To fathers

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:21 (NIV).

A study was conducted with a group of 300 grade nine boys who were instructed to keep accurate records of how much time their fathers spent with them over a two-week period. Most boys reported that they only saw their fathers at the dinner table. Several never saw their fathers for days at a time (either they were away on business or came home after their son had gone to bed) and the average time the fathers spent alone with their sons was seven and a half minutes per week.

Another study conducted by a Virginia psychologist, over a two-year period, on children between four and six years of age, asked the question, “Which do you like better: TV or Daddy?” As reported by United Press International, “44 percent of the children chose television.” Perhaps fathers can breathe a sigh of relief because they won 56 percent of the vote, but it’s interesting to note that “only 20 percent of the children chose television when the choice was between their mothers or TV.”

Dan Benson, in his book, “The Total Man,” says, “when a young boy’s home input is almost totally feminine … he emulates Mom, because she is the primary example he sees. He may be confused when his peers play ‘man’ games and copy ‘Dad’ mannerisms … he may be inhibited by the opposite sex, and react by either withdrawing from or dominating young girls around him. And later in life, he may reject his parents completely because Dad didn’t seem to love Mom, or care enough to be with his son.”

The researcher, Paul Popenoe, says “that ‘father absence’ in the lives of three to five year old children left them seriously handicapped.” And two other researchers, named Heterington and Deur, report that “Father deprived girls showed extremes of either promiscuity or withdrawal from males.”

What alarming research. The absenteeism of fathers is having detrimental effects on children. Which indicates something needs to be done. Fathers need to be encouraged and hear they’re really necessary. And in response, fathers need to enroll in the gymnasium of fatherhood and work up a sweat attending to the personal growth of their children. For when fathers bring up their children in the way of the Lord (cf. Ephesians 6:4), their children are usually engaging and enthusiastic members of society.

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