America has a daddy problem – she needs Dad again, physical dads and spiritual dads.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43 percent of U.S. children live without their fathers. The consequences have been devastating. The stats don’t lie. Here are just a few:
- Ninety percent of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Census Bureau).
- Eighty percent of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26, 1978).
- Sixty-three percent of youth suicides involve individuals from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Census Bureau).
- Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Seventy percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions have no fathers (U.S. Department of Justice, Special Report, September 1988).
- Eighty-five percent of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless homes (Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992).
When Dad is gone, things go downhill fast. And the best way to take Dad out of the picture is for him to truly believe that his moral choices have little to no bearing on society.
The statistics above are real, and they don’t just develop overnight. It takes generations to shift from a societal moral code to a nation where “everyone does what is right in his own eyes.”
Postmodernism – the intellectual movement in which it is believed there are no moral absolutes – is breaking our nation. Regardless of what you’ve been taught in school, when someone close to you sins against you, it hurts. The effect of breaking the moral code is as real as the sunrise. There’s no denying it.
As millions of Americans are broken and hurting today, it’s going to take some time to bring restoration to a nation that has so adamantly rejected moral standards. So we’d better get moving – like right now!
And the first thing we need to do is restore spiritual fatherhood to the Christian faith. We do this by having spiritually strong men step into the lives, as spiritual fathers, of those who need guidance. We can be spiritual fathers to individual children, but on a bigger scale, we can be spiritual fathers to dads who don’t know Jesus or are immature in their faith. That can produce exponential results.
The Apostle Paul explained this to early Christians, saying, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you then, be imitators of me” (1 Corinthians 4:15-16).
It’s one thing to teach someone the difference between right and wrong, but it’s another to invest your life into those you teach.
Paul called Christians in every generation to be the arms of Jesus, who is a “father to the fatherless.” And it was – and still is – the role of Christians to stand up and step in when a family or a nation is crumbling because of sin, especially now.
Listen to how our friend, Owen Strachan, called pastors to spiritual fatherhood in regard to the recent fallout from Ashley Madison’s exposure:
“Pastors: be like the wise father in Proverbs. Call your men to spot the lie. Call them to run from lust. Rebuke them for sin. Practice church discipline when they fall in grievous ways. Do not simply tell them that God loves them. Do not offer them a soft, no-corners gospel. Offer them the full-throated, 600-horsepower gospel in the name of Jesus Christ, a gospel that saves, transforms, restores, breaks down, and makes whole. You are standing between the judgment and these men, pastors. If you go soft on them, if you let them take burning coals to their chest, if you turn the other way while they run toward the prostitute’s door (Proverbs 2), you set them up for destruction.”
Boom! Owen nailed it.
“If you turn the other way while they run toward the prostitute’s door …” That’s the line that caught my attention. No father would ever turn the other way when his children are headed toward danger – ever.
A true father is willing to say the hard things that need to be said. A loving dad is OK with being hated or maligned by the one he’s trying to help, because he knows what’s best for them. And if there’s not a dad in the home, a spiritual father is willing to come alongside and be a father to the fatherless, to guide them toward truth.
America is disintegrating before our very eyes under the weight of postmodernism (without truth and a moral code), and people are hurting everywhere.
It’s time for spiritual fathers to rise up and shepherd biological fathers to be Dad again – to train them to run away from temptation and not toward it, to be a voice for the voiceless and stand for truth, wherever lies have taken root in their homes and in the nation.
If you’re a dad, be a good physical father. Invest in your wife and kids, and we’ll strive to do the same. Don’t believe lies, but resist them.
If you’re a Christian, be a spiritual father. Invest in the lives of the men whom God has placed in your path. Don’t chase a big platform for yourself. Invest in the families around you. That’s more important than anything else you’ll do to impact the culture.