No matter where you live I want you to know that the death of fatherhood is devastating your city from the inside out right now, today. Here in the United States the statistics are staggering when it comes to fatherless homes:
- 25 million children in the United States are growing up in fatherless homes.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
- 71% of all adolescent substance abusers come from fatherless homes.
- 80% of all in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
- 70% of adolescents in juvenile correctional facilities come from fatherless homes.
- 60% of rapists come from fatherless homes.
- 70% teen pregnancies happen in fatherless homes.
(Statistics from National Center For Fathering 2015)
The statistics are not any indication on the women that are left with the heavy responsibility to care for children in many cases on their own. These women are doing the job of two and doing it, most likely while they are working more then one job. They are not the reason that we are talking about fatherhood. We are talking about fatherhood because in most cases (not all cases) that we have men that are walking away from their responsibility and opportunity to be a FATHER.
So what does this mean for us today? What does this mean for us in the coming years? I believe that it is an amazing opportunity for those of that have had a father or have grown into fatherhood to help both young man and high school boys. It is the opportunity that we have to be a part of breaking the chains of dysfunction that have lead to the slow death of fatherhood. Here are some ways that we can take this opportunity and begin to make a difference:
- Start where you are at with the boys that are right in your own neighborhood. I guarantee that you will see some young guys throwing the ball around or kicking that ball around on your street. Just take some to spend with them playing and talking. It is amazing how much a kid will talk while they are playing.
- If you are father then take the time to get to know the other boys or girls that are hanging out with your children. Don’t just let them wander through the house without them seeing or getting to know there is a father in the place.
- Take the time to talk and mess around with the boys and young men that are involved in your church. You just might be exactly what one of these mothers are looking for when it comes to helping them encourage their children. (I had two men in my life that were just like this)
- If you are single man that has no children of your own then I challenge you to get involved with an organization that would enable you to mentor a young man. I know that there are many amazing organizations like this where ever you life. (Where I live we have an amazing group called, “Save Our Youth”.)
Here is my challenge to you whether your are a father or not, do something. Take the time to get involved in a child’s life. You may never know the difference you can make by helping be a part of being a FATHER.
What are some other ways that you can get involved in the lives of children that are living in fatherless homes?
I was never prepared to be a dad let alone a dad of two daughters. I mean I was a boy so when we had our son I kind of had that one figured out. But daughters really, two of them, I was really deep in the weeds. So I wanted to be able to share with you some of the things that I have learned being the dad of two daughters that have grown up to be amazing women. So here you go:
- Listen to your wife! I had to listen to my wife a lot because I am the oldest of four and my sister was ten years younger then me. So I was clueless to a lot of areas when it came to what girls didn’t need or did need from a dad.
- Hug them always. One of the things that I always have done is hug my girls. I hugged my girls even when they didn’t want me too. Yep I went against the first one but that was only because I wanted my girls to know that I was going to love them and care for them whether they wanted me to or not.
- Be Honest with them. Now if you are a dad to a girl then you know the dreaded questions that start like this, “Dad what do you think about . . . ” insert hair, dress, make up, and a long list of others. Unfortunately when we first started with these questions I was to honest and I did not set up my answer. So I had a lot of looks from my wife and coaching with, “You don’t say that to a girl”. To which I would answer, “Well then why did she ask me?” So I would preface my answer by saying, “Do you want me to be honest?” Now I said that when I didn’t like what I saw and I have said that when I did like what I saw. (Be consistent)
- Set the Tone. If you want your daughter to have a man that is going to love and care for her, then you need to set the tone. So that is where you as the dad need to model exactly the kind of man that you want your daughters to look for in their life. In fact I think that you should set the bar so high that your girls will go out on dates with the young men in their life and expect them to act like you. And when the young men don’t act like you make sure you teach those same girls to not except it. So if you haven’t got what I am saying, then here you go. Love your wife the way that you want your daughters to be loved.
