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Christian Counseling - The Importance of Fathers

A student asked their teacher recently why the class was not doing a project to celebrate Father's Day. The teacher responded, "Dads don't really care about Father's Day." Is it that dads do not care about Father's Day, or is it that our society does not care about dads?

We do much to celebrate the value of mothers in our world, and rightly so. Mothers deserve to be honored every day for what they do to raise children. However, as we have increased in our value of motherhood, we seem to have decreased in our value of fatherhood. Over the last 40 years, we have treated gender issues as a zero sum game. As mothers have increased, fathers have decreased. In order to be accepting of single parent families, society has lessened the importance of having a father involved in a child's life. Look at any family sitcom of the last 30 years, and you will likely see the father portrayed as a lovable buffoon. Rather than being portrayed as a necessary and important part of the family, he is seen as another child for the mother to take care of in the home. The mother is seen as the logical one who saves the family in every episode. The Cosby Show serves as an exception to this rule.

Mother's do not have to decrease as we increase in our honor of fathers. Both can be honored together. If you missed Father's Day, or did not do celebrate accordingly, remember that any day could be Father's Day. Just pick a day and choose to honor your father. As we celebrate Father's Day, here are some statistics that show the importance of fathers:

  • 85% of all children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes. (Center for Disease Control)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. (Rainbow for all God's Children)
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
  • Daughters in fatherless homes are 711% more likely to have children during their teenage years, 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth, and 92% more likely to get divorced. (Parents or Prisons)
  • Children with involved fathers are 70% less likely to drop out of school, more likely to get A's in school, and involved in more extracurricular activities. (Development and Psychopathology)

These statistics are not meant to denigrate single parent families or mothers. As was said above, I do not believe we have to tear one down down as we build up another. That being said, have a Happy Father's Day!!

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