Fathers are irreplaceable

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

To the Editor:
“Father Knows Best” was an American sitcom that was popular on T.V. for six seasons from 1954 to 1960. It depicted a wise family man and his common-sense wife raising children who respected and honored them. Over the last 40 years T.V., movies and cartoons for children have devalued fathers and masculinity. They usually only show fathers as fools and knuckleheads and not as wise heads of the home. The lack of fathers and this devaluation of fatherhood and masculinity has helped create more evil men and enablers of evil men than ever before. Fatherless boys are far more likely to grow up and mistreat women and commit violent crimes. Dr. Anthony B. Bradley, a professor, said, “almost every major school shooter since Columbine suffered from dad-deprivation. Sadly, this (Uvalde, Texas) shooter is a textbook case of a dad-deprived, abused and neglected kid. Hurt boys, hurt others,” Bradley said. One woman said, “we need more dads and less dudes!” The National Center for Fathering (www.fathers.com) reports there’s a crisis because an estimated 25 million children (33 percent) in America are negatively affected by their father’s absence. The percentage of American children living without their biological father has tripled since 1960. Our culture has changed, the needs of children haven’t. In the 1960s President Johnson devalued fatherhood by believing daddy government could replace fathers with welfare. In the 1950’s surveys of public school teachers, the top disciplinary problems listed were: talking out of turn, chewing gum, running in the halls, dress-code violations and littering. Now the top problems that 2022 teachers report are: drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, robbery, assault and shootings. Things are unquestionably worse in our schools than they’ve been in the history of this nation. Studies show when fathers are involved their children learn more, perform better in school and exhibit healthier behavior and emotions. The National Center for Fathering says fathers are irreplaceable and make a unique positive contribution to their children’s lives! If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency. Studies show the negative impact of not having a father. Children who grow up without a dad are more depressed. Of youth who commit suicide 63 percent had no father. Of high school dropouts and pregnant teenagers 71 percent had no father. Of youth with behavior problems and youth in prison 85 percent had no father. Of homeless and runaway children 90 percent had no father. Children growing up with a father have a much better likelihood of success as well-adjusted, healthy productive adults. In 2008 President Obama said, “Children who grow up without a father are 5 times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, 9 times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a psychiatrist with Harvard Medical School, confirmed these statistics. Dr. Poussaint said, “The absence of fathers corresponds with a host of social ills, including dropping out of school and serving time in jail.” The Minnesota Psychological Association reported, “In a study of female inmates more than half came from a father-absent home.” One man said the first time he heard from his father was when he saw him when both of them were in the same prison. His father said, “welcome home son.” Fathers matter and those without a good father by the ripple effect every future configuration for them is negatively altered forever. God wants our family to be a lifelong priority. In the Bible in Malachi, God says He wants to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. God’s people need to pray for this to happen. Most atheists had no father. “One’s attitude toward one’s father largely shaped one’s attitude toward God.” If you have a father honor him as the Bible says. If you have a Christian father thank God you are blessed. A father knows best when he knows and loves Jesus. A Christian father is a giver, provider, defender and leader and does all the things needed so the family can thrive. Those without a father often have an identity problem and not know who they are. Only Jesus can fill this hole in their life and show them who they are. If you have no father or an abusive father don’t write yourself off. Only Jesus is the author and finisher. Put your trust in Jesus. He will help you forgive your father and heal your broken heart and get past your past. Fathers matter but knowing Jesus matters most. Those who love Jesus and have faith in Jesus are a new creation and by the ripple effect every future configuration for them is positively altered forever!

D.D. Nave Elizabethton

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