Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Father Absenteeism

Father Absenteeism
Scripture Reading: Genesis 19:1-29
Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” the angels asked. “Get them out of this place—sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. For we will destroy the city completely. The stench of the place has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is going to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking. (Gen. 19:12-14 NLT)
There is a major crisis in America today—father absenteeism. According to the U.S. Census Bureau twenty-four million children in America—one out of three—live without their biological dad in the home. Consequently, this “father-factor” has led to the likelihood that children growing up in a fatherless home are more likely to live in poverty, suffer emotional and behavioral problems, face greater risk of infant mortality, end up in prison (often with their fathers) face abuse and neglect, abuse drugs and alcohol, and drop out of school.
     What are some of the reasons for absenteeism of fathers?
(1) One father named Dwayne on an episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass” said, “The reason I walked away is because, at the moment, I wasn’t the man that I wanted to be for (my kids).” In other words, he did not see himself as a perfect dad.
(2) Children are often left fatherless because of the death of the biological father. This creates instability and a lack of security in the home.
(3) Another reason is that a large number of fathers are incarcerated. The prison population in the U.S. has risen to over 2.3 million with the highest number coming from the south and west.
     During the Awana “Returning Hearts Celebration” in May 2014 at the Angola State Prison in Louisiana over 800 children came to the prison to spend one day with their prisoner fathers. For some it was the only time during the year that they got to spend time with their fathers. It was a day of reconciliation, fun, and loving each other.
     Roland Warren of the “National Fatherhood Initiative” says that good fathers do three things: provide, nurture, and guide.
     My earthly father has been gone for sixty-five years, but I have a heavenly father who has nurtured, provided, and guided me for over sixty years. He has promised, “I will never leave or forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

Prayer: Dear Lord, how I thank and praise you for being a father to me these many years. 

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