In America, “Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families...
Those boys whose fathers were absent from the household
had double the odds of being incarcerated.
The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely that those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity. In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed 'greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households.'"
However, does this epidemic only
effect our natural lives?
If the effects of fatherlessness impact our natural lives so drastically, how much more should would be concerned about the absence of spiritual fathers in our lives? How many sons and daughters are being birthed, but growing up as spiritual orphans?
There's a yearning that is tenaciously wrenching the hearts of children, a longing for fathers to take their place. But I truly believe there is also a cry from the hearts of the fathers. There is a father's cry that longs to see this epidemic vanquished. Fathers are longing to know how to father and they too are longing to be fathered. There is a cry going out from both young and old sons, the cry of a fatherless generation.
God promised in Malachi 4:6 that in the last days Elijah would come and,
“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
It's time that we no longer close our ears to the cry of God's heart. It's time that we allow the turning of hearts to become a reality in our lives, homes, families and ministries.