« A fatherless generation »
In connection with the testimony of our guest Patrick Hosson, former street gang member and who grew up without any father figure (Kintsukuroi Meeting), we held our monthly meeting speaking of the importance of the presence of a father in the life of a child.
For a young son, his father will be the first male model he will try to reproduce. And for a girl, her father will be the first man she will love. No need to say that the absence of a father can cause emptiness in the lives of these children.
A father may be absent by being literally absent from the family home but he may also be absent while still being present.
And by this I mean fathers who are always too busy to spend quality time with their family or fathers who always have plenty of projects that prevent them from living the present moment with their family.
Psalm 127; 3: "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him"
I would like to share with you a thought of Pastor Bruno Picard from Extravagance Church in Reunion Island who said: "You will never learn to be a father if you do not learn before how to be a son". In other words, you will never love your children in the way that God calls you to do so until you learn to let yourself to be loved by God your father.
And finally, here are some North American statistics on the situation of children growing up with an absent father:
Children who grew up without the presence of their father represent:
- 90% of runaways and homeless - 32 times the average
- 85% of young people with behavior problems - 20 times the average
- 80% of rapists with anger management problems - 14 times the average
- 71% of school dropouts - 9 times the average
- 75% of youth in detox centers - 10 times the average
- 70% of youth in youth center - 9 times the average
- 85% of youth in prison - 20 times the average
- 63% of suicides among young people - 5 times the average
- 72% of youths convicted of murder
- 80% of adolescents who receive psychological care
- 90% of pyromaniac teenagers
- 2 times more likely to drop out of school
- 60% more likely to double a year
- 68% more likely to have problems with cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
- 8 times more likely to end up in jail
- 4 times more likely to need psychological help
- 11 times more likely to commit acts of violence
- 20 times more likely to have behavior problems
- 32 times more chance to run away from home
- 5 times more likely to commit suicide
Girls who grew up without the presence of their father represent:
- 71% of teenage mothers (Adulthood in Canada: 18 years old QC, MB, AB, ON, PEI, SK - 19 years: BC, NB, NL, NWT, NS, NU, YU)
- 1,000,000 teenage mothers each year (Often the same adolescent girls who get pregnant several times)
- 13% of births are made by teenage mothers
- 3 times more likely to lose their virginity before 16
- 900% more likely to be raped
- 53% more likely to get married adolescent (Legal marriage is set to 16 years old in Canada)
- 92% more likely to divorce at least once
- 711% more likely to get pregnant in adolescence
- 164% more likely to have a child without being married or in a couple/relationship
Among a survey of 7,000 youth people in prisons who had links with street gangs, 39% said they did so because they were looking for a family.
In the society in which we live today that encourages and celebrates even financial and/or material security, we are often pushed to work overtime shifts in order to bring more money home for the purpose of "Providing" to our families by buying them some security. But the truth is that you are going to work so hard to be able to pay for all these things that at the end of the day you will not even benefit from it as you will be working again ...
So I would like to conclude by encouraging you to come home after your shift and to look after your families before they become part of these statistics. There will never be enough money that overtime days can give you that will have the same value as growing up with your family.