Stories of triumph and victory can emerge from the circumstances of tragedy, pain, and distress, and for many children, the greatest tragedy of their lives begins with the absence of their father. There are men all of over our nation in positions of power and influence who were raised by a loving single mother, in the dark shadows of their absent fathers. These men, these survivors, would agree that their journey would have been much different if they had a father to guide them along the way. Although it’s not Father’s Day, there’s no better time to affirm the power of a man who chooses to father and nurture the lives of his children.
Poverty, lack of role models, and other obstacles facing men in communities of color are not enough to silence the resounding power and influence that emerges when a man takes his place to raise up the next generation. A man’s voice is what cements the identity of his children, so that from their earliest moments, that child will know that he or she is loved, accepted, wanted, and valued.
When men affirm women, accept their children, and assume their place as fathers, there is a transfer of strength, wealth, and confidence that is undeniable. Overwhelming research shows that when a father is in a child’s life, that child will perform more successfully in school and avoid many of the high-risk behaviors that plague children who do not have a relationship with their fathers. Whether the father and mother live as husband and wife, a mother is strengthened and encouraged when she is not left to carry the weight of parenting alone. She is empowered financially because the costs for raising a child can be shared, with or without interference from the courts. A single mother will tell you, every dollar matters and every moment matters. For children, fathers propel them to fulfill their unique purpose, and they find security in their father’s choice to love.
The gift, the privilege of fathering, is not limited to biological fathers. There is a yawning gap that is waiting to be filled in the lives of children and teens today. Now is the time for men of character, care, and integrity to raise up and pour themselves into the life of a child who needs their powerful influence. A nation is known by the care of its children, and rampant fatherlessness is the curse of our nation.
Today, there is no greater position of power than to make an indelible mark in the life of a child. It’s not enough to see the demise of a generation and do nothing. A child left to himself can go no further than his self-will and limited knowledge can carry him. Our ravaged communities and full prisons reflect a generation crippled by a lack of fathers. The greatest turning of our nation won’t happen from the top down. No, it’s going to happen from the bottom up — men who will stop and seek out ways to reach this next generation, supporting mothers and women who bring forth precious lives and experience the overwhelming gift of being a father.
Quote: “As persistent as she is to get into my ear, that’s the persistence that you need to make your decision to say yes to life and no to abortion.”
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