We are all too aware of the disheartening statistics about fatherlessness here in the U.S. According to the Census Bureau, more than 1 in 4 children live without a father in the home. The National Fatherhood Initiative has studied the impact of that absence and discovered that it’s a primary factor in nearly all of the societal ills facing our nation. Children without fathers are:
o 4 times more likely to live in poverty
o 7 times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
o Twice as likely to drop out of high school
o More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
o Twice as likely to suffer obesity
o More likely to commit a crime and go to prison
o At greater risk of abuse and neglect
o More likely to have behavioral problems
o At twice the risk of infant mortality
In Haiti, where our organization LiveBeyond works to provide sustainable solutions for this nation’s extreme poverty, the statistics are likely even worse. Fathers rarely hang around after babies are born, and even fewer actually marry. Approximately 30% of women age 20-24 are married, compared to only 8% of men in the same age group.
As we provide nutrition, healthcare and education for the people we serve in Haiti, we also emphasize biblical teaching and the difference it can make in our lives beyond the spiritual. The Bible gives much instruction for parents, beginning with God’s plan for marriage and families. Scripture agrees that parents have a vital role in raising their children in the training and instruction of the Lord, according to Ephesians 6:4. Fathers are a specific focus of this instruction from the Lord. They are the head of the house, the protector, the defender.
By advocating for the family unit through our evangelism efforts, we encourage men to marry the mothers of their children, thus making a commitment to their wives as well as their children. Not only is this biblical, but these men are more likely to be present and involved with their offspring. We have so many single mothers in our program that we also see a lot of opportunity for men to step into the role of stepfather when they marry these young moms. So, whether a biological father or not, the presence of a dad in a child’s life can make an amazing difference.
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Source: Christian Headlines