With the news and headlines dominated by sensational stories and terrible murders over the last several weeks, the news reports that highlight the causes of criminality have been pretty much ignored. The escalating violence in society is a sure sign of disintegration. We have passed the point of no return to a civil law-abiding nation. How did it happen? Consider this truth: more than half of all American babies are on welfare.
The number of babies being born into fatherless homes is rapidly increasing. United Nations Population Fund has found that more than 40 percent of all births in the United States are to single women. In 1970, the figure was 10 percent.
In an article titled, “The Psychological Effects of Growing Up Without a Father” at education-oriented website owlcation.com, Michael Kismet lists several psychologically documented results identified in many children who grow up without a father: More likely to be aggressive, depressed, have low self-esteem, do poorly in schools, be incarcerated, commit suicide and use drugs.
Being a father as our Creator intended is wonderful and rewarding, however, it is not easy.
Being a father as our Creator intended is wonderful and rewarding, however, it is not easy. It requires work and time, plus basic human values of truth and decency to be passed on. The moment a man becomes a father, he’s tasked with being responsible for a whole new being. As tough as that may be, nothing in this life compares to the joy that comes from being a dad. “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him” (Proverbs 23:24, English Standard Version).
Bishop T.D. Jakes, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, stated, “Every child has a hole in their soul in the shape of their father if their father is missing. If it is not filled with a caring and providing father, children will try to fill it with something that does not work.” He listed examples such as promiscuous sex, drug use and attachment to gangs. Many single moms have found a way to fill the void and raise successful children on their own, but a quick look at what is taking place in major cities gives the big picture.
God, in His wisdom, shows us the responsibilities of fathers in many verses. The government cannot provide these. The first is love, the love of a father, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13, New International Version). Another is discipline—a main ingredient in character building—”For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Hebrews 12:7, Berean Study Bible). Teaching about life and how to do things is critical: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction” (Proverbs 1:8, English Standard Version). A key ingredient is self-control. Fathers are not to lose their temper and should teach proper self-control to their children, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, ESV).
Very importantly, fathers are given the responsibility by God to teach their children about God’s laws. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
The perpetrators of the violence engulfing our cities today are, by a vast majority, young men who have grown up without a father teaching, training, loving and providing for them. Their anger is being vented on society, but society is unwilling to address the causal factors.
Soon that will change. When Jesus Christ rules the earth, all children will have fathers and mothers who love and diligently teach them. “The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets” (Zechariah 8:5).