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Stories of Lives Liberated

The Epidemic of Fatherlessness

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 1990 decennial census of 64.5 million family households, approximately 7.5 million (11.6 percent) were single-mother homes. A decade later, the year 2000 census revealed that the number of family households had grown to 71.8 million and the number of single-mother homes had grown to 12.9 million (12.2 percent). The 2013 Current Population Survey revealed that of 80.9 million family households there were about 15.5 million single-mother homes (19.1 percent). It also revealed that of 73.9 million recorded children (under 18 years), 20.5 million were living in single-parent homes while 85 percent of those (17.5 million) were in single-mother homes. In 2013, roughly one third of the population of children in the United States were not living with their biological fathers.

According to these statistics, even accounting for the progression of population growth, the number of children in the U.S. growing up without a father is increasing dramatically without any signs of stopping.

These boys and girls are being raised in the absence of any prominent male figure who would provide an example of what masculinity and love is in a father. Boys who grow up without such a male prototype to emulate are especially vulnerable to adopt the infectious image of masculinity this world supplies. The rabid vanity, ego-driven, hyper-sexuality contained in this image becomes viral as girls increasingly have no example of what to value in boys – or of what in themselves ought to be valuable to men.

What must the response be to such a contagion? How do we immunize ourselves and our loved ones from the epidemic of fatherlessness?

Roughly 2000 years ago, there lived a man named Jesus who preached to many. This man taught that through faith in Him, as the Son of God, and through learning from Him, we could approach God knowing Him as our Father [Matthew 6:9]. By turning away (repenting) from our selfish and unhealthy ways (sin) and following Jesus, we find forgiveness and joyful acceptance as His children.  He himself bought, by his tortured death on a cross, this inheritance, wiping away our guilt and creating for us a new identity.

And in rising from the dead, through the power of the Father, Jesus proved that our relationship with God is indestructible. The love of the Father would not allow even death to hinder His children from coming to Him.

In Jesus Christ: the fatherless are claimed, the unlovable are loved, and the worthless are deemed worth dying for.

Our response to the sickness of the lost and abandoned is to be the living proof that we may draw close to the living God with freedom and confidence. With the same boldness and intimacy that Christ Jesus approached God knowing Him as “Abba, Father” (Mark 14:36), we must draw close knowing Him as “Daddy.”

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Romans 8:16

It is this ‘Spirit of adoption’ that we know God and ourselves–our identity in Him.  He is the hope for mankind – that orphans and sinners might become holy sons and holy daughters in the family of God. Both we and our children must hold firm that any other title is not worth defining our lives by.

Jesus came to be the example and prototype for all of God’s children to follow. He is the perfect expression of the Father’s nature and of His design for us. Christ is the cornerstone and foundation on which this household of heaven is built, and we will keep the doors open wide for all who would come seeking life.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’
Romans 8:15

Sam Lamont devotes his writings to exploring God’s narrative as seen in world history, shining a light on how Christ’s church has developed throughout the ages. “Join me in reflecting on our past – as we peer through the lens of truth and freedom in the gospel; I pray we will grow all the more in our understanding of what Christ has called us to be.”