In a society where divorce is rampant, single parenting is common, and cohabitation the norm, for many Americans, dadhood isn’t what it used to be. According to www.fatherhood.org, between 1960 and 1995 the percentage of American children living in single-parent homes increased from 9 to 27. An estimated 40 percent of them live in homes without their biological father. Among African Americans, that number is about 75 percent.
Families without fathers can experience devastating consequences. Columnist Phyllis Schlafly wrote June 15, “Most of our social problems are caused by kids who grow up in homes without their own fathers: drug abuse, illicit sexual activity, unwed pregnancies, youth suicide, high school dropouts, runaways and crime.” Yet, so often, society’s most prominent leaders overlook this connection between fatherlessness and teen pathologies.
A strong movement is afoot to portray fathers as unimportant and unnecessary. The institution of marriage itself is more commonly considered merely temporary, if not entirely antiquated. Yet the fruits of stable families headed by a dedicated father are obvious. Study after study show that good fathers not only have a positive and powerful impact on their families, but on society as a whole.
It certainly is a role worthy of honor—even codified within the fifth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12).
To understand more deeply the vital significance of fathers, read our booklet Conspiracy Against Fatherhood. Practical instruction on how to recapture some of the fundamental qualities of strong fathering can be found in the Trumpet’s August 2004 article “Fatherhood 101.”