Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. ~ Isaiah 1:17
Millions of children in the United States are growing up without a father present in their lives. Father advocates say that most social issues we face today stem from father absence. New studies are revealing the devastating effects that fatherlessness has on children and adolescents. We need men to take an active role in their children’s lives.
Fathers have a unique role to play in the development of their children. The US Department of Health and Human Services says that a father’s parenting is different than a mother’s, and helps impart problem solving and critical thinking skills, better decision making, and a deeper sense of right and wrong.
A father’s role in both girl’s and boy’s development is irreplaceable. Boys raised without a warm, loving relationship with their father are more likely to act out, manifest behavior problems and struggle socially. Girls are four times more likely to become pregnant during their teen years, struggle with obesity, or self-esteem.
Research shows that growing up without a father has a negative effect on a child’s education, and therefore, their preparedness for adulthood. Wealthy children with no father influence are consistently outperformed by lower-income children with two parents. Educators report that fatherless children score lower in reading and math, and are not as prepared for learning.
For a boy, growing up without an involved father creates a void he spends his life trying to fill. He feels abandoned, and will seek out the attention and acceptance he needs. Without a father figure to affirm and guide him, he will look to the world to learn to be a man, with devastating consequences.
Twquan’s biological father was not around growing up. But in junior high, a mentor came into his life. Twquan says through his relationship with Jonathan, a Godly man who loved him unconditionally, he learned what a father is and how to walk with Christ.