- Prepare them for Life. I know that you are probably thinking, well that is a big statement and you are right it is. But I believe that it is something that is very important. So prepare them to handle their finances, prepare them to take care of their car, prepare them to defend themselves if needed, prepare them to speak up, prepare them to trust, and prepare them to leave home well. I don’t expect my daughters to have to have a man to take care of them, I know that they can do it. But I also want to prepare them for a life with another, so prepare them to talk with a man, prepare them to love someone, prepare them to sacrifice for someone, you see prepare them for life.
There are just a few of the things that I would say are important when it comes to being a dad to daughters. But here is the last one and the most important prepare them to say, “I am sorry.” How do you do this? Learn to say it yourself. If there are some others that you can think of then feel free to comment and share them.
When you get to a certain mile stone in life you should take the time to reflect on how you got there. The reason that I believe that is important is because wouldn’t it be great to share that information with those that are coming after you. Especially as parents and to be honest in this day an age as a father we need to show more young men on how to lead the way in married life. So here are a few things that I have learned over 25 years of marriage. (This is the short list)
- Keep a long list of ways that you can make her feel special and loved.
- Keep a short list of the fights that you have and the things that are said.
- Make time for talking about her day not matter what she does in life.
- Find older men that can talk to you about what they have done to be a healthy husband and father.
- Have a group of men that you can have the tough conversations with about marriage and parenting. (Your wife will not always understand you. DUH!)
- Always find time to get away for at least 24 hours without the rest of your family. Couples need to take time for themselves, your relationship needs to matter or your family will not get your best.
- Celebrate the things that show your wife and your family that they matter. (Anniversary’s and Birthdays are the easy ways, get creative.)
- Make sure that you take the time to date your mate. (If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.)
- Pray daily for the ways that God can continue to grow and unite you as a couple.
- Start back at one . . .
If you have an idea of one thing that you think is important to remember for a long lasting marriage please feel to make a comment and share. The more that we learn from each other and the more we share the better we become as men.
I have three children two daughters and a son. I had the privilege to grow up in a house that had four children three boys and one girl. She was the youngest and I was the oldest of the family we are ten years a part. I never was around for the teenage years of my sister when she was growing up so I never experienced walking through life with a teenage girl. Well now we have two in the house and I am learning everyday from them and theie mother about walking through life with a teenage daughter. While they were growing up I have always read books from men that have had daughters. I have read books about parenting and at times especially parenting daughters. Why? Because I was afraid. I did not want to be a total screw up when it came to being the father my daughters needed. So as a dad of daughters I want to share a couple of things I have learned. I want to start with this scripture so that you know what I am sharing comes from a biblical presence:
Col. 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.
As I have studied this biblical passage I know that so many times we take it as what we are to do when it comes to disciplining our kids. Or you will even hear some people that say that it means not to tease your kids, I don’t get that one. But as I have walked through the last 16 years with daughters here are some things that I would encourage dad to do when it comes to not “aggravating your children”.
Dads don’t withhold your love and affection to your daughters mother. How can this aggravate your daughter? It is aggravating because she will not know what a healthy relationship will look like. She will then become aggravated by trying to figure out if and when she gets married if she is to be like her parents or like the people in relationships that she sees on t.v.
Dads don’t with hold your love and affection to your daughter. How can this aggravate your daughter? It then makes her want to get that love and affection some where else. I can then pretty much guarantee that is the love and affection you don’t want her to be getting from some hairy legged teenage boy that thinks being a man is what he does between the sheets with a girl. No matter what age your daughter is you need to kiss and hug her. No matter how she has developed she needs to snuggle with her dad on the couch while watching a movie. No matter how much you may get frustrated with her because you just don’t understand how she can change moods like you change channels, give her a hug before she goes to bed.
