The Dad Deficit
"The biggest deficit America is facing today is 'The Dad Deficit.'"
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America is facing a major crisis. We’re dealing with what I call “The Dad Deficit.” Many Fathers are either unavailable or uninvolved with their kids.
- Many Dads are unavailable – According to the US Census Bureau, 1/3 of all children in America (24 million) live in homes without their biological father.
- Many Dads are uninvolved — Although Fathers might be physically at home, many are “Mr. Someplace Else”. They are uninterested and their attention is elsewhere.
When Dads are not around, studies reveal that devastation occurs…
- Children in father-absent homes are almost 4 times more likely to be poor (see National Fatherhood Initiative).
- Children who come from fatherless homes are 5 times more likely to have emotional problems and repeat a grade (see No Man Left Behind).
- 85% of the male prison population in America reported having no father figure in their lives (see Bringing Up Boys).
In the Bible, God tells us that if the hearts of the fathers are not turned toward their children, then the entire system of God’s blessing is disrupted. Malachi 4:4-6 says: “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
How do we impact societies? We impact societies when we invest in our children, when we turn our hearts to them (see Luke 1:17). This is a call to both Moms and Dads. If Parents are actively involved in the lives of their children and teach them in the ways of the LORD, our country will dramatically change (Proverbs 22:6). I want to specifically encourage all Dads to give attention to your kids.
Dads, here are 3 things I recommend doing with your children…
- Talk to Them – Ask questions like… “What did you do today?” or “What did you learn today?” If they are going through a tough time, provide a listening ear and give counsel when they ask. Be sure to actively listen to them, caring about what they do and say. Pray with them and teach them about the Bible and other important topics.
- Spend Time with Them – This could be as simple as shooting hoops or playing board games, or as complex as taking them out to dinner or a sporting event. Be sure to show them they are matter. Don’t over-think it, just be there. Be proactive and not reactive.
- Learn about Parenting – I’m a father of 2, going on 3. I know I will never stop learning about what it means to be a father. There are some great books on parenting. I highly recommend Visionary Parenting & Shepherding a Child’s Heart.
As a grown adult, to this day I talk about how proud I am of my Dad. I still go to him for counsel because I know he cares about me and wants what is best for me. Fathers, never forget the impact you have on your kids, no matter what age and stage of life you are in.