- Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
- Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml
When a child grows up without a father, or with a father who is less than exemplary, this actually changes the child’s brain structure, and fatherlessness impacts daughters more than sons, according to research. They grow up to be angrier, more aggressive, and more prone to substance abuse. Unfortunately, researchers project that figures are rising by 20,000 a year, which isn’t getting any better at all.
You Can Reverse the Effects of Fatherlessness
If you put your trust in God, the one who created you and your biological father, the future holds hope for you.
“Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.” Job 8:7
Who is God? He is….
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,[c]
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
— Psalm 68 (emphasis added)
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
Psalm 146 (emphasis added)
Even if you do have a father, it does not mean he will be a good influence in your life. A closer examination of the scriptures will reveal that Jonathan had an interesting relationship with his father. King David was his BFF, but Jonathan’s dad was against that. His father said some very harsh words to Jonathan and even threatened to revoke his son’s right to be the next king (1 Samuel 20:30-31). David had done nothing wrong to deserve this kind of treatment from Saul, yet Saul was determined to kill him out of jealousy. Anyone who stood in the way – including his own flesh and blood – was treated with contempt and humiliation.
The scriptures also reveal that David was the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem. He had a father, but who eventually saved David from Saul’s death grip? God! Also, David came from a poor family yet eventually God exalted him to royalty. David’s courage and heart for God set him apart from other people, so much so that he has become one of the major heroes of our faith.
Your future belongs to God. It is He alone who judges; only God can bring one person down and exalt another (Psalm 75:7; 1 Samuel 2:7). You can reverse the effects of fatherlessness if you humble yourself before God and realize that He is all you need and everything you desire.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:10
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25
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