Where Have All the Dads Gone? Messy Yet?

Tom Bolton, who writes at the site Hopeful, offers a staggering statistic, “one-third of the seventy-two million children in America went to bed last night without a biological father in the home.” (You can find his article here. Also, at Learners, Leaders, and Relationships Tom is involved with a group ministry to establish biblical relationships, along the lines of Paul and Timothy)

I have a message to me this morning… maybe others will hear it also.

What Shall We Give the Children?

What Shall We Give the Children? (Photo credit: Stewf)

Can we as men who love Jesus overcome our fear of “messy?” It seems the dilemma is much too large for us to believe it can be repaired without our direct intervention. These children and youth are all around us. They need to see men who are totally dependent on their Heavenly Father, and whole-heartedly willing to be a friend and mentor in the absence of a male figure in their lives.

The opportunity to be obedient to Jesus’ instruction, “Make disciples for Me,” is knocking down the doors of our comfort-filled lives. How will we answer?

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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17 Responses to Where Have All the Dads Gone? Messy Yet?

  1. God needs all good men to step up..Thanks for the post…Blessings Darrell

  2. As one who grew up without a father – correction, with three “fathers” none of whom were fathers, and in fact very far from it – I know the importance of the father in the family and possibly more so, a happy relationship between father and mother.

    I became very much a man hater, thinking that all men were evil. I was very impressed by one man at work who actually spoke well of and praised his wife and their teenage children. It didn’t make me less of a man hater, but it did surprise me. When I became a Christian I was again surprised by a number of men who obviously loved their wives and children.

    As a worker in children’s and youth ministry, most from non-Church families, I ministered to many from unhappy or broken or abusive families. Those young people NEEDED a STABLE male influence in their lives (not as one young boy who hardly knew who he was, because his name was changed three times in a few weeks as his mother had a different live-in ‘father’)

    Yes, kids need that male ‘father-figure’ but remember they need a LONG TERM input in their lives. It would be cruel to give hope and then leave.

    • mtsweat says:

      You have brought to our attention here something absolutely essential in the discipling process Angela! “LONG TERM” When Paul took Timothy under his arm, it wasn’t to build his self-esteem, then move on. Paul invested his entire life into this young man. I am really glad you brought this to surface, because if our intent isn’t long-term messiness, we should refrain from temporarily giving hope. I am being moved as are many in my midst to learn to be a disicple who is making disicples of Jesus. Thanks for making this urgent point… blessings good friend.

      • Speaking from experience, to receive a sign of hope – someone taking an interest – and then to lose that hope, is NOT an isolated thing. It COMPOUNDS on all the other rejections and abuses and INCREASES the hurts and puts up barriers against believing the next person who comes along.
        Any move to encourage people to take an interest in abused/fatherless/troubled children should know this before they start to minister.

  3. Steven Sawyer says:

    We lived in a dysfunctional home. But that was only one aspect of my family life. My mom and dad both died within two weeks of what would have been their sixty-first 61st wedding anniversary. We lived in the same house from the time I was in the fourth grade until several years before mom and dad died. I will always thank God for the wonderful childhood I had and for a dad who came home every night after work all his life.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks for sharing your points and testimony here Steven! Your thought (this is the first generation of kids who will learn their moral values from each other) is gripping. This really explains a lot if we think about it. I could be wrong, but I think the answer will come as godly men recognize facts as this and move from our comfort zones and get messy… Jesus did. Blessings good friend!

  4. Steven Sawyer says:

    This is a tragic circumstance. It is the result, in my opinion, of men abdicating their responsibilities. I’m sure the numbers are staggering. I know in the schools where I was a substitute teacher the admin folks told me the percentage was north of 60 or 70. My kids are grown and gone. I don’t know how we can resolve this. I think the lack of biological dads in households is a strong indication of the moral decay of the past few and present generation of kids. One of the teachers told me that this is the first generation of kids who will learn their moral values from each other. What a tragedy. Thanks for this post.

  5. Wayne Augden says:

    So true! We have so many opportunities to make a difference if we will just take them.

  6. Just want to pass a little tidbit along, anyone can be a father it takes someone special to be a Daddy. My youngest son has never known his biological father, by the fathers choices, but my son has a Daddy, or rather a Dad now that he is a young man, he goes to him for advise, and to see how life is and should be lived. My husband is Dad, not biological but by choice, and that is of great importance to children that they are not a burden but they are wanted by choice.

    • mtsweat says:

      Amen to that good friend. I was also blessed to have a Dad in my life along the same lines. Unfortunately, there are many, which is a growing number, who do not have this influence. My prayer is that God will give us the desire and ability to step in and help these who do not. Thanks for swing by with a very valuable comment. Blessings

      • you are welcome. and kindness is always returned maybe not by the person you give it to but it is always returned usually in greater numbers that was originally given.

  7. Tom Bolton says:

    You say “These children and youth are all around us. They need to see men who are totally dependent on their Heavenly Father, and whole-heartedly willing to be a friend and mentor in the absence of a male figure in their lives.” That is a beautiful way of putting what I am thinking too.

    • mtsweat says:

      I am grateful and encouraged by your post and involvement in the lives of these who need it desperately good friend. It’s a burden I am being given by our Lord. Blessings

  8. Tom Bolton says:

    Thanks for the connection. I want to give the credit to Patrick Morley for most of the material in my January 10 blog. It has inspired me and convicted me many times this past year.

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