Dads don’t with hold your words about how beautiful she is. How can this aggravate your daughter? She will then look for her beauty identity from other places. She will compare herself to the magazines, which she will do anyway. She will compare herself to the girls at school who have made a choice to where clothes that have less fabric then a band aid, which she will do anyway. You may right now asking your self well if she is going to do all of this any way then what is the use? The reason you need to do it is because you love your daughter and a daddy speak into this part of his daughters life like no other.
I am sure that if you were to ask most women today they would have never complain that there dad loved their mom to much, that there dad loved them with appropriate God ordained love to much, and that there dad told them they were beautiful to much. I am here to say DADS don’t aggravate your daughters If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.
I have to share with you all what happened to me on Monday when I was in Starbucks journalling and reading. I had got my Venti Vanilla latte and coffee cake then found a table that was empty near the front of the building. It was a table that had the whole wall as the window. While I was sitting there enjoying my Christian Crack and cake I watched a little girl, her puppy, and mom walk up to the building. They had tied the puppy up to the leg of a chair so that they could come in and get their drinks. But as soon as they had closed the door behind them the puppy went nuts and started barking then almost choking itself to get to the door. So the Mom told the little girl to stay there until the Mom came back with the drinks, she did just that and I have to admit I enjoyed watching her love on her puppy.
So I decided I better get to reading and writing because that was the reason I was there. So I dove into my journal, I began writing out my prayers, I was very focused. After that I grabbed my ductape bible and started eating the verses up as I was eating up the coffee cake. I was really saturated with the moment. Until! Thats right until! Until the little girl almost had her face pressed to the glass next to me. It caught me off guard so I literally jumped away from the window. Which in turn made the little girl jump back and made her mom begin to laugh out loud it was awesome! I began to laugh to myself. But soon returned to my cake and my bible. With the occasional funny face to the little girl who was very embarrassed but what had happened.
As they were getting ready to leave the mom came in to throw away there cups and to apologize to me. This is what she said that really caught my attention, “Sorry about that she was so worried about what was on her face that she forgot that she was looking at a window and not a mirror. She forgot that there were people on the other side that could see her.” I said no problem but what she said really caused me to think. I love it when these things happen.
The little girl is a lot like me. There are those days, those moments, those seconds that I am so focused on me that I forget about the others around me. That as a husband that I forget that m wife is watching, That as a dad that I forget that on the other side of the glass are my kids watching. That as a follower of Jesus Christ I forget that people are watching. What would happen if we spent less time looking at ourselves in the glass and looked beyond it to the people that are watching and waiting? How would that change our perspective? How would that change not just us but the people around us? Who knows they actually might see who we really are and now who we think we are as we look into the glass.
Titus 2: 7 (NLT)”And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
What type of reflection are you giving to those that are watching you in your life?
We are a family that because I work at a church always enjoys spending the day at the church for Easter. My kids have shared that some of their best memories are when we are all working together during these services. Because we are at the church from early until late then Michelle has always left the church early to go and hide Easter eggs so that they kids were surprised when they got home from being at church. With them all being older and not wanting to hide all the Easter Eggs and they also made the comment that they were to easy to find this year Michelle decided to hide just nine eggs and she hid them hard. She hid them so hard that she was worried that she would forget where she put them so she made a note for where all the eggs were placed. This is the note that she made:
That is how awesome my wife is, never want to have a hidden egg go bad on you. We even needed to use the notes because the kids couldn’t find them all. Don’t tell mom that it was to easy or she will bring it. Had a great Easter, will be posting more pictures and even a video.
What Easter stories do you have to tell?
With all that is going on in the world I found a video that I thought was very appropriate with the decisions that are current President is making when it comes abortion. We can point fingers, scream, and yell. But I thought that Nick Cannon does a great job creating a point of view that not many of us can take. This is from the point of the child that is be aborted. That is what Nick Cannons mom almost did with him. Watch the video and listen to the words that he shares.
My more and more people take a look at the bold and brave mothers that take the stance to let their children live. There are several women that I have know that have chosen to keep their children and still survived life. Seek the Lord and lean not on your understanding.