A Pastor’s Ponderings: Happy Father’s Day – Standing Firm in Faith as Anchors in the Storm

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Doug Stauffer head shot 2023Adapted by Pastor Doug Stauffer

In the beginning, God established the home with a simple design, as stated in Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” However, the world, the flesh, and the Devil tirelessly work to undermine this divine blueprint, causing some parents to raise their children without a spouse. The deck is stacked against these homes, no matter the fortitude and bravery of the one-parent household.

Today, nearly one in four children live in father-absent homes. The absence of fathers from children’s lives can lead to significant challenges, impacting their emotional, academic, and behavioral well-being. These factors underscore the indispensable role of fathers in child development and family dynamics. Many resources reflect the impact of a Father’s absence from the home.

  • Fatherless households experience lower self-worth and have more difficulties regulating their emotions.
  • Fatherless households are more likely to struggle with educational achievement.
  • Fatherless households experience a higher risk of children engaging in harmful behaviors like substance abuse.
  • Fatherless households experience a greater risk of poverty, affecting children’s quality of life and future financial stability.
  • Fatherless households are prone to a greater susceptibility to mental health issues and emotional challenges, including stress and anxiety.
  • Girls in father-absent homes are at a higher risk of teen pregnancy, highlighting the protective role a father can play.
  • Boys growing up without fathers are more prone to criminal behavior.
  • There is an observed increase in infant mortality rates in households without father involvement.

Dad Sunset with 2 childrenIn this challenging context, fathers have historically been at the forefront of ensuring the welfare of their families. I want to encourage fathers to engage in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, current government funding structures often discourage the traditional family unit by promoting policies that provide increased financial support to single-parent households. This trend undermines the father’s vital role and directly impacts the families’ spiritual and emotional fabric. It is quite a dilemma.

In these times of unprecedented challenges, the words of Psalm 34:17-18 resonate deeply, reminding us that “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” As we navigate the complexities of modern societal structures, it is crucial to reaffirm the importance of a father’s presence, which is divinely ordained to nurture and protect. Through the reassurance of scripture, we find the strength to confront these systemic challenges and the guidance to restore the father’s rightful place in the home.

Jesus Himself extends a comforting invitation in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This call reaches out to all, but in our context, it includes every father burdened by the weight of economic, social, and spiritual responsibilities. In these trying times, it is vital to remember that we are never alone. Our Heavenly Father offers not only solace but also strength.

As fathers and leaders, you are uniquely positioned to be instruments of God’s comfort, reflecting His profound love and mercy within your families and communities. By embracing this divine support, fathers can rise above the pressures imposed by worldly systems, continuing to be the steadfast protectors and nurturers they are called to be.

Let us also thank the mothers whose enduring love and resilience bolster our homes. Fathers and mothers form a partnership essential to God’s perfect plan for family and community. We set aside a day for mothers and one for fathers—to honor and reflect on both parents’ pivotal roles in nurturing the next generation.

Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years.