Is Dad just a joke? Are fathers really needed? Are they important at all?
Recently I listened to a podcast that referred to some material I found interesting and challenging. I read the transcript of the podcast. I then read the material to which the podcast referred.
Those sources are:
- The Briefing (a podcast by Dr. Robert Mohler)
- Poverty, Dropouts, Pregnancy, Suicide: What The Numbers Say About Fatherless Kids (Claudio Sanchez; National Public Radio)
While one might expect Dr. Mohler to approach any subject from a religious perspective, one would not expect NPR to do so. That is what I found fascinating. The material produced by them relied heavily on an interview with Alan Blankstein who, according to NPR, “…has spent a lifetime advocating for kids who struggle in school.” According to some information I have found out about him, religious implications would not be paramount in his mind. He appears to be one who is mostly interested in the practical.
Without any commentary on my part about each point, here are some of the things I “pulled” from the material produced by NPR & Mr. Blankstein:
- 24.7 million children in the United States do not live with a biological father.
- Children are four times more likely to be poor if the father is not around.
- Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out (of school).
- Girls are twice as likely to suffer from obesity without the father present.
- Girls whose fathers are not present are four times more likely to get pregnant as teenagers.
Those are just a few of the facts that caught my attention.
Here are some questions I had after listening to and reading the material:
- What about those children who have a biological father in the house, but have one who could be described as a “deadbeat dad?”
- What about the ones whose dads are not deadbeats, but who leave all of the parenting up to the mother?
- What about the dad who spends more time with his buddies and hobbies than he does with his wife and children?
- What about the dad who is more interested in his career than his family?
I read something in a book that I think applies to this discussion. See what you think.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
(Eph. 6:4, ESV, emphasis added).
AUTHOR: Jim Faughn