What is the importance of dads in the lives of our children? Guest contributor Julie Loos shares the facts on why we need to build up the fathers in our lives.
What Everyone Should Know about the Importance of Dads
“I don’t have a dad,” the young man explained. “I’ve never even met him.” Another young man knows who his dad is, but doesn’t stay in touch with him. Still, another has an abusive, alcoholic father who isn’t there emotionally.
All these boys conversed with me with little emotion, but I had to wonder if somehow hidden in the rifts of their minds pain was in there somewhere?
Hearing these young men candidly admit they were raised without fathers broke my heart. I felt sadness because it’s not the way it should be, the way God intended it.
In our society, a trend is growing with an increase in absent fathers. Regardless of how it happens – whether estrangement, death or even a physically available but emotionally unavailable father – being without a father has enormous consequences.
When I searched google, this is the list of effects of absent fathers:
- Increase anxiety and depression
- Increase substance abuse
- Children becoming parents at young age
- Increase divorce and relationship problems
- Behavioral problems
- For boys: 5x increase in suicide rate, 32x increase rate of incarceration.
- For girls: lack of security, earlier puberty, and parenthood
Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation.
When Dad isn’t present, statistics show effects. If our Dad is absent or emotionally unavailable it can affect our view of God. Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate role model for Dads.
The truth is, we need our Dads in our lives. The role they play can’t be substituted by a mom. (Hear me, mothers who have raised kids by yourselves, you are doing a great job and your children might be the exception to these statistics.)
The role of a Father is essential to reverse the effects from above, but also when it comes to children’s faith. We need our dads for our faith!
6 Reasons Dad’s Role is Important
- When Dads attend church (with mothers), there is a greater probability kids will continue going.
- Dads can model what living as a Christian means.
- Fathers influence children’s commitment to faith.
- Dads guide our families to be strong in the Lord.
- Fathers display thankfulness, service, and generosity as a legacy for the household.
- They model leadership, protection, and security.
When our Dads hurt us
Many times, we think God is just like our Earthly fathers. So if our dad was an absolute or emotionally absent, we portray God to be this way also. If our father abused us and hurt us, God must intend to do the same.
With fatherlessness increasing, we have young people viewing God in light of their fathers. This comparison could be detrimental to faith and have eternal ramifications if these young people don’t come to faith.
Why God isn’t like our human Dads
- Our dads are sinful, and they make mistakes; however, our Heavenly Father is perfect.
- God loves unconditionally.
- He never breaks his promises.
- Our Heavenly Father will never leave or forget about us.
Here’s the thing, we live in a sinful world, and bad, painful things happen to us. The only way to move past from the hurt our fathers gave us is to heal in the arms of Jesus.
If you don’t have a father, God can be that and so much more to you. He will help you overcome the pain and bind up those wounds that were left. He loves you.
God is love and delivered His Son to the cross to prove His love for each of us.
18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
John 14:18 (NLT)
When Dad’s Aren’t Present in their Role
You may have gaping wounds that were left by an absent father; if so, then I’m sorry. Please accept the love God has for you. He is the best Father.
If you’re married and your husband isn’t filling the fatherly role, can I pray with you?
Heavenly Father- I want to thank you for my husband and blessing he is to me. I ask you to nudge him closer to you, so you can fill him with the desire to be a leader of this family. Give him wisdom, patience, and commitment to walk in faith in front of our family. Let him accept his mistakes, move on and try harder the next time. Move him to grow more like Christ and grasp the importance of his role in this family! Amen.
This role of a father is so important that we as mothers need to be intentional about including it in our daily prayers. Our children’s faith and wellbeing depend on it. During these times of prayer, can we also add the fatherless people, that they may experience the love of God and the security only He can give?
The truth is our society and families need fathers; this role is critical.
Those three young boys, the conversation would have been a great segue into the love of God, but the words didn’t enter my mouth. I screwed up. Please tell me you’ve missed significant chances to share your faith before?
What I’ve learned from this encounter is to plant a little seed of God and then let Him do the growing.
Hopefully next time I’m not going to mess it up.
About Julie Loos
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years.
She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes.