Once a year, on the third Sunday in June, Americans remember the importance of fathers in the family. Father’s Day was created to celebrate the provider and protector of the family, but today, in Western culture, fatherhood is being attacked by many different sources. Historically, fathers have always been the head of the household and protector of the family. But in the last century, this traditional role has been dramatically redefined. Many people, usually political liberals or feminists, say that fathers, and many other traditional institutions, are unnecessary, or even bad for society. However, fatherhood is a blessing and a responsibility. Fathers are necessary for several reasons: God’s design for the family is to have a father; families with fathers are much more successful than families without fathers; and having a father in the home leads to fewer abortions.
Since Creation, God’s design for marriage, fatherhood, and families was clear. According to Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This verse shows God’s design for marriage, and similarly, Genesis 2:8 shows God’s design for the role of the father: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” The father is the provider and worker of the family. Even after the Fall, marriage and family remained unchanged. It was God’s commandment, but even societies that do not follow God, like ancient Greece and Babylon, understand it (Mark). It is a natural law. God also provided the perfect example. In Deuteronomy 14:1-2, Moses tells the people of Israel, “Ye are the children of the Lord your God…For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself…” In the New Testament, under the new covenant, Jesus said God is a Father to anyone who is saved. Romans 8:15 says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” And, of course, God the Father is one of the three Persons of the Trinity, in a perfect relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. We cannot completely understand this, but how would God be God if we could understand Him? He is the perfect Father, and He designed the family.
Even without any biblical or natural reasons, many scientific studies have proven that families with involved fathers are much more successful than families without involved fathers. Although the statistical numbers differ, all surveys agree that children without a father in the home are more likely to have behavioral problems, learning disorders or disabilities, and depression (Brewer). One survey found that 90% of homeless and runaway children, 63% of teen suicides, and 85% of children with behavioral disorders were raised without a father (Brewer). On the other hand, a survey by Couples Therapy writer Daniel Dashnaw found that children raised with a father are 2 times more likely to go to college, almost 40% more likely to get mostly A’s, 45% less likely to repeat a grade, 60% less likely to get suspended or expelled, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and 75% less likely to experience teen pregnancy (Dashnaw). But studies and statistics aren’t necessary to show that fathers are important. Most people know this instinctively, even if they say they do not. The entertainment industry alone reflects this. Many kids’ movies, like Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins, and even How to Train Your Dragon prove the importance of a father to a child. In the bestselling book To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, one of the most popular literary characters, was described through the eyes of his daughter. This book, and many others, reflect the influence and necessity of a father. And their continued popularity proves the audience knows the importance of a father, even if they do not believe in God’s design. The benefits and statistics of having a father in the home are clear, but still, one in four children live without a father (Brewer). Why?
Much of the more vocal opposition to fathers comes from outside sources other than the family, but almost always, it is the father who chooses to leave the family. Usually, this happens when the parents of the child are not married, and many times it also leads to abortion. According to a survey taken by Thomas W. Strahan, 23% of women who had an abortion said they had it because the dad wanted it (Strahan). The father can sometimes be the most influential person in the decision. In most cases, the parents think they are not ready to be parents, or they cannot support a child financially. If the parents are not married, those concerns are valid, but abortion is not the answer. The answer should be a family, God’s design for a family. If people choose to ignore His design, there are consequences, and abortion comes directly from the desire to have no consequences. However, married couples are much less likely to have an abortion (Brewer). If the father is married to the mother, and if he is involved and working for the family, there is no logical reason to have an abortion. The father’s choices can prevent abortion. This is definitely a responsibility, and if the father’s choices are right, it is also a blessing.
According to Psalm 127:3, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Overall, fatherhood is a blessing and a responsibility. Being a father can be the best, most rewarding deed that a man ever does. Fathers are necessary in the home because having an involved father leads to less abortion, families with fathers are much more successful than families without fathers, and God’s design for the family is to have a father.
Dashnaw, Daniel. “The Importance of Fathers; 10 Amazing Research Findings and Their Modern Relevance.” https://www.couplestherapyinc.com/the-importance-of-fathers/ Accessed 17 Nov. 2022.
Strahan, Thomas W. “The Critical Influence of the Prospective Father on Abortion Decision Making.” https://www.uffl.org/vol%209/strahan9.pdf strahan Accessed 17 Nov. 2022.
Brewer, Jack. “Fatherlessness and Its Effects on American Society.” 15 Feb. 2022. https://americafirstpolicy.com/latest/20220215-fatherlessness-and-its-effects-on-american-society#:~:text=Across%20America%2C%20there%20are%20approximately,world%20(Kramer %2C%202021). Accessed 5 Jan. 2022.
Mark, Joshua J. “The Family in Ancient Mesopotamia.” 27 Sep. 2022. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/16/the-family-in-ancient-mesopotamia/ Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.
Submitted by Anna Huffstutler
3rd place winner of 2022 BFLW Essay Contest