Boy’s Passage, Man’s Journey
This is the title of a book that I have been digging through for the last couple of weeks that has grabbed my attention. It is by Brian Molitor, a dad of four and leader of a ministry that seeks to turn the hearts of fathers to their children. Brian’s heart is to see the next generation of men BE men of God, and, who will pass on the heritage of manhood done God’s way. I truly believe that I would have been interested in this book even if I wasn’t a new dad, but obviously I have particular investment in it now that I am!
Just in case you haven’t been privy recently to some stats on fatherhood, here are some to consider from the book Boy’s Passage Man’s Journey:
· In the U.S.A., 24 million children live without their biological fathers.
· An amazing 82 percent of girls who get pregnant as teenagers come from families where no father is present.
· About 40 percent of the children in absent-father homes have not seen their father at all during the past year, and 50 percent of children whose fathers are absent have never set foot in their father’s “home.”
· Children whose biological fathers are absent are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional, and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than those who live with their married, biological (or adoptive,) parents.
· Children with involved, loving father are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and prosocial behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors, such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity, compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
So, if you are a father who is or has taken an active role in the raising of children in your home, thank God for you! Fathers are so important to our world, and in the next few years I want to seriously invest not only in my own role as a dad, but in the lives of dads in our church. This is certainly my reason for partnering with MA Dozier to offer the upcoming Father / Son retreat.
One more thing. If you are a man in our church who does not have a son in your home, please consider following the Lord into a mentor relationship with one of several kids I know in our church and community who don’t have a positive male role model in their lives. They need the benefits TODAY that were explicitly and implicitly shared in the stats above. Come talk to me. Be a father to the fatherless.
In his Steps,
Chris Schlender, BCC Children's Pastor