Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dads Are Important

Numerous studies reported by the National Fatherhood Initiative show that the absence of a father puts children at risk. More than 24 million children (34%) live absent their biological father. This not only a problem for the families affected but, also, for American society as these children are in crisis and single parent families are in need of assistance.

Here are a few facts about children from fatherless homes:
--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 drop out of high school
--10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
--75% of all teens in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
--9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
--20 times more likely to end up in prison.
--85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
--Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor.
-- 75% of children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11 years old.
--Only 20% of children in two-parent families will be the same.
--A study on nearly 6,000 children found that children from single parent homes had more physical and mental health problems than children who lived with two married parents.
--85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
--63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
--Girls who grow up in home without fathers are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

This is an opportunity for the church to have an impact on society. God calls upon us to take up the slack.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress…
James 1:27

Defend the poor and fatherless... Ps 82:3

Churches can address these problems through after school and summer programs, mentoring and teen mom groups. The root causes can be addressed through parenting support groups, marriage enrichment and divorce counseling.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead,
bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord
. -- Ephesians 6:4

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