Author Archive

Who Needs a Daddy?

father_childMark Alexander has posted an interesting Essay over at The Patriot Post entitled “Who Needs a Father” that is right in line with the truth we have been espousing on this site and is also quite timely with Father’s Day coming up this weekend.

The essay pays “tribute to the irreplaceable and inseparable institutions of marriage and fatherhood — and the importance of a father’s love, discipline, provision and protection for his family.” It also says a few plain spoken truths about the damage that daddy-less homes have caused in this country.

Below you will find an excerpt from the essay. I encourage you to read the entire essay, however, as there’s plenty of good stuff packed in it.

In 295 B.C., Mencius wrote, “The root of the kingdom is in the state. The root of the state is in the family. The root of the family is in the person of its head.”

When fathers do not take on their parental responsibilities, broken marriages and families are the result. These, in turn, lead to broken societies.

Thus, the failure of fatherhood has much more than mere social or cultural consequences; it is a menacing national security threat. The collective social pathology of the fatherless presents a great obstacle to Liberty and the survival of our republican form of government as outlined by our Constitution.

Father’s Day should thus be a call to action. Indeed, the majority of social entropy afflicting our nation today originates in homes without fathers, which definition includes those without functioning or effective fathers.

Currently, almost 60 percent of black children, 32 percent of Hispanic children and 21 percent of white children live in single-parent homes. (See Bill Cosby’s “Truth about Black America.”) According to the CDC, DoJ, DHHS and the Bureau of the Census, children who live apart from their fathers account for 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90 percent of homeless and runaway children. (When these children become “adults,” the social consequences become even worse.)

Generationally, daughters who have been abandoned by their fathers are seven times more likely to have children as teenagers and 92 percent more likely to divorce.

A successful fatherhood begins with a healthy marriage. To be good fathers, we must first be good husbands.

I have been blessed with many mentors, including Dr. Jim Lee, director of Living Free ministries. Jim taught me that the Christian marriage paradigm is built on a foundation of five principles: “First, God is the creator of the marriage relationship; second, heterosexuality is God’s pattern for marriage; third, monogamy is God’s design for marriage; fourth, God’s plan for marriage is for physical and spiritual unity; and fifth, marriage was designed to be permanent.”

Concern about marital infidelity and the consequences for children are timeless. John Adams wrote in his diary on 2 June 1778, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

I note here that while most fatherless homes are the result of neglect on the part of fathers, an increasing number of fatherless homes result from mothers who separate without reasonable grounds from the fathers of their children.

Fortunately, some young people reared by a single parent, or in critically dysfunctional or impoverished homes, overcame that impediment. Either they were blessed with a parent who, against all but insurmountable odds, instilled them with the values and virtues of good citizenship or, somewhere along the way, those children were lifted out of their misery by some other grace of God — often in the form of a significant mentor who modeled individual responsibility and good character.

However, the vast majority of children from homes without fathers are not so fortunate, as statistically confirmed above.


Music Video: Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

I have a daughter who just turned two years old. She’s my only child. I would have never thought a song like Cinderella would have as much meaning for me as it does.

I guess there’s just something having a child that changes the way you think – and maybe it’s even different for father/daughters – I don’t know. It’s easy to look at her right now and think about all the time we’ll have together over the coming years, but then when you hear a song like this it makes you think about how the time with her will be over all too soon. It’s true what they say – they grow up so fast.

This is one of the few songs that actually makes me feel emotional when I stop and think about it. It’s a great song and the interview with Steven Curtis Chapman after the video is a great insight into how he came to write the song – and a good look into someone who sounds like a great daddy.

Steven Curtis Chapman
CD: This Moment (Cinderella Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Christian
Label: Sparrow Records

Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I’m sittin’ here wearin’ the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do,
She’s pulling at me saying “Dad I need you!
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited and I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says “Dad, the prom is just one week away,
And I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
She will be gone.

Well, she came home today
With a ring on her hand
Just glowin’ and tellin’ us all they had planned
She says “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
but I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy please!”
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
(even one song)
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone


What Makes a Daddy Fun?

Father and Child Play at the ParkA recent article in FamilyFun magazine asks the question “What Makes a Dad Fun?” The article itself (which is actually called My Fun Dad) is a follow-up to a previous month’s edition in which the editors asked kids to tell them – in words and drawings – about the fun they have with their dads.

As you might expect, the kids whose letters are featured have all sorts of answers but I found a not-so-surprising similarity in their answers.

