It's not a choice that a child makes, but since 1/3 of kids in America currently live without their father, it is something that many are becoming. While many approach this subject by addressing the causes of fatherlessness, the reality is the fatherless will always be with us. There are simply too many causes of the problem and it affects too many people.
In the book Fatherless Generation John Sowers addresses the epidemic that few people acknowledge. Many would like to believe that its simply not a big deal for a child to grow up without a father. The only problem is that the evidence indicates that a good father is desperately needed for the rearing of children. Sowers shares these stats origianl reported in the Idaho Observer in 2003 concerning children from homes
These children account for:
- 63% of youth suicides
- 71% of pregnant teenagers (which tends to perpetuate the problem)
- 85% of all youths sitting in prisions
- 71% of high school dropouts
The first of this half of this book addresses the fallout for this generation that lives without a dad. Sowers provides an excellent mix of statastics and personal stories (of his own and others) that make for easy reading while also providing useful information. While informative, it certainly is not is not exhaustive in reporting the difficulties that fatherless homes will face. A couple of books that I would recommend for a greater understanding of these difficulties include Life Without Father and The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.
The second half of the book suggests one what may be the best way to address the issue of fatherlessness: mentoring. Sowers describes mentoring as loving, modeling and coaching. As the president of The Mentoring Project, he is leading an effort to connect fatherless boys with mentors at local churches. And with over 300,000 churches spread across the US the church is startegically placed to address it. One hope is that through mentoring these young men they will not gow up to make the same mistakes that their own fathers have made, thus reducing the incidents of fatherlessness for future generations. For more information about the founding of The Mentoring Project check out Father Fiction and for more ideas about what you can do, besides becoming a mentor, check out Hope for a Fatherless Generation.