As we close out the month of June and our celebration of fearless fathers with faith, it’s great to be able to recognize the many fathers who are involved in their children’s lives. As I mentioned before, the media would have us think otherwise – particularly as it relates to African American men.
While we don’t want to focus on the negative side of fatherhood, I would be remiss not to mention that there is a crisis in America regarding father-absent homes. To help remedy this crisis, The National Fatherhood Initiative, a nonprofit organization was founded to transform organizations and communities by equipping them to intentionally and proactively engage fathers in their children’s lives. The U.S. Census Bureau states that 24 million children – one out of three – live without their biological fathers in the home. Consequently, there is a ‘father factor’ in nearly all social ills facing America today.
This information is bleak and needs to be rectified, but we can balance that with some good news. For example, studies also show that engaging new fathers in caring for their child in the first days of the child’s life, has long-term, positive benefits. In addition, more than 176,000 stay-at-home fathers have taken on the responsibility of caring for more than 330,000 children in the U.S. Male and female roles have changed and many men – married and single – are successfully becoming primary caregivers for their children.
While parenting children continues to be a struggle in many communities, it’s a task that we as fathers must not leave solely to women. Both mothers and fathers play critical roles in the lives of their children. I continue to be encouraged about the positive and important role fathers play, and I commend each dad (and surrogate dad) for making a positive difference in the lives of your children.
”Peace and power.
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,