The Importance of Fathers Staying

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Chapter 10 from the book, God Has Smiled On Me: A Tribute to a Black Father Who Stayed and a Tribute to all Black Fathers who Stay, by Daniel Whyte III

I cannot stress enough that the greatest thing my father ever did for me was staying with our family. That is why I am writing this book--to honor my father.  I know that I am stronger and better because of my father's sacrifice. However, even though there are many other fathers who choose to stay with their families and raise their children, there are even more fathers who choose not to do what my father did. Statistics show that children who do not grow up with fathers in the home are worse off than the children who do.
According to Rebecca O'Neill of CIVITAS, "the experiment has failed":

For the best part of thirty years we have been conducting a vast experiment with the family, and now the results are in: the decline of the two-parent, married-couple family has resulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behaviour, isolation and social exclusion for thousands of women, men and children. (Source: Experiments in Living: The Fatherless Family, September 2002)

Here are statistics on children without fathers in the home:

- 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.

- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes - 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)

- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes - 14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)

- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes - 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)

- 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes - 10 times the average. (Rainbows for All God's Children)

- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes - 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)

- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes - 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)

Also, notice the following:

Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003)

Compared to living with both parents, living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional, or educational neglect. The overall rate of child abuse and neglect in singleparent households is 27.3 children per 1,000, whereas the rate of overall maltreatment in twoparent households is 15.5 per 1,000. (America's Children, 1997)

If you are still not convinced, you can find many more statistics by going online and searching for "fatherless children" and "statistics on fatherless children." It is clear that a father being in the life of a child is very important. Yes, mothers play an important role, but they cannot raise
 children by themselves. A child needs both parents in the home. Being a father is a very special role and opportunity. Fathers, may I encourage you to take it seriously and be the best father to your child that you can be. It is important for fathers to stay.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of fifteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, and the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-four years. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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