From Teen Challenge Qld’s, Executive Director, Joanne Hobbs
Fatherlessness is a growing issue in our nation and at Teen Challenge we see, first hand, the effect it has on teenagers and young adults. However, I would like to first of all prelude my thoughts today by saying that I believe Mum’s raising their children as a solo parent do an amazing job and I have a deep respect for them.
But this is a topic that needs to be discussed as I believe we can all be a part of the solution.
Fatherlessness is an issue that affects every sector of our society and it’s not just limited to single parent families. There are many family units who have a father in the home who has abdicated from his role. A father should not be merely just another adult in the home; he needs to be involved with his children. An involved father is someone who inspires positive change in their children and are healthy role models.
The message an involved father sends to their sons and daughters is, you matter; you are my priority and you can trust me and talk to me about anything.
I think an important question for fathers to ask themselves is, how much meaningful time do I spend with my children? Do you take your daughters on dates so they know how a gentleman should treat them when they start dating? Do you spend time with your sons taking them camping, fishing or whatever it is you enjoy doing together so you can build positive and healthy relationships with them? Do you treat their Mother well; are you loving and affectionate with her in front of them so they learn how to respect women.
I believe we can all be a part of the solution, particularly for solo parents.
Psalm 68 says, That He is a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, and He (God) sets the solitary in families.
We all know single parent families who may not have immediate family support that could provide positive male role models. They live next door to us, they are in our churches, we work with them. I guess my challenge is what could you doing to fulfil Ps 68 by being a father to the fatherless, a defender of the widow and setting the solitary in families.
Because contrary to society’s claims, fathers play a crucial role in the mental, emotional, and spiritual development of a child.
I’m not suggesting that you take the father’s role, I simply suggesting that we can all be role models and mentors that can inspire positive change.