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‘My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will rejoice.’ Proverbs 23:15 NKJV

Author and pastor James Merritt reports that fatherless children are 100 to 200 per cent more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems, twice as likely to use drugs and alcohol, more likely to become sexually active at an early age and three times more likely to commit violent crime. Over 50 per cent of teens who attempt suicide live in single-parent homes. Most runaways leave fatherless homes, and boys without fathers are 300 per cent more likely to end up incarcerated. Seventy per cent of juveniles in long-term correctional facilities grew up without a father. Fatherless daughters are 53 per cent more likely to marry in their teens, and 164 per cent more likely to have children outside of marriage. Fatherless daughters who marry have a 92 per cent higher divorce rate, and fatherless sons are 35 per cent more likely to experience marital failure. Eighty per cent of teenagers admitted to psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes, and are 50 per cent more likely to grapple with learning disabilities. They fare worse in school, and are three times more likely to drop out than kids who grew up in a home with a father. And it’s possible to be physically present, yet emotionally absent. In a recent poll, 50 per cent of fathers said they feel guilty about spending too little time with their children. According to the Family Research Council, the average dad spends eight minutes a day in direct conversation with his kids. And in families where the mum works outside the home it drops to four minutes. If you find these statistics shocking, wake up and do something about it!

SoulFood: Ezek 37:1–40:9, Lk 1:11–25, Ps 73:1–16, Prov 15:18–21

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

The Word for Today

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