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.”
"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 CALLED ABBA, “FATHER.”
EFFECTS OF FATHERLESSNESS (ABSENT FATHERS):
Fatherlessness or absent fathers are defined as “those men who do not interact with their children on a regular basis and consequently do not play a significant role in their personal life development processes.” Divorce, separation, death, tight schedule and abandonment are some of the causes of Fatherlessness or absent father situation.
Here are some effects of Fatherlessness on both the male and the female child:
1. ON A MALE CHILD
a. Identity crisis
b. Purposeless living
c. Leadership inabilities
d. Marital challenges
e. Financial challenges
f. Social conflicts
g. Spiritual instability
2. ON THE FEMALE CHILD:
•INSECURITY: Women without father figures lack a sense of protection and as a result may become easily discouraged and insecurity.
• DECISION MAKING Fathers' absence does not only hinder their ability to make sound decisions, it also triggers negative reactions as opposed to positive ones.
• RELATIONSHIP Girls who have little contact with their fathers, especially during adolescence do have great difficulties forming lasting relationships with men.
•PERSPECTIVE They develop a feminine and biased definition of who a man is and a false perception of what marriage is or should be like hence end up in relational crisis.
THE DUTIES OF A FATHER
1. TO PROTECT
2. TO PROVIDE
3. TO INITIATE
4. TO ESTABLISH
5. TO SUSTAIN
6. TO LEAD
7. TO MENTOR
8. TO BE A ROLE MODEL: "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland, U.S. Writer
THE 7 BENEFITS OF BEEN FATHERED
1. IMPARTATION OF WISDOM FOR LIVING
2. IMPARTATION OF WISDOM FOR LEADERSHIP
3. IMPARTATION OF WISDOM FOR GOVERNANCE
4. IMPARTATION OF THE ANOINTING FOR EXPLOITS
5. IMPARTATION OF WISDOM FOR GREATNESS
6. IMPARTATION OF WISDOM FOR MINISTRY
7. IMPARTATION OF WIDOM FOR SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP
A CLARION CALL
A researcher just made this amazing discovery,
“The decline of fatherhood is one of the most basic, unexpected and extraordinary trends of our time. Its dimensions can be captured in a single statistic: In just three decades, between 1960 and 1990, the percentage of children living apart from their biological fathers more than doubled, from 17 percent to 36 percent. By the turn of the century, nearly 50 percent of American children may be going to sleep each evening without being able to say good night to their dads.” Another researcher puts it this way, “Girls who have little contact with their fathers, especially during adolescence had great difficulties forming lasting relationships with men. Sadly these females either shy away from males altogether or become sexually aggressive. Girls with involved fathers learn how to interact with males by using the father-daughter relationship as a model. They not only have a concerned male to converse with but also a feeling of acceptance, knowing they are loved by at least one male. Females without father figures often become desperate for male attention” (Grimm-Wassil, 1994).
In conclusion, there is therefore a clarion call to all our Churches, Para-Church ministries and Spiritual leaders to take on the role of Fathering seriously. True spiritual fathers are very few as declared by Paul the Apostle in 1Corinthians 4:15, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” Real Fathers introduce their Children to destiny and model lasting values before them. Father someone today!
NB: If you will love to experience the FATHERHOOD of God why not pray this short but powerful prayer:
FATHER, I COME TO YOU AS A SINNER,
I ASK THAT YOU FORGIVE MY SIN,
WASH ME IN THE BLOOD OF YOUR SON-JESUS CHRIST,
MAKE ME YOUR CHILD RIGHT,
I ASK FOR THE GRACE TO LIVE FOR YOU FROM NOW ON,
IN JESUS NAME!
If you have just prayed that Prayer, the bible declares in Romans 10:8-10 that you have just become a child of God. Call today, text or send me an e-mail today and I will include you in my prayer and mailing list. Look for a good Church in your City and worship there.
Sam Oye is an author, motivational speaker, relationship and leadership coach with a unique ability to help individuals move towards peak performance in their Faith, Faith and Family life through the teaching and application of biblical principles. He is the CEO, Springtime Leadership Consult. He is the Coordinator, INTERNATIONAL WOMEN SCHOOL OF MINISTRY. In recognition of his commitment Sam was invited by the US Government to represent Nigeria at the 2010 INTERNATIONAL VISITOR LEADERSHIP program in the UNITED STATES. He was also honored by the Mayor of PENSACOLA, FLORIDA as a HONORARY CITIZEN OF PENSACOLA. His capacity to connect with diverse audience has since made him to be sought after as a speaker in Churches, Conferences, Corporate organizations and on Campuses in Nigeria, South Africa, UK and the US. He is happily Married to Mary Oye and both reside in Abuja.
Write: P.O.Box 17150, Wuse District, Abuja. FCT-Nigeria.