When you think of fatherhood, what do you think of? Do you think of a father holding his newborn child, or of a dad pushing his little kid on a park swing? Maybe none of these thoughts come to mind. Maybe you think of a man who shouts angrily at his wife, leaving the house with all the money made that week. There are many types of fathers. Some try their best, while others do the minimum or nothing at all. Some fathers have not even met their own children.
Fatherhood is such a big part of society. There would probably not be as many drug addicts, thieves, suicidal children or runaways if a father was present. According to The National News, Lifestyle, Dr. Clifton Chadwick’s article in November 14, 2011 states that kids spend about seven minutes a day with their father. 1 This shocking statistic demonstrates the decline of good fatherhood due to the minimal time fathers spend with their children. This leaves the average child or teen with little to no time with his father. How can fathers have a positive influence on their children in seven minutes a day? According to RI NEWS written by Nancy Thomas on June 19, 2022, 85% of youths in prison, 71% of high school dropouts, 90% of all homeless and runaway children, and 60% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. 2 These stats prove to America that fatherhood- in many cases- is failing. Perhaps families would be closer and teenagers might struggle less with their identities if fathers spent more time with their family. Teens and children are craving time with their fathers. Boys need a strong father who will train them to be men, and girls need fathers who can be a role model to their daughters.
There are steps that fathers can take to rebuild their families. A major thing that fathers can do is to work less (if possible) and spend more time with their families. Children and especially teens need approval from their fathers. Not only should a father financially support his family, but he should also help with the raising of the kids. If the father strives to spend at least an hour with his child (or children) per day, he would probably notice natural bonding.
Fathers are very important. Fathers can shape or separate a family. Furthermore, fathers are also a blessing. They support the family physically and emotionally, but most importantly, spiritually. According to the Bible, fathers are to be the spiritual guide in their family. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” 3 Fathers are to bring their children up in the Lord, though it may seem challenging. This is the most important thing a father can do.
A good father treasures his God-given role. Each father has only a small amount of time to influence his children. Each minute should be treasured and well used. Fathers receive the blessing of raising a new generation of children who may change the world. They also have the wonderful advantage of watching their children grow and use the gifts God has given them to bless others.
I have learned a lot about fatherhood from my own father. My father isn’t perfect, but he is always there. Whenever one of my siblings or I need to talk, we know that he will always listen and give advise to us. My father will rush home from his job to be there for his family. He instructs us kids in the way of the Lord. Though my father tries to spare us from the heartaches of the world, he knows that he cannot shield us forever. He allows us to do hard things. Sometimes we fail, but this helps us to prepare for the real world. He is a role model to me, showing what true fatherhood looks like. I only hope one day, that I will find a husband who is like my father.
The world may try to change the meaning and purpose of fatherhood and the family, but God is still sovereign. We can hope and pray that fathers will stand in faith for true fatherhood. Will we be the next generation to remind the world of what fatherhood and family looks like? I pray that we will.
1 Lifestyle: Chadwick, Clifton November 14, 2011
2 RI NEWS:: Thomas, Nancy June 19, 2022
3 Taken from Ephesian 6:3; King James Version
Submitted by Hannah Hill
Additional 3rd place winner of 2022 BFLW Essay Contest