The Invisible Father

 

The Invisible Father
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Over the past 30 years this nation has witnessed a falling away in mammoth proportions. This falling away has been gradual but the repercussions have reverberated throughout the corridors of society and has rendered generation after generation progressively helpless and useless as it pertains to fulfilling their God ordained destinies. This falling away that I speak of is the falling away of men from their God ordained roles. Men that have been ordained by God to be leaders, protectors, coverings, and more have found it acceptable to procreate and then abandon their progeny.

Men have found it to be an acceptable course of action to submerse themselves in their selfish ambitions without the slightest hint as to the negative ramifications of their erroneous behavior. We are sitting dead in the middle of one of the worse scourges to befall the human race in recent history. I call this scourge IFS (The Invisible Father Syndrome). We are rapidly approaching a time when a visible father will be an anomaly rather than a normality. The Bible tells us that a man that does not honor his filial responsibilities is worse than an unbeliever. This speaks of more than financial support and touches the impactful issue of presence and connectivity.

Having dealt with this issue first hand; I was compelled to address the issue from a biblical perspective. The Invisible Father is a compilation of personal experience and biblical knowledge infused with the revelatory power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that this book will impact, empower, and encourage an entire generation that change is not only possible, but it is absolutely necessary. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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The Numbers Tell the Tale!

Hamilton County Facts and Figures

  • There are 124,444 households in Hamilton County:  50.20% were married couple families; 13.50% are female-headed families.  Hamilton County, TN Encyclopedia All Experts, 2000
  • In 2006, the proportion of births to unmarried women was 38.5%. National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56, No 7. December 5, 2007
  • According to the 2010 US Census, 20 million U.S. children now live in single-parent homes.
  • The majority of African American children nationwide – 54 percent – are being raised by single mothers. Only 12 percent of African American families below the poverty line have both parents present, compared with 41 percent of poor Hispanic families and 32 percent of poor white families.
  • The state’s divorce rate did drop 3.6 percent to 27,823 recorded divorces in 2005. Tennessee Department of Health
  • Number of divorces in Hamilton County in 2012 was 1,3856, a decrease of 38 percent since 1997. Tennessee Department of Health
  • In 2003, there were 3.8 divorces for every 1000 people in the U.S. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. 2003.
  • In 2006, 43.9% of the births in Hamilton County were to unwed mothers compared to 41.4% statewide. Kids Count Data Book
  • 46.2% of babies born in Hamilton County in 2007 were to unmarried parents. Tennessee Department of Health
  • 79% of Hamilton County residents surveyed agree that “the most significant family, or social problem facing America is the physical absence of the father from the home.” This is from 69% in 1992. 1996 Gallup Poll of Fathering
  • More than one in four (35%) Hamilton County adults have been divorced compared to 25% of adults nationwide. 2000 Barna Report

The Plight of Fatherlessness

  • The United States is the world’s leader in fatherless families. U.S. Census Bureau
  • In America, 24 million children live absent their biological father. National Fatherhood Initiative 
  • 63% of black children, 28% of white children, and 35 percent of Hispanic children are living in homes absent of their biological father. National Fatherhood Initiative, 2001
  • Over 1.6 million babies were born out of the wedlock in 2012.  U.S. Census Bureau 
  • 28% of America’s children live in mother-only families. U.S. Census Bureau 2010
  • In 2002, 21.6 million adults identified themselves as divorced, representing 9.6% of the population, up from 4.3 million in 1970.  U.S. Census Bureau
  • In 2011, there were 877,000 divorces in the US compared to 920,000 in 2003. U.S. Census Bureau 

Father’s Time with Children

  • Children ages 3 to 5 are read to by their fathers an average of 6 times a week.  Source: A Child’s Day: 2006
  • 36% of children younger than 6 had fifteen or more outings with their father in the last month.  Source: A Child’s Day: 2006
  • On average, a child in a two-parent family spends 1.2 hours each weekday and 3.3 hours on a weekend day directly interacting with his or her father.  Overall, the average total time fathers in two-parent families are engaged with or accessible to their children is 2.5 hours on weekdays and 6.3 hours on weekend days. National Fatherhood Initiative 
  • Of children living with their mothers – whether as a result of non-marital birth or divorce – 35% never see their fathers, and 24% see their fathers less than once a month. Journal of Marriage and Family 

Poverty

  • Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
  • Only 15 percent of children with single biological fathers live below the poverty line. U.S. Census Bureau
  • One-quarter of children living in single-mother homes in which the mother works are still poor. National Fatherhood Initiative
  • Almost 75 percent of American children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11 years old.  Only 20 percent of children in two-parent families will do the same. The National Fatherhood Initiative 

