MADISON, WISCONSIN

Where’s dad?

By Paul Bawden

If we listen to some people today, dads or fathers aren’t a necessary part of the family. In fact, the family can be anything you want it to be. The traditional family is obsolete and is not necessary for a society to have stability.

Regardless of the thinking that’s trying to influence how we view fathers or fatherhood, that doesn’t do away with the reality that fathers are a necessary and vital part of the family.

For being a dad is one of the highest privileges that a man can have. In fact, the title that dad has, father, means the founder or progenitor of a race or a people, and his title, father, comes from the biblical God who is called Father, and the Creator of us all. This means that the earthly father actually has the opportunity to represent God the Father to his children, which is quite a thought to say the least.

These facts tell us how important a father is in his family.
(1) Children who live in a fatherless home are 279% more likely to deal drugs or carry firearms for offensive purposes compared to children who live with their fathers.
(2) 85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home.
(3) 90% of the youth in the United States who decide to run away from home, or become homeless for any reason, originally come from a fatherless home.
(4) Statistics on fatherless homes show that households with absent fathers also have a higher chance of being under the poverty line.
(5) Teen girls from fatherless homes are 4 times more likely to become mothers before the age of 20.

In short, the absence of a father in a family can lead to serious consequences and sometimes fatal outcomes. These are just a few examples to show how grim the matter can be.

The bottom line is that both father and mother are needed in the family. O.R. Johnson in his book, “Who Needs The Family?” points out the necessity of the mother to bring love, nurture, support, and direction. Then he points out, quoting from Eickhoff, that father poverty undermines the security of the child and its ability to face the unknown or great excitement with that optimistic confidence of a safe landing natural to the well fathered child. Certainly, dad and mom need to work together to make the family what God intended it.

In the month of June when dads are honored, I want you to know how much you are appreciated, but also how much you are needed in your family. Obviously, you have many things to do, but your family should be your top priority. Don’t be a renegade dad, with your children wondering where’s dad when your vital presence is needed in your family, as your children miss out on your words of encouragement and positive influence. Statistics show that the family where the father is present and carries out servant leadership that family will thrive.

Your person, dad, and time is what your wife and children need. Play with your children when they are younger. Attend their activities as they grow older. Praise your children. Listen to your children. Pray for your children. Provide loving leadership for your children. Love and serve your wife. Above all, provide them a lasting spiritual basis upon which to build their lives. Jesus Christ is that foundation. I trust that you know Him personally and are seeking to lead your family in the paths of righteousness. Read John 3:16 and Ephesians 6:4 in the Bible. Happy Father’s Day!!

**Great Books For Dad: How To Be A Hero To Your Kids, Josh McDowell & Dick Day
Straight Talk To Men & Their Wives, James Dobson

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

BAWDEN ARCHIVES

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