The U.S. Census Bureau reports that, 43 percent of U.S. children live without their fathers. The impact on families and the American culture have been cataclysmic. Consider a few statistics:
- Ninety percent of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Census Bureau).
- Eighty percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26, 1978).
- Sixty-three percent of youth suicides involve individuals from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Census Bureau).
- Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Seventy percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions have no fathers (U.S. Department of Justice, Special Report, September 1988).
- Eighty-five percent of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless homes (Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992).
Are these statistics shocking or are they becoming all too familiar—too familiar to capture meaningful attention? The numbers profile only the most serious aspects of a childhood without a father, the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.
Ninety-three percent of a real iceberg is underwater. Similarly, the crisis-burdened statistics mask a vast modern childhood culture that routinely exhibits uncivil behavior, immoral practices, underdeveloped character, and weak values, widely departing from Judeo-Christian standards. They are the harbinger of an even more ungodly future of the remnant of the American culture.
Little is reported about the chaotic childhood culture that is facilitated by a seriously broken government-run (public) school system and camouflaged by an endless round of nursery schools, day care centers, before school care, after school care, and all manner of babysitters. Absentee parenting does not work! It never has and never will.
All-too-often, fatherhood has shockingly dwindled to a source of sperm and a possible source of money. Others have written extensively about the importance of having a father and the specific responsibilities of a father. Of course the best source is always Scripture. Here is a link to 71 Bible verses about the responsibilities of fathers: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Fathers,-Responsibilities-Of
The virtually out-of-control crisis of fatherless homes (absolutely absent-by-law, or by choice, or effectively absent by over-the-top commitments to non-family matters) begs the extremely serious question, “Where is the Church?” Consider the sad profile:
- 1962—Using a tortured interpretation of the “separation of church and state,” the U.S. Supreme Court banned prayer in the public schools. The Church was conspicuously silent.
- 1963—The U.S. Supreme Court banned Bible reading in the public schools. The Church was conspicuously silent.
- 1973—The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion (Roe v. Wade). The Catholic Church cried “foul” immediately. The Protestant Church was conspicuously silent for at least 5-8 years.
- 1970s/1980s—A wave of no-fault divorce laws swept the states. Previously required “grounds for divorce” were rooted in various interpretations of Scripture. The Church has been conspicuously silent.
- 1960s/2000s—A long series of evolution-related controversies engulfed the public schools. The Church has been conspicuously silent.
- 1960s/2000s—Political correctness movement has successfully applied plausible euphemisms to all manner of sinful activities, enabling an explosive increase in the activities. The euphemisms use language as a powerful tool to create the appearance of taking the evil out of sin. The Church has been conspicuously silent.
- 2015—The U.S. Supreme Courts rules that same-sex “marriage” is a Constitutional right. National Christian leaders have been boldly outspoken, but the Church was conspicuously silent.
As a result of the long series of milestones-of-decay, along with the additional cultural pressures of radical feminism and multiculturalism, it may not be surprising that the role of the American male in the family has diminished and the role of fatherhood nearly collapsed. Yet, aside from an individual’s personal relationship with our Creator, God through Scripture assigns the roles of fathers, mothers, and families the highest of all life’s priorities.
Josh McDowell has confirmed that “If a child doesn’t accept Christ by age 12, there’s only a 4 percent change he or she [ever] will.” It is far less likely to happen among fatherless children or in homes with absentee parents.
Today, with a greater urgency than ever before, the churches, the synagogues, and the clergy in charge must embed in the believing culture a strong sense of the evilness of sin and the terribleness of Hell as well as the incomparable glories of
God and Heaven to come.
The greater the gap between dark, despicable, evil and our majestic God, including the grand glories of Heaven, the greater the likelihood that people will flee from the former and relentlessly pursue the latter. Life choices, major and minor, that conform to Biblical commands inspire the most exciting life in the universe.