“The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him.” (Exodus 15:2)
This Sunday, I will be celebrating my first Father’s Day after becoming a father. I read an article called “The Importance of Father” in the book “The Complete Parenting Book” and I’d like to share some astounding facts from that article with you.
The author observed that the American society has devalued the role of the father. The American Psychologist journal in 1999 wrote that “…we do not believe that the data support the conclusion that fathers are essential to child well-being…” and that “…divorce does not always have negative consequences for children…” In a 2000 study of television shows portraying parents, 26% of TV fathers were portrayed negatively (as opposed to 3% of TV mothers).
Other statistics of note:
– 34% of children in America live without their biological fathers.
– 33% of all births in 2000 were out-of-wedlock childbirths.
– Children who exhibited violent misbehavior in school were 11 times as likely not to live with their fathers and 6 times more likely to have parents who were not married.
– Children who live apart from their fathers are 4.3 times more likely to smoke cigarettes as teenagers.
– A survey of 720 teenage girls showed that 72% said their fathers were very or somewhat influential in their decision to have sex.
But more than any of this sociological stuff, I think fatherhood is even more important in the spiritual aspect. We are influenced in our view of the “Heavenly Father” by our “earthly father.” Psalm 22:4 says: “In You our fathers trusted; they trusted and You delivered them.” In the same way, those with believing parents learn to trust God just as their fathers trusted God. Moses sang in Exodus 15:2 and referred to his God as “my father’s God.”
In the past month, I’ve been trying to establish a routine with Chase in the morning. In the early morning, I take him to the living room so Wendy can have some sleep time in the morning. Then I will pray a morning prayer with Chase, and do devotion with him, reading aloud the Bible passage of the day with him. After that we will have some play time and then a morning nap, and when Wendy wakes up I will go off to work.
So far it’s been the most enjoyable time of the day for me. Not only did I get a spend quality and quantity time with Chase, I was trying to make a habit of showing him where my trust and passions are in God. I hope that one day he’ll say that his God is his father’s God.