We have an epidemic in America today. It isn't an epidemic of disease but a social malady, that of single parent households. Single parent households are a reality today's world. We need to support and pray for the mothers and fathers who are raising children by themselves, yet at the same time, we need to lift up the standard found in God's word of a two parent household comprised of a father and a mother. This traditional two parent household plays a huge role in shaping our children and our society.
In the 1980s, divorce was the number one cause of poverty for women. Sadly today, many men choose to father children out of wedlock, thus virtually guaranteeing that their children will either be killed by abortion or that their children and girlfriends would live lives of poverty. Fathers sometimes encourage, pay for, and/or coerce their girlfriends to have an abortion. Other times, fathers want to keep their children but have no say, yet fathers always have a say prior to conception. Being pro-life starts before conception. Being a good father does as well. Indeed, young men have a duty to abstain from sex prior to marriage and to love and be faithful to their wives in marriage. Making and sticking with this decision plays a huge economic role in raising children.
But the benefits of a father in the home don't stop with economics. Children who play rough with their fathers actually have more self control and are less likely to take out their aggression on others. Boys and girls who have a loving relationship with their fathers are less likely to engage in fornication or homosexuality. Fathers also provide firm discipline to help keep their children in line. Fathers push their children to achieve more and expose them to the business world, but the most important factor a father plays in raising his children is a spiritual one.
Of families where both parents bring their children to church, 76% of children attend church as adults. If only the father brings his children to church, the percent drops to 55%. If only the mother brings her children to church, only 19% stay in church, and a child who is not brought to church by either parent has only a 6% chance of attending church as an adult. This is why God instructs fathers in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 to diligently teach their children the law of God, and for those of us who haven't always followed God's commandments (and who has completely followed them), He instructs fathers in Psalm 78 to train their children to obey God's law that their children may obeyed God where their fathers disobeyed Him. That should give us all hope for the next generation, if we do our part.
To learn more, listen to my father's day sermon on the importance of fathers at Covenant Tabernacle's website.