Health

  • Children who live apart from their fathers are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and experience an asthma-related emergency even after taking into account demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Unmarried, cohabiting parents and unmarried parents living apart are 1.76 and 2.61 times, respectively, more likely to have their child diagnosed with asthma. Marital disruption after birth is associated with a 6-fold increase in the likelihood a children will require an emergency room visit and 5-fold increase of an asthma-related emergency. Source: Harknett, Kristin. Children’s Elevated Risk of Asthma in Unmarried Families: Underlying Structural and Behavioral Mechanisms. Working Paper #2005-01-FF. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2005: 19-27.
  •  Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.
  • Source: Teachman, Jay D. “The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages.” Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111.
  •  Children whose fathers are stable and involved are better off on almost every cognitive, social, and emotional measure developed by researchers. For example, high levels of father involvement are correlated with sociability, confidence, and high levels of self-control in children. Moreover, children with involved fathers are less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behaviors in adolescents. Source: Anthes, E. (2010, May/June). Family guy. Scientific American Mind.
  • “….the absence of the father from the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in greater use of alcohol and marijuana.” Source: Beman, Deane Scott.  “Risk Factors Leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse.” 
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control) Fallen Fathers, 2008.

Children’s Sexual Development

  • The absence of a biological father increases by 900 percent a daughter’s vulnerability to rape and sexual abuse boyfriends of custodial mothers.  Fatherlessness statistics. National Fatherhood Initiative
  • The absence of the father for boys has been linked to greater occurrences of effeminacy, higher dependence, less successful adult heterosexual adjustment, greater aggressiveness or exaggerated masculine behavior.  Rekers, George, University of South Carolina of Medicine
  • Data from the National Health Interview Survey indicated that both male and female adolescents who come from non intact families are more likely to have had sexual intercourse.  National Fatherhood Initiative

Crime

  • Children raised in single-parent families and surrounded by children of single-parent families at school are at the greatest risk of delinquency.   Source: Anderson, Amy L. “Individual and contextual influences on delinquency; the role of the single-person family.”  Journal of Criminal Justice, 30 (November 2002): 575-587.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.Fallen Fathers, 2008
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction- Fallen Fathers
  • Young black men raised in single- parent families on welfare and living in public housing are twice as likely to engage in criminal activities compared to black men raised in two-parent families also on welfare and living in public housing. Hill, Anne, Underclass Behaviors in the United States: Measurements and Analysis of Determinants, 1993.
  • In a study of preteens who committed murder, “the clearest finding pertain(ed) to family background”: a high percentage of preteen homicide offenders come from homes where the child was consistently at risk for witnessing or experiencing violence, usually at the hands of the primary male caretaker. National Fatherhood Initiative 
  • 70% of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes. Department of Justice 

Education

  • Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school. U.S Department of Health and Human Services.   
  • Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families. Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.
  • Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school; 10 percent of children living with both parents have ever repeated a grade, compared to 20 percent of children in stepfather families and 18 percent in mother-only families. Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.  National Principals Associations: Report on the State of High Schools
  • Kindergartners who live with single-parents are overrepresented in those lagging in health, social and emotional, and cognitive, outcomes.  Thirty-three percent of children who were behind in all three areas were living with single parents.  Only 22 percent not lagging behind in any areas. National Fatherhood Initiative
  • Delinquent behavior on school property by African American male high school students is taking place at a high rate. National Center for Education Statistics, 2000

Father Presence

  • Father involvement has a direct effect on a child’s externalizing and internalizing behavior.  Differences in the level of involvement have significant effects on the behavioral outcomes of the child, but overall is more beneficial when the father lives with the child. Carlson, Marcia J. Family Structure, Father Involvement and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes.  2005.
  • Children whose fathers reported having a secure attachment relationship with their father had mothers with higher self-esteem.  They also had higher attachments to their mothers.  Caldera, Yvonne M. “Paternal Involvement and Infant Father Attachment: 2004.
  • In a study of fathers’ interaction with their children in intact two-parent families, nearly 90% of the fathers surveyed said that being a father is the most fulfilling role a man can have. Yeung, W. Jean, “Children’s Time with Fathers in Intact Families.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, IL, August, 2000.

Short Version:

FACTS ON ABSENT FATHERS

STRAIGHT NO CHASER:

  • 24 million children in America – one out of three – live in homes without biological fathers
  • A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father
  • Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school
  • Kindergarteners who live with single parents are over-represented among those lagging socially, emotionally and cognitively and also tend to have more health issues. Thirty-three percent of children who were behind in all three areas were living with single parents, while only 22% were not lagging behind.
  • A study of 13,986 imprisoned women showed that more than half of them grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household, and 16 percent lived with neither parent.
  • Children growing up without fathers are at a far greater risk of child abuse:
  • A 77 percent greater risk of being physically abused
  • An 87 percent greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect
  • A 165 percent greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect
  • A 74 percent greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect
  • An 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse
  • And overall, they are at a 120 percent greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse.

Data compiled from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, National Fatherhood Initiative, National Center for Education Statistics and several other scholarly reports.

The Invisible Father
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