The Apple Of God's Eye

May 24, 2009

God's Plan For Children Without Fathers

The core institution of society is fatherhood. Period. Every boy has a father. Every girl has a father. When those fathers are present, and especially when they are involved in their children’s lives on a much deeper level, children thrive. Common sense shows it. Research proves it. Society denies it.

“The US’ out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38 percent. Among children, 28 percent are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50 percent and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71 percent for black children. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America’s white children (22 percent) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31 percent) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56 percent) are fatherless.

In the book Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem is this assessment: “There are exceptions, of course, but here is the rule: Boys raised by traditionally masculine fathers do not commit crimes. Fatherless boys commit crimes.” In fact, fatherlessness has been proven to be the number-one factor predisposing someone to criminal activity—more than poverty, iq, race, culture or education.

Girls who lack the strong influence of a father are much more prone to get involved sexually before they should. They are looking for a male to fulfill that need in their life that their father failed to fulfill. “Many studies confirm that girls who grow up without fathers are at much greater risk for early sexual activity, adolescent childbearing, divorce and lack of sexual confidence” (ibid.).

The vast majority of fatherless children are also prone to emotional imbalances, motivation problems (especially boys), anger, instability, vulnerability, insecurity and feelings of rejection—a sense of being unloved and unlovable. These same problems tend to crop up where a father is present, but is perhaps abusive, a workaholic, passive and unmasculine, sickly, manipulative or a perfectionist. Sadly, the children of such men can be just as much “fatherless” as those whose father completely abandoned the family, or died! If you want to know how important the father’s role is, just look at what happens when it is neglected.

Given the God-designed need for a father, it is interesting how protective God is of two groups of people in particular: the fatherless, and the widows. The Bible contains over 40 references to these two groups! It doesn’t specifically mention the motherless and widowers, but rather those who have been deprived of that male influence of a father and a husband—those for whom that family role isn’t being filled. God specifically condems those today who neglect the fatherless and widows.

“Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge [defend or vindicate] not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them” (Isaiah 1:23). God instructs these rebels, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (verses 16-17).

This is how to become right with God! These people need help—there is a void that God intended be filled in their lives. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

Because Satan has inspired the role of the father to be attacked so vigorously today, a majority of people have had poor relationships with their fathers. But God wants every child to have a father, and He pays special attention to those who do not, giving them extra love and attention (Zech. 7:9-10). The inspiring and hope-filled truth is, for those lacking a strong physical father, God seeks to step in and fill that role—both personally, and through strong males who are practicing the pure religion spoken of in James.

In His law, God says we should go out of our way to show compassion to the fatherless. It angers Him when people don’t do this (Mal. 3:5). Why? Because God is a family and desires more members in His future family through a resurrection (I Cor. 15).

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