One in three American children live in fatherless homes. One out of three.

This is a national disaster. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Census Bureau: 63 percent of all youth suicides; 71 percent of pregnant teenagers; 85 percent of all youth in prisons; 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children; and 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

Those sobering numbers represent the “what” of fatherless homes. Perhaps you have heard some of these numbers before. But what you haven’t heard is the “why” of fatherless homes. There’s a reason you haven’t.

Why do fathers leave their children?

And why is society afraid to address the actual reason why men leave?

According to popular myth, men leave because they’re irresponsible and don’t care about their families. Yes, there’s a very small segment of the male population who are guilty of this, but for most American men this is not the case.

Most fathers don’t want to leave their children. They love their kids and want to be engaged in every aspect of their lives. Men hurt and feel pain when they cannot be with their kids. To suggest otherwise is not only insulting to men, it’s a bold-faced lie.

Society routinely degrades fathers. Men are typically depicted by Hollywood as inadequate and useless beings who are nothing more than comedic props.

According to a 1994 study of 500 women in Redbook Magazine, “only eleven percent of mothers value their husband’s input when it comes to handling problems with their children.”

In my work as a minister and counselor over the past 17 years, I’ve talked with countless couples and have noticed that women are angry and men don’t know how to deal with this anger. Everyone can see that “mom” has issues; the father knows it; the kids know it too. The mistake they make is reacting to this anger with their own anger and fear. The resulting inner pain causes men to overreact, and literally shift into a “fight or flight” response.

To avoid the inner and outer conflict, a man will leave his wife (or girlfriend) and his children.

Many women I counsel with and have interviewed on my radio and TV shows are quick to point out everything their man is doing wrong, but it’s rare to find one who will honestly admit that she’s screwed up the kids or that she’s driving her mate crazy.

It’s time that we look at the role women play in driving men out of the home and separating them from their children. That’s not to say that men don’t bear the brunt of the responsibility for their weakness. Men need to learn how to deal with women with strength and patience – this is love.

The role that women play in fathers leaving the home is never discussed on Oprah or written about in any notable publications. This is because women are viewed as innocent and harmless creatures. On the other hand, feminists have long perpetuated the myth that the straight, traditional American male is a Neanderthal.

Most women themselves don’t understand why they provoke and agitate their spouse to lash out or run away. They don’t understand the subtle control they have over weak men.

Men typically marry for love and to raise children. The mistake they make is that they’re looking for love from the wrong source. Men shouldn’t look for love from women. Rather they should find God’s love and pass that love down to the wife and children.

There’s an order to life: God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman, and woman over children. When this order is broken or violated you have “hell” on earth.

In a relationship the man often has an unnatural need for his wife or girlfriend. He’s addicted to her approval and to her sex. The woman senses this wrong need the man has and she begins to test him. Often times, men find themselves giving in more and more in order to a receive her favor. Sometimes the demands of the woman become unbearable to the point that the man may lash out – I’m not saying this is right, but this is the reality.

There’s been a deliberate plan to wipe out masculinity in society. When you wipe out the man you wipe out God, because the man represents God on earth. Then there’s no truth – no light – and no hope for the family.

God is the source of love – not the woman. When a man comes to understand this he develops the love and courage necessary to properly handle “the heat in the kitchen.”

And women must be willing to admit their role in driving fathers out of homes. They must learn to love what is good in their man and to resist hating his weakness – only then will there be peace in our homes.

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