Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Importance of Fathers

We discussed in church today the crisis of "fatherlessness". That is word coined by David Blankenhorn in his book, Fatherless America: Confronting our Most Urgent Social Problems.

Blankenhorn contends, and I agree, that the breakdown of the family and more importantly, our society's acceptance of children being raised without fathers lies near the roots of the most difficult social issues of our day.

What does that mean to our own family? Fortunately, we enjoy a network of support among our family members, which, when working, strengthens our individual families. As we try to become the best fathers we can be, our families are better able to cope with the negative influences of the world where we live.

As we discuss family dynamics with our friends and associates, we could go further in promoting strong fathers in our society. Here is a short excerpt from Blankenship's introduction to the book. The full text can be found from this link.

The core question is simple: Does every child need a father? Increasingly, our society's answer is "no", or at least, "not necessarily." Few idea shifts in this century are as consequential as this one. At stake is nothing less than what it means to be a man, who our children will be, and what kind of society we will become.

This book is a criticism not simply of fatherlessness but of a culture of fatherlessness. For, in addition to losing fathers, we are losing something larger: our idea of fatherhood. Unlike earlier periods of father absence in our history, we now face more than a physical loss affecting some homes. We face a cultural loss affecting every home. For this reason, the most important absence our society must confront is not the absence of fathers but the absence of our belief in fathers.


  1. I know I could not be what I am today without my father. I'm so grateful for him, and for the good father Jeff is to our kids.

  2. Dido. Except for the Jeff part, that's Amara's realm.