Malachi 4:6 – “Turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.”
Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Australian psychologist and author Steve Biddulph says, ‘love grows the brain’. Steve is right, but tragically love is one of those commodities that is in desperately short supply in the Fatherless homes that many children inhabit.
Currently, one in three marriages fail. The rate is higher for second and third marriages.[i]
Some believe that children are better off when unhappy parents divorce, but the social sciences show that the reverse is true. If parents stick out an unhappy marriage, in five years’ time the majority of them admit to having a happy marriage. [ii]
An article titled The True Impact of Divorce on Children, compiling the results from a survey, said: “Divorced parents are often in denial about how badly the break-up has damaged their children”.[iii]
Almost a quarter of youngsters said that they had not seen their father since the split.
More than three-quarters believed their children had “coped well” – even though just 18 per cent of youngsters said they were happy with the situation.
One in 20 had turned to alcohol and one in nine had deliberately wounded themselves. A further 6 per cent had considered suicide, while two of those polled had tried to kill themselves.
Almost a third described themselves as devastated by divorce, while one in 12 thought that it meant their mothers and fathers “didn’t love them” and had “let them down”.
But despite the damage wrought by their parents splitting, few children felt able to speak openly and honestly about their emotions.
Meanwhile, just 5 per cent of parents guessed their children blamed themselves for the split – even though 13 per cent of youngsters admitted feeling this way. One in ten parents thought their offspring were actually “relieved” they had left their partner.
Sadly, almost a quarter of youngsters said that they had not seen their father since the split.
Children of divorce lose out in every way. According to the statistics they suffer higher rates of addiction, mortality, poverty, suicide, incarceration and higher rates of mental health problems. Fatherlessness is the by-product of family breakdown, which is exacerbated by our current family law system that is still essentially antagonistic to fathers.
One of the greatest challenges facing our nation is the social problems caused as a result of Fatherlessness. The problem of Fatherlessness has been estimated to cost Australia over $13 billion per year.
Studies into the potential impact of growing up without a father in the United States have produced the following statistics in relation to boys.
Boys from a fatherless home are:
5 times more likely to commit suicide.
14 times more likely to commit rape.
9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
10 times more likely to abuse chemicals.
9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
20 times more likely to end up in prison.
While not every child who grows up in a fatherless situation will experience either one or any of these problems, there is a much greater statistical likelihood that he or she would.
And tragically in some situations, Fatherlessness can have fatal consequences:[iv]
A child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with married biological parents. A child whose mother cohabits with a man other than the child’s father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse.[v]
The situation seems overwhelming, yet Scripture is replete with accounts of God working seemingly impossible transformations when His people turn to Him.
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