Being on vacation for the last couple of weeks I spent time with my family every day. Living out of state away from them most of the year I come to realize that I am extremely blessed to have the family that I do. A family who loves me and a home to live in is something I never lacked. Though all around the world family is something a large amount of children lack, in fact I would be considered lucky to have been born into the family I have. I wish it wasn’t that way, I shouldn’t be considered lucky, because everyone should have a family to belong to.
Society looks around and sees our children as screw ups when they are on drugs, involved in gangs or getting pregnant. All over the place our kids are running around trying to find a place to belong or trying to find a way to pretend and ease the reality that they don’t belong. They want to know that they have some sort of worth. They don’t know they are loved because they had no mother or father to tell them. 90% of homeless or runaway children come from fatherless homes, 85% of children with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes, 71% of teenage pregnancies are girls who come from fatherless homes, 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes, and 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes (NCF, National
Center for Fathering).
I think it is safe to say the majority of children in our country grew up in a home without a fathering figure. When looking at the issue of sexual exploitation 65% of victims were in the foster care system.
So here we have 7 different issues, runaways, behavioral disorders, suicides, teen pregnancies, high school dropouts, teens in prison and trafficking; all of them pertaining to the lack of family.
The definition of family is “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.”
These kids we see running around that we look at with lenses of judgment are a result of our failure as a society to do family well. Family is a responsibility that we take on when we bring a child into the world, not only should it be a responsibility it should become something we strongly value. Unfortunately, the issue of fatherlessness and broken families stems from multiple other issues, but I believe if parents, the church and the world started making family a value it would change the statistics above. If we took on the need of this fatherless generation and didn't make whether or not they are "our" kids, if we really took responsibility of our actions involving our children, I believe our juvenile halls would start closing down, the number of abortions would drop, the number of kids graduating high school would skyrocket, the remorse of a daughter or son lost to suicide because they just couldn’t figure out where they belonged would no longer haunt us.
Family is important. Having mothers who comforts and nurture, fathers who teach and encourage is vital to the upbringing of generations. It is no easy task raising another human being, though as believers in Christ we have an example of how to love like our Father does. He is slow to anger, rich in love, overflowing with grace, always there, He listens, He comforts, He disciplines, He directs, etc. As children of God knowing what it is to be loved by our Father, let’s begin to lead in example by modeling healthy families and by being fathers to the fatherless and mothers to the motherless. Let’s start encouraging young couples to be faithful and stay committed to each other so that divorce can’t come in and tear them apart. Even the enemy knows how vital family is otherwise he wouldn’t be making such an effort to destroy them. You want to make an impact on this world? Start with the family you have at home, and over time you will see a shift in your friends families, in your churches families, in your coworkers families, and eventually the statistics will drop and you will have been a part of that change.