Every Family Needs One

The tiny infant in the intensive care incubator was his first child. It all happened too quickly. When his wife’s labor had started two months too soon he rushed her to their rural doctor. She was immediately flown to a medical center 100 miles away. A fierce snowstorm couldn’t stop him from hurrying to get there. 

As a farmer he knew about hard labor, caring for a crop, and the harvest. But this was unexpected and out of his control. Welcome to fatherhood.

As his work-worn fingers gently touched the tiny fingers of his precious daughter, he knew his life was no longer his own. He had no idea what that meant.

It meant cutting and selling more firewood while waiting for his summer crops to harvest.

It meant shoveling snow in the bitter cold, building fences, digging ditches, taking odd jobs—all so he could come home afterwards and enjoy his baby girl’s smile.

It meant changing careers and building a business so he could come home afterwards and watch her little legs run after him in a game of chase he’d purposely lose.

It meant years of working hard for a future he wanted for her and her brother. It meant less for him and more for his kids.

Most of all it meant getting closer to God because he knew he would never be able to do fatherhood without Him.

While not every family has a father, every family could use one. Fathers bring protection, honor, respect, and love. Yes, we can live without them, but not easily.

I pray our dads could receive the honor and respect they deserve. They’ve been mocked by Hollywood’s lame sitcoms while also being bullied from their leadership roles in the family. For many, their sacrifice goes unrecognized.

We have a fatherhood crisis in our nation (see stats below). We hear a lot about deadbeat dads and we think we’re better off without them. While we can see how seemingly worthless they are, most likely our deadbeat dads never had a real father in their lives. It’s a loss that leads to more loss.

Fixing our schools, broken homes, and alleviating much of our nation’s poverty begins by elevating our dads to their rightful places in our family homes. America not only needs fathers, our future depends on their willingness to be the men they are supposed to be.

               24 million children in the United States of America live in a fatherless home. 

               40% of students in grades 1-12 come from homes with no biological father in them.

               71% of teenage pregnant mothers have no father in the home.

               71% of high school dropouts have no father present.

               A child is 4 times more likely to live in poverty if there is no dad in the home. 

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