This week is both a tribute and an appeal to the incredible and faithful men out there we call dads. As I reflect on the man I am today, I do it having recognized all my success has been built upon the faithful men who have modeled, sacrificed and intentionally given to me over the years. Starting with my own father and then the many uncles, friends, pastors, teachers, coaches and neighbors who took the time to inspire, instruct and even discipline me as each was needed. Young men will always look for and find someone to inspire them. We are built with a need for fathering and with a yearning for male connection. Even if its a bad connection we will find other males that we can attach to. When we have good male models in our lives there is no barrier we cannot overcome and there is no mountain we cannot climb. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect, nor does it mean life will be easy, but every boy needs to know by experience that there is someone bigger and stronger than they are and that person also loves them unconditionally.
Here are some interesting and noteworthy father facts for 2017:
- 52% of fathers say they are now the primary grocery shopper in the family
- Studies show that fathers who share household chores with their wives have more ambitious daughters
- 63% of youth suicides in the U.S. are kids who live in a home without a father
- Children in homes without fathers are 4x’s more likely to be poor.
- When fathers are involved in their child’s education the children perform better and exhibit better behavior
- In the U.S. children are more likely to live with a pet than they are with their natural father
- Wrestling and roughhousing with a father helps shape a child’s brain to help them manage emotion and develop a balance between thinking and physical action.
The Evidence of What Fathers Bring to A Society is Overwhelming
Men, we are important not just to our families, but to society in general so don’t let anyone underestimate you and the value you bring every day regardless of what you do and where you live. You are needed. Enough has been said about the value of fathers to young men, but maybe not enough has been said about the value of men to their daughters. The evidence of a father bringing confidence and stability to his little girl is overwhelming. As much as we hear about men being the stability to our society I would like to differ and say that women have historically been the difference makers in the home especially when you look at the affect she immediately makes to any man once he gets married. Unfortunately I don’t have the time in this short blog to unpack it, but I believe women are built with several key traits that stabilize the family and keep society on course, but these key traits are developed when a father is in her life and therefore fathers are the key component to both sons and daughters in a successful society. As we look around today, it should no longer be the absence of fathers in homes that scares us most, but the numbers of young women who have lost their identity, which is a sign that we have moved to a completely new phase of the issue.
An Appeal for Action
Let me finish with an appeal. It is not enough to be raising or have raised our own children. What is needed today is for men to commit to helping with one other child outside of our own families. If we can all just take one child that doesn’t have a father in their life and do our part to help them experience the love and care of a father. This can be done in so many ways from adopting a child to helping a single mother or volunteering as a big brother. Let’s get creative, but determine to change the next generation by doing what we can to walk out our faith in a genuine way. If things are going to change it will occur because we have chosen to pray through it and then put our feet to it. Happy Father’s Day to all of you extraordinary men!