FATHERLESSNESS
The effects of growing up without a father’s influence or Presence
By Pastor Sam Oye

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Malachi 4:6

"It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” Pope John XXIII
The greatest challenge facing our world today is that of FATHERLESNESS either due to divorce, death, separation or absenteeism. According to National Fatherhood Initiative, An estimated 24.7 million children (36.3%) live without their biological fathers. The effects of fatherlessness can be seen in the following researches conducted in the US alone:

• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
• 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
• 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes --14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
• 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
• 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average. (Rainbows for All God’s Children)
• 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
• 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)

THE DANGER OF CHILDREN IN FATHER ABSENT HOMES?
• 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide.
• 6.6 times more likely to become teenage mothers.
• 24.3 times more likely to run away.
• 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
• 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institution.
• 10.8 times more likely to commit rape.
• 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school.
• 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.

WHO IS A FATHER:
1. A Man who is or acts as a parent.
2. A Man who is a provider.
3. A Man who is a protector.
4. A Man who is an exemplary leader.
5. A Man who blesses and empowers.
6. A Man who is a forerunner.
7. A Man who is a Shepherd.
8. A Man who makes Sacrifices.

Therefore, a Father is: an Ancestor, forerunner, predecessor, founder, progenitor, source and a shepherd.


CRIPPLED BECAUSE OF FATHERLESNESS
While I applaud the extraordinary efforts of women who have single-handedly brought up their children in this hostile world, I want to quickly add that the destiny of many other children have been crippled (like Mephiboshet in 2Samuel 4) because, their fathers left them in the hands of the women who either couldn’t carry them so very far in life or had to drop them in the face of unbearable challenges. When children (particularly the male children) are under-fathered and over-mothered, the consequences are usually momentous. Destinies have been crippled and potentials caged because of fatherlessness. It is a global challenge.

Fatherlessness affects both the male and the female child. I have met with several men who find it difficult to properly relate to or with women as they should because they were either over-mothered or under-fathered. I have also come to discover that the reason for many dysfunctional relationships is due to the fact that lots of ladies either had no responsible father figures or were wrongly informed about men by women who themselves were or are victims of unhealthy relationships.

Fathers are by design created and called to give affirmation, confirmation, make declarations and give identity to their offspring. To be a Father is the greatest title any man can ever have because GOD IS ALSO

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