Father’s Day was yesterday. A celebration of Fathers is warranted for all that they do, not just for their kids but for society. The presence of a good father is celebrated for a day, but the absence of a father has nearly immeasurable impacts on the individual and then society. Our society is changing and one of the alarming changes is the indifference given to the powerful role that fathers play in society. Popular media rarely show fathers as strong figures to be admired. Generally you see a man that is aloof, someone to be laughed at. (Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin come to mind).
There are some within our culture who downplay the role of fathers by suggesting communities can raise children properly. Or relationships that lack a father can somehow replace the role of a father. I question these assertions in light of the evidence.
I won’t go much further on this point, but I fear we are making a significant societal error by diminishing the role of fathers.
Who is to teach boys how to be men if not their fathers? Certainly there are mothers who do their best to fill the gap, and I applaud them. But the fact is, they shouldn’t have to. Fathers should be there. But, in increasing numbers, they are not.
I know there are people who will read this (maybe), or at least people asking this when it comes to this topic – “How bad can it be?”
See for yourself –
– 33% of the 72 million children in America will go to bed tonight without their biological father in the home.
– Fatherless children are 5 times as likely to live in poverty, repeat a grade, and have emotional problems.
– 93% of all people incarcerated are men, and 85% of them have no father figure.
– 50% of children from broken homes have not seen their father in over a year.
– the United States leads the world in single parent families.
The absence of fathers is an epidemic. An epidemic receiving very little attention.
If there was an epidemic impacting millions of Americans, costing billions of dollars, and inflicting unimaginable amounts of pain in our society… how do you think we would respond?
We have the answer. Silence.
How is that working out for us?
Candidly, this frustrates me.
I carry a certain passion about this topic. Why? Because for all of the social justice advocacy going on right now, the church seems too quiet on this topic. This simply cannot be the case anymore.
I am reminded of what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Act like men. Be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Where is the promotion of this ethos? Why is there not a chorus of people proclaiming this to our men? I am a man, I have been listening, and I have not been hearing this.
The Church needs to lead on this, and fast. Continued silence would be truly tragic.
I have a father. He wasn’t perfect and he would even tell you that, but he did the best he could. Honestly, what more could you ask for? Thank you Dad.
To all of the Fathers out there. Happy Father’s Day.