“The greatest legacy we pass on as fathers is not our inheritance. It is not even our good name. It is the spiritual heritage that we give to our children, desiring them to walk in the way of the Lord.” —Greg Laurie
The role of dad is so vitally important to the health of the home and to our nation. Consider some of these statistics:
- Fatherless children are 100–200% more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems.
- A child who comes from a fatherless home is 68% more likely to use drugs or alcohol, more likely to become sexually active at an early age, and three times more likely to commit a violent crime.
- 63% of teenagers who attempt suicide live in fatherless homes.
- 71% of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
- Fatherless sons are 300% more likely to become incarcerated in state juvenile institutions.
- Fatherless daughters who marry have a 92% higher divorce rate, and fatherless sons are 35% more likely to experience marital failure.
- Fatherless daughters are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, are 111% more likely to have children as teenagers, and are 164% more likely to have an out-of-wedlock birth.
- 80% of teenagers admitted to psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
Fathers are important. We need dads who stay married to their wives and raise their children to follow God and be responsible—dads who are godly role models and leaders in their homes.
God has placed parents as the authorities in the life of the child. And in many ways, fathers are the representatives of God to their children. Many of the attitudes a child will develop about God will be based on their relationship with their fathers. Dads need to do everything they can to be a godly influence on their children.
“The most endangered species in America is not the Spotted Owl or the Snail Darter, but the responsible father.” –James Merritt