by Courtney Aintablian
Fatherless-ness: it is an epidemic. We see it in our schools, work places, churches – you cannot miss it. It has become the “norm” to see a mother raising her children on her own.. What has happened in our society? Have men lost their sense of responsibility to their children? Have women decided their children are better off without their father? For whatever reason, children are raised without their fathers more frequently, and they are suffering because of it.
Children raised in single parent homes are at a higher risk for developing emotional issues such as anger management problems, anxiety, and depression than children raised in a dual parent homes. These children also experience more loneliness and difficulty with academics and social skills. A home without a father leaves a child without a firm understanding of his or her role in the family and in the world resulting in the child distancing himself or herself from others. In many homes these familial and social issues are not addressed and children are left to cope with them on their own.
These children are also still learning how to understand and effectively manage their feelings. Unfortunately, some cope by turning to video games or pornography; still others use drugs as outlets, leading to worsening depression, anxiety, and violence. Adolescent males raised without a father present often become absent fathers themselves and are at the highest risk for committing violent acts.
One reason fatherless homes have become so prevalent today is because marriage no longer holds the importance it once did, with divorce rates in recent years on the rise. I have heard many people describe marriage as “ just signing a piece of paper.” Yet, statistically, cohabitation ends in separation more than marriage ends in divorce, and those who cohabit before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who did not.
Our society has created a sense that fathers do not have the same obligation to their children as mothers do. It has made men feel that if things became difficult they can just leave. The father’s role has been demeaned by not allowing men input in their own child’s abortion. Legally, the mother can abort her child even if the father opposes and he can literally do nothing about it. Extreme feminism has created the idea that children do not need their father at all. A past coworker of mine was dating a man when she became pregnant. Instead of telling the father, she broke up with him and never spoke to or saw him again. Her reasoning: if the father knew she was pregnant he would want to be involved and have a say in the child’s life and she would have to allow him to. She felt it was better to have her child never know the father.
Fatherless children are generally amongst the poorest in the world and require extra funds to give them the opportunities they need to succeed in life. There are organizations that are trying to do just that and you can support them in their efforts. Compassion is a group that is specifically geared towards helping children in poverty. You can sponsor a child through their organization. Man Up and Go is a group that completes missions around the world building school buildings, health facilities, etc. and, amongst other things, provides school funds for children.
The 700 million children growing up around the world without a father in the home need our help. Men: these children need good examples. If you know of a family without a father, “fill the void.” Care about those children and encourage them and love them. Show them what a father is supposed to be so they have the best chance to follow in your footsteps. Women, support your families and strengthen your marriage as you teach your children, and those around you, the importance of fathers in the home. While wee cannot force fathers to stay with the family, we can choose to help the children suffering without their fathers. We can make a difference. The question is, how will you make a difference?