The Problem of Father-Free Zones
Though the presidential inauguration and celebrations are dominating the current news cycle, President Obama’s recently proposed executive order on gun-related violence is still a popular topic. The 23 actions listed in his order are a convolution of recommended communications and actions between government agencies, health-care providers and other related groups. Despite all of what is said in the order, the recommended actions don’t identify the problem or provide any solutions. Almost as though gun-related violence is easily cured, number 14 on the list directs the Centers for Disease Control to research the cause of gun violence and then offer solutions. Isn’t the executive order supposed to do that?
As a nation, and as individuals, we will never find solutions to our most complex problems without identifying the cause. Gun control, mental health care and bureaucratic communications aren’t solutions to the violence and murder happening on our streets. The problem and solution is much closer to home.
In a brief but discerning article by the Investor’s Business Daily (ibd), a leading cause of our violent culture is discussed. The article identifies that so many of our families and inner cities are father-free zones—meaning that children and families in large areas of our society, especially inner cities, don’t have a father present. The article states, “Today, 72 percent of black children are now born out of wedlock. In fact, 36 percent of white children are born out of wedlock. Of Hispanic children, 53 percent are born outside of marriage.”
In this article from USA Today, we’re shown that the numbers are even larger and that it’s just a small percentage of these illegitimate children who have their father living with them.
These statistics are shocking! Immense numbers of illegitimate children are being born in America! A generation of children is being raised without understanding the sanctity and responsibility of marriage and family. Marriage is considered obsolete! More importantly, the majority of these neglected children don’t know how important the role of the father is.
The ibd article goes on to state, “The consequences of fatherlessness are staggering. In such homes there is no male role model who gets up every morning, shaves, gets dressed and goes to work, then comes home to have dinner with his family. There is no male role model to restrain a young man’s masculine impulses and guide him into adulthood. The situation is made worse by the staggering unemployment among young black males that soaking the rich won’t alleviate. These young men find their role models in promiscuous rappers and the leaders of street gangs.”
With no father present, the essential male example is missing. The father is to provide the dominant male influence necessary to shape and mold the mind of a young child or teenager. Without that paternal influence, few are being taught to control their emotions or their actions. Few are being taught to respect others. Few are being taught the value of hard work. With the father taking the lead, our homes are to be our greatest environment for learning. Yet, at an early age the role of the father is subjugated and these neglected children are turned over to public day care services, school systems and government-run entitlement programs, which are all woefully inadequate surrogates. As the ibd article states, the void left by absentee fathers is filled by the lure of street gangs and our entertainment culture. Music, movies and television that glamorize drugs, crime and violence are the leading influences in shaping the minds of this lost generation. Our neglected children are going to follow these violent examples, and the vicious cycle continues. Is it any surprise that our inner cities resemble lawless war zones?
The traditional family is under attack. The father, as the traditional head of the family, is being targeted above all else. There is a conspiracy against fatherhood! Gun violence isn’t the cause of our problems. It is simply an effect of the demise of the traditional family, and more specifically the role of the father. Our inner cities are a graphic example of what happens to a society and a nation when the all-important role of the father is rejected.
Eliminating Father-free Zones Forever
When Jesus Christ came to this Earth, He shared the most encouraging message mankind has ever heard. At the very heart of His ministry was a message about God the Father (John 1:18). The gospel message that Jesus Christ delivered is the good news about the soon-coming Kingdom of God—which is the Family of God. God is a Family, and everything that Jesus Christ accomplished was according to His Father’s will (John 5:30).
When God created Adam and Eve, He created marriage and family (Genesis 2:24). He also placed Adam as the head of the family, with Eve being his help meet (Genesis 2:18-23). In His perfect wisdom, God created this physical family relationship so that we can better learn, understand and prepare for His greater spiritual Family (Ephesians 5:32). God created the role of the physical father so that we can better understand His role as our spiritual Father. Just as we were made to need our physical fathers, because they are essential to our well-being, so we were made to need our spiritual Father—He is essential to our greater well-being!
God isn’t an absentee Father. He has allowed us, as His creation, to make the wrong choices. Father-free zones, our inner cities and our violent society as a whole are the result of our damaging choices—rejecting God and His family law of love. God wants us to turn to Him and look to Him as our Father, and make the right choices by putting Him first in our lives (Matthew 22:37-40).
The wonderful news is that Jesus Christ is about to return and establish God’s Kingdom forever. As humans, we will finally see and understand our incredible human potential—why we were created! We will be taught the importance of God’s family government and His laws. As His children, we will be close to our Father and understand the loving role He fulfills (Revelation 21:3-4). Never again will our families or our societies experience father-free zones!