage in the world today. It’s not hard to find. If you watch any popular sitcom on television today, you’ll likely notice that fathers are typically portrayed as childish, irresponsible, lazy, incompetent and stupid.

The doofus dad stereotype isn’t new. There’s Fred Flinstone, and even Charlie Brown’s monotone parents. But according to Tierny, the consistency of these new portrayals has slowly created a new norm opposed to what being a father used to mean.

Dads make a difference. Dads can be heroes – if only we give them the chance. We remain optimistic that family still has more influence than media.

We all need another hero

Fathers are representatives of God on earth; as our heavenly father is the giver of life so also are the earthly father’s givers of life. Malachi 4:6 says “And he will turn, the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

God understands the importance of a father’s love and cares towards their children and He has set the standard by being the first example of a loving father.

“The SARRI report quotes research which found that “the presence of a father can contribute to cognitive development, intellectual functioning, and school achievement. Children growing up without fathers are more likely to experience emotional disturbances and depression.”

“Girls who grow up with their fathers are more likely to have higher self-esteem, lower levels of risky sexual behaviour, and fewer difficulties in forming and maintaining romantic relationships later in life. They have less likelihood of having an early pregnancy, bearing children outside marriage, marrying early, or getting divorced.”

A father’s touch

The first thing, therefore, that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Another part of a father’s task is that of a protector for his family. But, Daddy also has another task in the home, which is to combine tenderness with strength, and to model the combination so consistently that the children regard the combination as natural.

Our kids must come to know naturally both that dad’s standards protect them, and that his love makes them strong.

Where have all the fathers gone?

Our courts do not value fatherhood as much as motherhood. In 2015 it is still the case that mothers and fathers do not have equal rights

And herein lies the problem. Our expectation of the role a separated father should play in his children’s lives is so low, that when half of dads who win “access” to their kids can’t even sleep under the same roof as their offspring, academics declare this to be an overwhelming success. One of the fruits of the feminist movement many claim is the idea that a woman is more responsible as a parent than the father is.

“He is not my Dad…he is just someone you sleep with!” How many mothers have felt the sting of those words? That is why God hates divorce. We should too.

Our culture has put asunder things which God has joined together—things such as tenderness and strength. It is the job of the father to put them back together again.

Fatherhood, like Motherhood has is its own rewards – as most dads have found. Sadly, for the others, the invisible ones, it is a gift foolishly squandered.

Written by GODINTEREST - Christian digital media website exploring faith, culture and life

GODINTEREST is a digital media website for Christians to express their ideas and share their work on their own terms through writing, conversation, and other media.

19 Comments

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  1. The Systemic War Against Fathers

    Most Western family law courts and systems are greatly skewed against fathers. There is an inbuilt bias against dads, and many are turned into criminals for having done nothing wrong. The facts on this are quite clear. Consider which parent is awarded custody of children after divorce: women are, some 85 per cent of the time in many Western countries.

    This is not because the dads do not want the kids, but because the family law courts and tribunals invariably side with the mothers here, even if the dad may not be at fault. Indeed, the majority of divorces are initiated by women. And feminism and political correctness have ensured that women will usually get the benefit of the doubt, while men are looked upon as the villain.

  2. Excellent article. I feel that due to many factors, men find it far too easy to just abdicate responsibility and go into cruise control. I’m 34, and my experience in school and from media and society is that we are not held to any standard; in fact, men are targeted by these institutions and beaten into submission. Don’t be strong. Don’t take command. Don’t pursue your goals. Dont voice your opinion. You’re too masculine. You’re a rapist, etc.
    The financial system has wrecked the money supply to a point that 2 incomes are nearly a requirement. Especially since manufacturing has been transferred out of western nations.
    I feel the “greatest generation” began a destructive process with their children. Every one since has been coddled more and more. Now a 22 year old man is called a “kid” by some.
    There are far more distractions. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy games and technology. Always have. But to shirk duty and get fat on the couch playing in a fantasy world will not make you a man.
    The legal system works against men, particularly in divorce. Too easy to lose money, time, and children through no fault of your own.
    Then there’s the content available on modern devices. Porn, constant left-wing hammering of masculine virtues, promotion of degeneracy.
    The schools are filled with anti-male, and anti-white, programming from k-12 and beyond.
    The church has abdicated interest in traditional values. They spout platitudes, but nothing that stirs men to action anymore. Weak.
    Sorry for the rant. Good article. Interesting that Laskowitz up there took such offense at it. I’m a father of four and this article perked me up.

    • Nick, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate that it might upset a few, but we aim to cover issues that other find hard to speak about or cover. God Bless

  3. ” the presence of fathers within the home is vital to the moral integrity of a society.” – Amen! Great post.

  4. I can only speak from personal experience, and that experience was one of the mothers of my child having all the power to exclude me from having a relationship with my child. When going through the divorce, I was even accused by her of molesting my child. – There’s alot more to this than meets the eye. The devil is on a rampage to destroy families.

  5. Let us bond with our kids at a young age and see if there won’t be any difference,i’ll give you an example we argued with my wife a lot because she complains that she is tired,she says she works take care of household and look after the baby and my question why dont you delegate the baby duties to me. A lot of men would love to play a role in the lives of their children but women take away that opportunity saying they want to bond with their kids

  6. Living in today’s world, one can only be realistic in knowing that despite the best of efforts, sometimes families fall apart. And when they do, and parents divorce it is often the children that are left to clean up the pieces of the life they knew and rebuild.

    • Fatherlessness is indeed one of the biggest crisis facing the world today.
      Yes, there are many factors that brought this pandemic to our different communities.

  7. Here’s a comment. Don’t be so damn patronizing. Good dads are right where we always were, involved with our children. You can seize on all the negative statistics that you want, but that isn’t true for the majority of us.

    • Ray, our writers on Godinterest cover a wide variety of topics, we generally ask them to come down on a side of an argument using evidence of course, but from a biblical perspective. Of course, we are all human and have different views. Why not submit a post in opposition. If the image is a copyright please let us know, as we ask all contributors to ensure each image is there own or has the correct Creative Commons CC0. Again it would be nice to have an article from another perspective. God Bless

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