The fatherhood football is being fumbled. In the U.S., 24-million children are being raised apart from their fathers. 40 percent of the kids of divorced parents haven’t seen their fathers in the past year. Tragically, in too many cases, even when dad lives with his children, he is emotionally absent. The negative consequences of all of this for children, families, communities and the nation are many. Yes, there are many mothers doing a fine job of raising their children without much help. But that is not the Creator’s plan for the family.
God’s perfect plan is for mothers and fathers to work in partnership to provide their children every needed resource to grow up happy, safe and healthy. Children do better on just about every measure when they have a loving, committed, engaged, skilled father in their lives, even when the parents aren’t romantically involved.
It’s time to recover the fatherhood football. The Church can and should lead the way. We can start by raising-up an army of Christian fathers who model God’s deep and powerfully nurturing love. His desire is to work within our hearts to produce fully-developed agape love by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Eli Williams is a husband, father and minister. He is the president and cofounder of Urban Light Ministries in Springfield, Ohio. ULM provides a weekly after school program that serves 800 children. ULM operates a growing fatherhood program that annually impacts over 500 dads and their kids in the Dayton region. He is the CEO of Fatherhood Ohio, a foundation that raises awareness and funding for fatherhood programs and community mobilization initiatives. A veteran broadcaster, Williams writes and hosts the radio ministry Hot Gospel 20, a weekly gospel countdown show heard on traditional and Internet radio stations, and via mobile app.