Father’s Day – Food for Thought

The week leading up to Father’s Day can be a source of angst to many.  Some of have never had or known their “father” within the context of their lives.  Others have, but have also experienced the pain & trauma of one walking out of their lives.  Regardless, the impact of father absence is often equated to being North America’s HIV/AIDS epidemic.  What is the true burden of such a topic on our society?  I will share it with you:

Father deprived children have been indicated to experience more criminal activity over race, environment, and poverty.

  • 72% of all teenage murderers
  • 60% of all rapists
  • 70% of incarcerated kids
  • twice as likely to quit school
  • 11 times more likely to be violent
  • 3 of 4 teen suicides
  • 80% of adolescent population in psychiatric institutions
  • 90% of runaways

This is just a snapshot of father deprived situations.  Let’s have a look at the stats on fatherlessness:

Children who grew up fatherless are:

  • Eight times more likely to go to prison.
  • Five times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioural problems.
  • 20 times more likely to become rapists.
  • 32 times more likely to become runaways.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
  • Nine times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • One-tenth as likely to get A’s in school.

Now, the bulk of this information is from American compiled statistics, however I did find them on the Canadian Children’s Rights Council website.  What I am getting at here, is that this is the climate we are dealing with, and we see the results this topic has had on society.  It is a heart wrenching thing to witness and hear about.

But there is hope.  And there are organizations that see the importance of tackling this problem head on.  I am glad, that those of us involved in prison ministry get to show and tell of the love of God, who is Abba Father.  The definition of the word “Father”, when being used in verb context is ” to be the creator, founder, or author of; originate”.  Well that is good news!  God is the creator, the author and finisher of our faith!  He is all encompassing, all loving, and despite all of our wrongs He continues to love and adore us. We are children of the most high.

We must continue to love on those and show those that there is a Father’s love for them. We must also continue to pray for the children of those imprisoned.  This coming Sunday June the 15th, I will spend my Father’s Day on the inside, behind the bars and the razor wire, behind the fences and guard towers.  I will spend it with men of all ages, albeit some just mere boys.  I will be taking the love of God, His son Jesus, to those who very well are products of the aforementioned statistics.  It is a reality folks.  To all of you out there, and especially to those of you who are Dads, would you take some time to pray?  Pray for those who don’t have fathers, but I ask of you to pray for those fathers who are incarcerated and pray for their children.  Especially those who may not be able to make a visit to an institution to spend time with their Dad.

But You have seen it. You look upon trouble and suffering, to take it into Your hands. The suffering man gives himself to You. You are the Helper of the one who has no father.” Psalm 10:14 NLV

Learn to do good. Look for what is right and fair. Speak strong words to those who make it hard for people. Stand up for the rights of those who have no parents. Help the woman whose husband has died.” Isaiah 1:17 NLV

And last but not least:

God in His holy house is a father to those who have no father. And He keeps the women safe whose husbands have died. God makes a home for those who are alone. He leads men out of prison into happiness and well-being. But those who fight against Him live in an empty desert.” Psalm 68:5-6 NLV

May God bless you all greatly, you men who are fathers.  Happy Father’s Day to my dad. And to my heavenly Father, I thank you for the work you do within me, the changes you have made, and continue to guide me to be the man of God you have called me to be. You are so awesome Lord.  Have a safe, happy, and glorious day abound in our Father’s love.

Pastor Bob