Crisis of Father-Absent Homes in America
Nena Arias | June 15, 2020
America is facing the deepest family crisis in its history. The breakdown of the family structure established by God has been under assault for over 163 years since divorce became legal in the U.S. approximately in the mid to late 19th century. Divorce increased at a rapid rate as prices were lowered and it became easier to obtain a divorce to people of limited means. Divorce became accepted as an alternative to marital unhappiness aided by the weakened importance of spiritual consequences in the breakup of a marriage. Also, the greater independence of women gaining more legal rights and the opportunity to self-support caused a wedge in the marital institution. The increase of the crumbling of the family structure was set in motion in this latter part of the 19th century.
A big change came in 1969 when the Divorce Reform Act was passed allowing couples to divorce after a two-year separation. Divorce ceased to be considered against public interest, the courts found it easier to grant divorce without necessarily having to prove “fault” such as abandonment, cruelty, incurable mental illness or adultery. All they had to claim was that the marriage was irretrievably broken. By 1909, Reno, Nevada became known as “the divorce capital of the world.” The rest is history. The decline in marriage just seems to get worse. All we have to do is look around and especially at what entertains America in television and films how easily marriages end in divorce without the couple really letting go of their selfishness and unwillingness to make the marriage work. Ending up in “blended” families and the children being tossed back and forth from one parent or sets of parents for a weekend is commonplace and readily accepted as the “modern way.”
The Census Bureau reports that 24 million children in America—one out of three—live without their biological father in the home and nearly all of our social issues in America today reflect this father-absence.
Research shows when a child grows up in a fatherless home the following factors are likely:
- Four times more likely to live in poverty
- More likely to suffer emotional and behavioral problems
- Two times greater risk of infant mortality
- More likely to go to prison
- More likely to commit crime
- Seven times more likely for teenage pregnancy
- More likely to face abuse and neglect
- More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol
- Two times more likely to suffer obesity
- Two times more likely to drop out of high school
It is high time to get back to the original design of fatherhood and raise a whole new generation of committed responsible fathers. It will take all of us to begin to make the right decisions and stand by them come what may.
With God’s help and our obedience, all things are possible.“He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:6)