After working at the local High School this past year I was amazed at the number of fatherless children. Kids who didn’t ask to be left – it was thrust upon them by the poor choice of a man. In many cases the Dad had either left, was addicted to drugs or alcohol, was in jail, or had died.
From the Fatherhoodfactor.com
1. 23.6% of US children (17.4 million) lived in father absent homes in 2014.
[US Census Bureau, 2015] Living arrangements of children under 18 years and marital status of parents, by age, sex, race, and hispanic origin and selected characteristics of the child for all children: 2014. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.
2. In 2011, children living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in married couple families.
[Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). Information on poverty and income statistics: A summary of 2012 current population survey data. Retrieved from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.cfm]
Mom did her best to provide and protect. But speaking from experience, it’s not the same. We Moms get tired. Our incomes drop significantly. We live in poverty now. We work multiple jobs at multiple places just to make ends meet. Often the Dad leaves the picture – regardless of what the Court says. Yeah that child support he is supposed to pay – don’t count on it. Most fathers don’t pay. We blame ourselves for being so ”stupid”. We lost our homes, our marriages, and our self respect. Often women are totally responsible from that day forward for everything. Totally not fair – to the kids or the mom.
Some of us get lucky and get remarried. An understanding stepparent can make a positive influence in a child’s life – if they and the kids are open to it. Often we women do learn from our ‘mistakes’ so as not to repeat the same pattern. Life can and does get better with time. But having a blended family may bring its own set of challenges with it.
Regardless, we have a whole generation of children growing up as orphans. They feel unwanted, unworthy, and unloved. They feel it’s their fault that it happened. They think they could have changed it. They often give up on love, on life, and on themselves.
The effects of fatherlessness upon a child can include:
Loss of self esteem
Loss of respect for themselves and others
Increased anxiety and depression
Acting out including fighting, defiance, and rude behaviors
Loss of moral compass
Early alcohol or drug abuse
Overly promiscuous and early sexual involvement
Overly sensitive to rejection
Overly dramatic or super withdrawn
Possible suicidal tendencies
I have heard many stories from many teens out there. It takes its toll on them. Even though they had nothing to do with it, they may feel it is there fault. It is not. It was the Dad that made the bad choice to abandon his family. In the Army they used to shoot Deserters. Let us as the Family of God ‘adopt’ the fatherless. They need things. Let us show up with our checkbooks along with our prayers. Let us, the Body of Christ, heal the brokenhearted. They need us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I have found there is only one way to heal the hurt – Jesus. As I have come to know the Lord he has shown me real love – not sex. He has shown me unconditional love. The Lord has continually provided for me and my kids. He has never left me, even when others have. He has been faithful to me when others have not been. He has healed the hurt that was in my heart. He will do it for you too. God promised to adopt us into his family when we admit our sin – our trying to live life without Him, and turn to Him.
My Prayer for the Fatherless Children:
I pray for all of the fatherless children in this world and their moms who are trying to keep it together. Lord, shine a light in their hearts and cover them with your love. Heal their brokenness. Give them supernatural provision. Let them come to know You and how you have adopted them into your family. Let them know they are loved, wanted, respected, and cherished. Give them a new name and a new identity, in Jesus Name.
God’s Word for the Fatherless:
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless,
a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. – Psalm 68:3-6 NIV
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1John 3:1-2