In an article in Psychology Today called, Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger, the following statistics were shared regarding children of absent fathers:
*Children consistently report feeling abandoned when their fathers are not involved in their lives, struggling with their emotions and episodic bouts of self-loathing.
*Fatherless children have more difficulties with social adjustment, and are more likely to report problems with friendships, and manifest behavior problems; many develop a swaggering, intimidating persona in an attempt to disguise their underlying fears, resentments, anxieties and unhappiness.
*71 percent of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father absent homes are more likely to play truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.
*85 percent of youth in prison have an absent father; fatherless children are more likely to offend and go to jail as adults.
*Fatherless children have a greater likelihood of having intercourse before age 16, becoming teenage parents, and contracting sexually transmitted infection; girls manifest an object hunger for males, and in experiencing the emotional loss of their fathers egocentrically as a rejection of them, become susceptible to exploitation by adult men.
*Fatherless children are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, being five times more likely to have experienced physical abuse and emotional maltreatment, with a one hundred times higher risk of fatal abuse; a recent study reported that preschoolers not living with both of their biological parents are 40 times more likely to be sexually abused.
*Fatherless children are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and abuse drugs.
*90 percent of runaway children have an absent father.
*Fatherless children report significantly more psychosomatic health symptoms and illness such as acute and chronic pain, asthma, headaches, and stomach aches.
*Father absent children are consistently overrepresented on a wide range of mental health problems, particularly anxiety, depression – and are twice as likely to commit suicide as those who live with a biological father.
*Adults who grew up as fatherless children are more likely to experience unemployment, have love incomes, remain on social assistance, and experience homelessness.
*Father absent children tend to enter partnerships earlier, are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions, and are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership.
*Fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span.
Given the fact that these and other social problems correlate more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other factor, surpassing race, social class and poverty, father absence may well be the most critical social issue of our time.
Fatherlessness is not an issue of another land. According to a recent UNICEF report on the well-being of children in economically advanced nations, children in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. rank extremely low in regard to social and emotional well being in particular.
This attack upon the God created fabric of security in our own land has caused us to be one of the most emotionally wounded people groups in the world.
Mother Teresa had the following to say about Western Civilization:
“The spiritual poverty of the Western World is much greater than the physical poverty of our people”.
“You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is.
The unhealed wounds that fester in the emotional realm cause problems in the spiritual realm. We are a people not adequately prepared for a faith walk.
I say this today not to convict us of the neglect of our responsibilities in the family – although, those problems must be addressed. I say these things today to point us back to need for the Father.
The final words of the Old Covenant, before the coming of Jesus Christ, our Hope are found in Malachi 4:5-6:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
The need for healing of the Father wound and the need for the security of the love of the Father cannot be overstated. If this doesn’t happen, a curse will result.
When we read the statistics can’t we see that we are experiencing the curse of a father absent culture?
Jesus said the following words:
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
Life comes from a relationship – a relationship with the Father. Many of you are experiencing relational trouble, faith trouble, emotional trouble, financial trouble, etc. because fear has entered into the place in your emotions in which the love of the Father is supposed to rule. This is a response to an absence of biblical caring by important people in your life. Fear has filled the vacuum where God intends the security of love to reside.
Often, our wounds tell us the answer is to run from the Father when, in reality the only healing to be had is to run to the Father. It is time to turn away from what we “know” and to turn to the biblical reality of the Father.
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:7-9
Turning to the Father breaks the curse of falling short.
There is an answer to a life of “falling short.” Whether the lack is in the emotional, spiritual, physical or all of the above, a relationship with the Father can create the security and purpose needed to overcome the bondage of a father absent or father abused culture.
There is a God created solution for our “falling shorts.” Let the Father wrap His arms around your life and create the warmth of trust and love. Your “shorts” will never fall and expose your loneliness and abandonment again. But, all we will see when we look at you is the reality of wrapped in God’s Everlasting Arms!