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Father to the Fatherless
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So, what’s the big deal about fatherless homes? Isn’t that the new norm? The U.S. Department of Census says between 40 and 50 percent of children live without their father. Sure, it’s not ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Moms are making up the difference and life goes on. Right?

Actually, kids who grow up without a father face big challenges. The statistics on how it impacts them are like an avalanche of snow that will smother you. For instance, 90 percent of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. Eighty percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. Seventy-one percent of pregnant teenagers lack a father. And 63 percent of youth suicides come from fatherless homes.1

I could unload a dump truck full of more stats on behavioral disorders, high school dropouts, chemical abuse, career challenges, future divorce, and criminal activity. These children often grow up terrified of conflict, hesitant to make commitments, confused about their emotions, and feel lost on how to be a parent. If you grew up in a fatherless home, it’s enough to give you a migraine! If you’re a single mom, it’s equally daunting to think about. I know firsthand since I spent half my childhood in a single-parent home.

Encouraging

Before you click to another page, I’d like to share something that I found encouraging in the Bible. If you look up the word “fatherless” in the Bible, (New International Version), you’ll discover over 40 different verses that speak to this group. The Lord is deeply concerned about kids without dads. (By the way, a dad can be physically present but still “absent,” if you know what I mean!).

Note these helpful passages: “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless” (Exodus 22:22). “He defends the cause of the fatherless…” (Deuteronomy 10:18). God is called “the helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14) and promises to be “A father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). People who oppress the fatherless will be judged along with sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers (Malachi 3:5).

If you are a father reading this article, I pray it motivates you to recognize the tremendous role you play in the hearts of your kids. You may not be perfect, but your efforts to reach out to play, to listen, to teach, and show affection to your children impacts them for life. If you grew up without a father, I hope you find comfort that God promises to fill all the holes in your fatherless heart with His own love. He won’t let you down.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

1 http://fatherhoodfactor.com/us-fatherless-statistics/


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