A Wounded People: America's Fatherless Epidemic
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
"He will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers and the hearts of the children to their fathers or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." - Malachi 4:6
America is living under a curse. We can blame the Democrats. We can blame the Republicans. We can blame Trump. We can blame Obama. We can call it mental illness. We can ban guns. But, none of these scapegoats will solve the problems of America.
Trying to fix the social ills of America without addressing the epidemic of fatherlessness in our nation is like a doctor putting a band-aid on a cancer patient and thinking that will solve the problem.
It's like a tree or a plant that is rotten in the root. You can trim off the dead leaves and branches, and for awhile it looks better. However, the dead leaves and branches will keep returning because it's rotten in the core.
We can switch political parties. We can throw more money at the education system. We can protest. We can point the finger and blame others, but the real blame needs to be pointed at ourselves.
People get angry with lying politicians, but how many men lie every night to their wives about where they've been? If you cheat on your wife how can you be mad at a politician who lies and cheats? Depending on which statistics you look at, it's estimated that anywhere between 25 to 60 percent of married men have had affairs. If we went with the lower end, that would be between one out of four or one out of every three men.
We gasp at the ever increasing national debt, and yet how many Americans are living under ever-increasing credit card debt? According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, Americans have on average $16,425 in credit card debt; collectively, we owe nearly $1 trillion in credit card debt.
It seems every week we hear of another high-profile individual being exposed for some type of sexual assault against women or even children. But why are we so surprised by this when we are massive consumers of porn? According to a study by Proven Men Ministries, two-thirds of men watch porn on a monthly basis, and one-third of women watch it monthly, according to a study done by Typeform for Marie Claire.
And now the appetite for sex is coming after our children, whom are increasingly being sexualized. A sickening example of this is the The New York Times and many other mainstream media outlets that are applauding the sexual exploitation of grown men dressed in drag reading to little children in libraries, and gloryfying an 11-year-old boy dressed in drag, parading around in a cropped shirt, dancing for money at a men's gay bar.
How has America sunk so low that we are one step away from publicly prostituting our children to adults?
One only needs to look at our families to find the answer. Our country is built upon states. States are built upon counties. Counties are built upon cities. Cities are built upon communities. Communities are built upon families.
A nation is only as strong as its families....and right now, our families are crumbling due to fathers who are missing in action. Every social ill increases when fathers are removed from the home. Consider some of these facts:
* Kids with absent fathers are twice as likely to commit suicide.
* 85% of youth in prison come from homes without fathers.
* 71% of high school drop-outs didn't have their dads involved in their lives.
* Adolescents without fathers are 10 times as likely to suffer substance abuse.
* Children who grow up without fathers are 4 times as likely to live in poverty.
* Those who have no father in the home are 11 times more likely to be violent.
* 9 out of 10 homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes.
* 70% of teen pregnancies come from homes where the father isn't present.
We need to begin to look at our problems from a micro level and not a macro level. Our problems will never be fixed at a macro level. The government, schools or psychologists will never solve these problems. They can certainly assist, but if we don't first address the foundational problem, there will always be cracks that cause it to crumble. It makes no sense to keep pouring money and labor into fixing the roof of a home whose foundation is sinking. And right now, our foundation is sinking.
"Hurt people hurt people" is a saying we've all heard, but how true it is. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard from young and old, rich and poor, influential and overlooked, black and white - of how they were hurt and impacted by either an absent, neglectful, uninvolved or abusive father.
Those daddy wounds are real and they multiply. They impact the people you marry. They impact your children and your children's children. They impact your significant other. They impact all the people you have relationships with.
When the person who is supposed to love you and to be your protector and provider, instead rejects you or hurts you, it causes wounds to your soul; and those wounds come out in all kinds of profane ways. Roland Warren, Former President of National Fatherhood Institute said it like this.
"Kids have a hole in their soul in the shape of their dads."
Barack Obama said this about our fatherless epidemic.
"....what too many fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."
And one might add, our nation is weaker because of it.
We often repeat in our own lives what we see growing up. So as a child, if a boy has no role model as a father or a negative role model for a father, the likelihood of that cycle repeating itself in his own life is high.
If a boy's father abandoned the family when conflict occurred, what is he going to do when things get hard? Bail too. It's all he knows.
If his father was abusive or cheated on his mother, what is he going to do? More than likely the same thing. These are the generational curses God talks about, and they are real. Just ask how many men hated or disliked their father, and yet, ended up so much like him.
"Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." - Exodus 34:7
I'll never forget one time I was in my class that I teach to men in prison, and we were talking about their fathers, when one of them men said, "My father was a sorry b**tard."
I asked him why he said this and he said, "Cause he was on drugs and never around." I then asked him if he had kids. He said he did. I then asked him what he was in prison for.
"I'm sure you love your kids, but do you think it's possible that maybe your kids are saying the same thing about you?" I asked.
He sat there for a few more moments in deep thought and quietly said, "I never thought of it that way."
"In the same way that you may need to ask for forgiveness from your kids for being out of their lives due to the choices you made that sent you to prison, do you think you could find it in your heart to forgive your dad?"
He slowly nodded his head considering this possiblity.
Most of us don't set out to hurt other people, it's just what we end up doing when we don't get our hurt resolved. If I were satan and had a plan to destroy God's people I would start with inflicting wounds in the family. What better way to create a multiplying cycle than to get them when their young, so that they can repeat this destructive cycle in their own lives.
When God says the sins of the father go to the third and fourth generation it doesn't mean that the children are automatically cursed by their father and there is nothing they can do about it. What he is saying is that when a father commits sins he opens the door to the enemy to attack his family; therefore, negating his job as the protector.
Then once the enemy makes entryway into the family, he comes to wreak havoc. The enemy doesn't come to play. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. It's much easier to keep him from entering in the first place than it is to try and get him out once he's made an entrance into a family's household.
Once sin has entered into the family through the father, satan uses the father to begin to tear down his own house through emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, or neglect and abandonment.
Once the father has wounded the mother and the kids, now they become susceptible to the enemy through angry, bitterness, insecurity and lack of identity. The hedge of protection from the father is removed and now the mother and children are left to fend for themselves.
Which is easier, to stack a hundred logs by yourself or with another person? With another person of course. Parenthood was never meant to be shouldered by one person. The load is too heavy. When a load is too heavy, one begins to look for ways to lighten the load.
A single mother who is already wounded from rejection from the father, is vulnerable to making bad decisions in rebound relationships. By seeking acceptance in another man in attempt to rebuild her battered self-esteem or possibly lighten the financial burden, she allows a man to move in and ends up ignoring or overlooking abuse that's taking place by the boyfriend to her children.
This only serves to solidify the child's feelings of unworthiness from their father and begins to build a wall around their heart to not allow anyone else to hurt them. Even though they desperately desire to love and be loved, they end up rejecting love for fear of being hurt again.
This then creates a love void, and in today's society we have huge vacuums of love; and whenever there is an empty space something is going to try and fill it. We fill it with serial dating, compulsive eating, drinking, drugs, porn, anger...you name it, we'll fill it.
So, we can keep putting band-aids on our social ills, but until we get to the root of the problem by rebuilding our men to be providers, protectors and leaders of their families, we will be a nation of wounded people whose foundation is crumbling.