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5 Bumps

How important is Fatherhood?

We must honor and support fatherhood.
As more and more children grow up in single-parent homes (which are primarily female-headed homes), fathers appear irrelevant and superfluous. Not only are they seen as expendable; they are often seen as part of the problem.

Yet the consequences of fatherless homes is devastating. "More than 70 percent of all juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes." Children who grow up without fathers are more likely to be involved in criminal behavior because they lack a positive male role model in their lives. Fathers are not irrelevant. They may indeed spell the difference between success and failure for their children.

Often fatherless homes feed the cycle of illegitimacy itself. "Young white women who grow up without a father in the home are more than twice as likely to bear children out of wedlock. And boys living in a single-parent family are twice as likely to father a child out of wedlock as boys from intact homes."

Fortunately, there are many ministries encouraging men to stand with their families. Gatherings like the Promise Keepers conferences nationwide are highly visible symbols of a much greater movement of men (individual churches or parachurch organizations) who have dedicated themselves to running their families on biblical principles. Groups like Mad Dads (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social disorder) have been organized to encourage fathers in high crime urban areas. Especially critical are young urban (often black) youths who do not have strong male role models to emulate. One organizer said, "They saw pimps and hustlers and dope dealers and gang bangers and hypersexual individuals who like to make babies but didn't assume the responsibility of taking care of them--so why should the kids? And so our first goal was just to mobilize strong, black fathers who were drug-free, who were willing to stand up and be role models, giving our kids another group of men they could look at."

Building strong families must include building families with fathers. Fatherlessness is one of the primary causes of social disintegration. Parenting cannot be left to mothers and grandmothers. Fathers are essential.

(Probe Ministries)

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:05 PM on Mar. 18, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Answers (18)
  • duh

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:10 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • When children raised in a single parent home can thrive, having a male role model is very important. That male role model doesn't have to be a father though. It can be an uncle, a grandpa or even a close family friend. That being said, yes. Men do need to stand up , for and with their families that they create. Too often men create children and then walk away. More men need tot ake responsibility for their actions and support their sons and daughters. Be there to teach their sons how to be productive and kind young men and their daughters how to choose a kind and productive mate by example. But int he end, any positive male figure is better than not having one at all.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:10 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • Well, yeah, the world is fu*ked up. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep a family together??

    Answer by m-avi at 5:19 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • I agree that a male role model helps but not necessarily a father figure, the fact that more men are turning their backs on their own children says a lot about the fatherhood children had a very good father, but they always told him as they were growing up that if we came to divorce, they would clearly want to stay with me, and this was as children. We never divorced have 41 years of a great marriage, and my kids were always closer to me than their dad....

    Answer by older at 5:22 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • Fathers are extremely important, but they're not always an option. My own husband died a few years ago, so it's not like he's a deadbeat dad. There are also cases where the father (or mother, for that matter) being involved in the child's life would be detrimental. I think it's too easy to look at it as a broad issue when that's really not the case.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 5:28 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • Male role models are great when they are a positive influence.

    If they are a negative influence in the child's life, they are better off with just Mommy!

    Answer by staciandababy at 5:32 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • It's a more complicated issue than that. I think that parenting (both mothers and fathers) to the best of our ability is important, but the way a person is raised doesn't automatically decide how that person will turn out. I grew up without a father, and I married a man who is totally involved with our children. He grew up with a father in the house, but his dad was totally un-involved. He never played catch with him, never went to see him wrestle or play football in high school. He was completely disconnected. I don't think your family decides what kind of person you grow up to be. Sometimes people see bad examples and it sticks with them as things they don't want to become.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 5:37 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • maybe you should post this on an all Dad's site

    posting this on an all women's site seems like you are making women responsible for the piss poor actions of men

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:54 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • i love you staci

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:55 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

  • Why all the negative, snarky comments?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:57 PM on Mar. 18, 2013

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