Summary: Fathers today are seen as little more than another child for the wife to take of. We have lowered the expectation of dads to an all time low. But dads, fathers are so very needed.
How important are a father’s words of wisdom? How valuable is a father's presence in the lives of his children? How necessary is a father's influence as compared to his income or him providing for his family?
How many of you remember the old song “Cat’s in the cradle”? The words go like this:
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, Dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"
My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home, Dad
I don't know when, but we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then
And the story in the song goes on to tell about his son doing just that… growing up to be just like him never having time for family. Always busy. Always on the move. Never enjoying the moments given to him until they’re all gone, all spent, all wasted.
How important is a Father’s words? How valuable is a Father’s presence? How necessary is a Father’s influence… and his time with his children?
Today is Father’s Day! A day that for many is very difficult because of the broken relationships between them and their earthly fathers. For many it’s hard to face the fact… the reminder that dad is gone or no-longer in our lives. For those of you who do not experience this or who had a great relationship with your dad, I would tell you cherish every moment. Thank God for the blessing that you have in that relationship. Because there are many who wish to have what you have.
Dads are important. Dads are necessary.
Did you know that 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census). 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes. (Center for Disease Control) 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26) 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (National Principals Association Report) 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in a two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 700% more likely to have children as teenagers, and 92% more likely to get divorced themselves. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
The numbers are staggering: 24 million children live without their biological father in the home.1 24 million children – that's one out of every three children in the U.S. In the 1950s, the majority of children grew up with their married parents. Now, however, the majority grow up with either no parent, a single parent, cohabiting parents or remarried parents – or some shifting combination of these over the years.3 We've created a new norm of family instability, impermanence and fatherlessness. Fathers, your job is important. Your role is not only necessary, it is vital to the lives of those who depend upon you.
As much as we were never meant to live life without God (our Heavenly Father), none of us were meant to go through life… to face life without a Dad. It is a relationship that every child needs and (I might add) wants desperately.
You may or may not know this, but Proverbs (as in the Book of Proverbs in our Bibles) is primarily sayings of wisdom from a father to his son. There’s other stuff in there as well. But many, many of the Proverbs are what a father wants to teach his son and to warn him about … the pitfalls and dangers of life. Here’s just a few.