Fatherhood: The missing link

As a husband, father and dad, I am not irrelevant to my family’s well-being. In fact, I am vital, crucial, important, necessary and irreplaceable.

Of course, my wife is all those things to our family, too.

As husband and father, I influence the mood of my family.

… if I leave my family, there’s no backup husband and father waiting on the sidelines … I don’t envy single parents. I don’t know how they do it, although I know several who do it successfully.

Single-parent and stepparent families often work. I’m not judging anyone here. But those types of families should not be our first choice … Traditional families increasingly are under pressure from today’s anything-goes American society. My sons need me as a father, and my wife as a mother. Both of us are essential to our children’s well-being.

What’s the best life has to offer? That’s what my wife and I seek for our family. If that makes us traditional, so be it. “Progressive” is not always better. If the old ways are best, why change?

Two Mount Morris Township (Mich.) first-graders quarreled on the playground Monday, apparently causing one of them to fatally shoot the other a day later in their classroom.

Police wonder how the 6-year-old shooter got the gun, which was stolen, and how he could carry it into school … The boy didn’t have his own bed, the county prosecutor said, adding, “He is a victim of a drug culture and a house that’s really in chaos.”

He lived with an uncle for two weeks after his mother was evicted from her home. His father is doing time at the county jail …

The Mount Morris Township first-grader needs a family that loves him.

He has a mother and father. He needs a mommy and daddy.

There’s a huge difference.


Back in the day, I wrote an occasional column on family life or issues of the day for The Saginaw (Mich.) News. I still have newsprint copies of those columns. I quoted five of them here – dated Oct, 28, 2003; March 11, 1997; Oct. 14, 1997; Feb. 27, 2007; and March 1, 2000, respectively.

Alternative lifestyles have become mainstream today.

According to the Kids Count Data Center run by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore,  35 percent of all children in the United States lived in single-parent households every year from 2011 through 2015. The 35 percent figure was the same for all five years.


The evidence for fatherhood

I wrote in one of those columns that I was not judging anyone, but I did – and still do – feel passionately about fatherhood. No alternative lifestyle has ever improved upon the mother-father-child family structure. The evidence is plentiful.

For example:

Power of Dad Inc., based in Saginaw, Mich.


The Good

✓ Youth whose fathers are actively engaged in their lives do significantly better academically than those pre-teens with uninvolved fathers.

✓ Highly involved fathers increase their children’s economic and educational attainment.

✓Mothers in two-parent households report fewer behavior problems among children with involved fathers  compared to children with detached fathers.

✓Fathers who are involved help reduce emotional stress for teenagers making the transition to adulthood.

The Bad

✓ There are over 24 million fatherless youth in  America.

✓ 93% of prison inmates have grown up fatherless.

✓ 90% of youth that are homeless, runaways and arsonists have grown up fatherless.

✓ 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders such as ADD have grown up fatherless.

✓ 80% of rapists have grown up fatherless.

✓ 75% of youth in drug rehabs have grown up fatherless.

✓ 71% of pregnant teenagers and high school dropouts have grown up fatherless.

✓ 63% of youth who have committed or attempted suicide have grown up fatherless.

✓ 72% of the U.S. population says fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.


The National Center for Fathering based in Springdale, Ark.


Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.


The Families Civil Liberties Union based in New York City




  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God’s Children.)
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)


  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report)
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections)


  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

Juveniles have become the driving force behind the nation’s alarming increases in violent crime, with juvenile arrests for murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault growing sharply in the past decade as pistols and drugs became more available, and are expected to continue at the same alarming rate during the next decade. “Justice Dept. Issues Scary Report on Juvenile Crime,” San Francisco Chronicle (9/8/95).”


Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages.

71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that there were more than 1,000,000 documented child abuse cases in 1990. In 1983, it found that 60% of perpetrators were women with sole custody. Shared parenting can significantly reduce the stress associated with sole custody.

Evidence often does not change behavior

As I heard a speaker say recently in a different context, just because the evidence – facts – prove a point doesn’t mean we will live by it. It’s common knowledge, for example, that smoking is bad for us, yet 36.5 million Americans – about 15 percent of U.S. adults – still do it willingly and knowingly.


It’s a matter of the heart. Do we want to change? Do we want to do the right thing?

Fathers matter

I know single women and same-sex couples who have adopted children, and to be honest, that bothers me. They are saying that fathers are irrelevant to their children’s upbringing (or mothers, if it’s a two-man “family”). That’s why I wrote a column saying that, as a father, I am relevant and vital to my family.

Many alternative-lifestyle families are chosen today. Legally, we can do that. But our children are – and will – pay a heavy price for that.

And transgenders? That just means parents have rejected the children God gave them, and are trying to turn them into something he or she is not. Pure and simple. You can’t tell me a 6-year-old boy wants to be a girl. That’s not the way children are wired. We are rejecting their humanity when we force them to change.

Each of us is special, just the way we are. We shouldn’t try to be someone we are not.

Children learn this unconditional love at home, or they don’t learn it at all. Mom and Dad need to make decisions for their children until they are old enough to make decisions on their own. A young child is not capable of discussing his or her sexuality. Children do grow up faster today than my generation did, but not that fast.

Society’s backbone, forever

As these studies I quoted show, most of the social ills this country is dealing with today are the direct result of the breakdown of the traditional family.

The remedy? Mom and Dad, do your jobs. Both of you. Together, as a team.

Fathers, please don’t pro-create and then leave, taking no responsibility for your children. They need you. They need to see your love for them, your discipline, your encouragement, your guidance.

We see what’s happening today because we have not led our families. We are a self-centered, hate-filled society.

There’s only one remedy.

It’s been proven faithful for millennia. No one has ever improved upon it. And no one ever will.