The Grand Prize Winner was a 6-year-old from here in Austin named Rebekah Garza who says that her dad is teaching her how to play the guitar.

… “I like playing guitar because my family likes it. My dad says it’s in my genes. It’s fun because I know a lot, and he doesn’t make it so hard on me.”

It sounds to me like Rebekah’s father, Rick, has found that perfect balance between encouraging his daughter and still teaching her at the same time. Not only is Rebekah learning to play the guitar (at the age of 6, I might add) but she loves learning because her father is making it fun for her and spending what I can only assume is some really quality time with her.

We can learn a lot from what Rebekah wrote as well as what some of the other children wrote:

“I have fun with my dad when I work in the yard with him… I like it because I’m with my dad. He lets me do things all by myself and try things that I have not done before. We get to spend time alone together without anyone bothering us.” – Austin Connors, Age 8

“I love my daddy. We have fun together painting pictures… The most fun I have with my daddy is dressing up like cowboys and riding our horse, Fox.” – Braden Noah Mills, Age 5

“My dad is the most fun dad ever because he spends more time with us than other dads do…” – Reagan M. Shull, Age 9

“My dad’s name is David. He is very funny… He quits anything he is doing to skateboard with me… He cheers me on at swim meets and comes to watch me play tennis… He rushes home from work so he can come home and play with me…” – Kaala Puglisi, Age 7

“… I have so much fun with my stepdad building forts in the living room with blankets and pillows. We sing, tell jokes, and he even plays beauty shop with me when I beg!…” – Adia Chaney, Age 9

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the pattern in these letters. Every one of these daddies spends time with their children and plays with them and makes them feel special.

Take a minute to look at the things these children think are important:

  • working in the yard together
  • just spending time together alone
  • being allowed to try new things by themselves
  • painting pictures together
  • riding horses together
  • skateboarding together
  • showing up and cheering them on at athletic events
  • rushing home from work to play
  • building forts in the living room with pillows and blankets
  • singing and telling jokes together
  • playing beauty shop!

There isn’t a single thing on this list that involves spending vast amounts of money or even really going out of our way to do. These kids don’t want their daddies to buy them expensive toys and take them to theme parks or exotic locations around the world – they want daddy to spend time with them and play with them and just be there for them.

Jason has some excellent points here so I decided to ask my boys the same question.  I was a little bit excited, a little bit scared, and a little bit apprehensive about what the answers might be.  To avoid embarrassment, I had my wife ask the question and record the answers.  Here are the responses unedited.  It may not all make sense but you will get the idea.

Matthew (Age 5) – I like to play with him.  He belongs with us.  He’s fun because he married Momma.  I like to play football and soccer ball.  We like to play Star Wars Legos.  He always beats me with more coins.  We like to watch movies and eat popcorn.  The park is fun.  My all time favorite is watching movies and eating popcorn.  Some times he’s silly.  He makes funny faces.

Andrew (Age 1) – Oouh… ay ya ya… de da da doo…  bah. (liberal translation: Everything Daddy does is fun.  Great answer son… great answer!)

My daughter, Makenzie, just turned two so she’s in a stage where her answer to everything is pretty much the same, but Jeff wanted me to ask her anyway so I did. The results weren’t surprising…

daddyjason: Is daddy fun?
Makenzie: yeah!
daddyjason: Do you like to spend time with daddy?
Makenzie: yeah!
daddyjason: What about daddy makes him fun?
Makenzie: yeah!

While we may not have gotten “perfect” answers from our kids, we did prove a point. All too often we parents, fathers especially maybe, get busy and caught up with work and all the other things we think we have to do and don’t take the time to just stop and enjoy our children. Even taking the time to ask them “silly” questions like Jeff and I did can result in some fun and memorable moments sometimes.

Some fathers try to make it up to their kids for being absent by buying them expensive presents and claiming they’re “just trying to give their children all the things they never had growing up,” but they aren’t really doing their children any favors. Kids don’t want things – not really; they want their daddy.

While this article is talking about the types of things that make daddies fun, the truth is those are the same things that make a father a daddy in the first place. That is, they’re the same qualities that make a man a good father to his children. When we’re talking about “bringing daddy back” this is a big part of what we’re talking about.

I think the whole point is best summed up by my favorite letter in the article. This letter is from Lexie Eaton, Age 6, and it says simply:

“My dad lets me reel in the fish even if he catches them.”