Today was Father’s Day. Many undoubtedly spent it doing something with their dad – going to a baseball game, fishing, grilling, etc. But while time with family is great, I think men love Father’s Day for a different reason.
Men love Father’s Day because we love feeling important. It’s nice to be recognized. It feels good when our hard work is noticed and appreciated. That’s why we devote ourselves to things that seem important, like staying in shape or advancing our career.
But sometimes we forget what is most important. Sadly, one-third of children in our country did NOT celebrate Father’s Day.
According to the National Center for Fathering, over 20 million children are growing up in homes without a father. Every problem our society faces today can be traced back to a common root – fatherlessness.
Studies show that children without a father are:
- 4x more likely to be raised in poverty
- 10x more likely to abuse chemical substances
- 2x more likely to commit suicide
- 9x more likely to drop out of school
- 11x more likely to exhibit violent behavior
- 20x more likely to be arrested
- 9x more likely to be raped or sexually abused
To put these statistics another way, fatherless homes account for:
- 90% of homeless and runaway children
- 71% of teenage substance abusers
- 80% of teenagers in psychiatric hospitals
- 70% of teenagers in correctional facilities
- 60% of rapists
- 70% of teenage pregnancies
This may seem like an oversimplification. I’m not saying these issues would disappear entirely if fathers were present in every home. Nor am I trying to blame them on mothers. I’m only saying being a good father is much more important than we realize!
The Most Important Thing
Important things compete for our time and attention every day. But nothing is more important than being a good dad. In fact, being a good dad is the most important thing you can do with your life.
We are under a lot of pressure to provide for our kids. Most people think being a “good dad” means buying our kids everything they need – and want! This means giving them not just food, clothing, and shelter, but a house, a phone, a car, and a college education. And of course, the newer (or more exclusive) the better!
It’s time to relieve ourselves from some of this pressure. We can’t be so busy providing for our families that we forget to be present for them. What our kids need most is not our money or what it can buy, but us.
Being a good dad can change the world. If you devote yourself to your kids, and I devote myself to mine, and every other father devotes themselves to theirs, the problems our society is facing will decline. Given enough time, they might even disappear!
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