When fathers don’t function as fathers

Published 2:36 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019

The lack of a firm, vocal, male figure in the lives of small children creates four issues in a community. The first issue is that of authority. Children who grow up in families without a consistent, vocal, male in authority will have issues with authority later in life.

Nearly every school-aged child who does not listen, who is disrespectful, or who has a problem with authority, had no firm, vocal, male authority present during their most formative years.

The moral pattern for the home was entrusted to Adam. Our Creator holds fathers accountable for vocalizing this moral imprint. If a father does not function morally, it throws the whole family into role confusion.

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The second issue created by fathers who don’t function as fathers is the lack of a pattern on how to be a man. Compared to other mammals, humans have longer gestations and periods of socialization following birth. The purpose of these longer periods is for training: boy (man) training and girl (woman) training.

The father’s vocal, moral presence is the key to the proper functioning and training within the family unit. The healthy interaction between a mother and father teaches children the value of roles given to them by their Creator. A mother was never meant to be two parents; neither can she teach her boy how to be a man.

The third issue that the lack of a firm, vocal, male figure in the lives of small children creates is instability. Generally, married people make more plans, save more money, and have stronger economic foundations than do single parents. They are more likely to purchase a home and be entrenched at one address for several years. 

Stability is important for the psychological health of children. The presence of a firm, vocal, male figure reduces the likelihood of what sociologists now call “housing insecurity.”

The fourth issue that the lack of a firm, vocal, male figure in the lives of small children creates is reduced provision. Children are going without because fathers are not present to provide. Child support checks are good, but they don’t nearly cover what is necessary.

Any man who has raised his own child will attest that the car in which his child is transported, will be in good running order. Child support doesn’t cover that.

When a man lives with his child, he knows firsthand what their needs are, and what it takes to supply them. Many of our children are not being adequately provided for. Society naturally expects the government to pick up the slack, but God didn’t put that on government, he put it on fathers.


Rev. R. D. Bernard is pastor at King Solomon Baptist Church and author of “My Child, My Disciple.” He can be reached at pastor_bernard@att.net.