Insight News

Feb 14th

The importance of fathers

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The role of the father is a very important part of the family structure. With more and more families being headed up by single mothers, the effect of their absences is both noticeable and negative. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children who have absent fathers are 43 percent less likely to get high grades in school.

Without a father to guide them, many young boys are growing up wild, and many young girls are growing up needy of male affections. Fatherless boys developed puberty late, become fathers earlier, and tend to emulate the effeminate behavior of the mother more than the boys with fathers in their lives. Fatherless girls often have a deeply ingrained fear of abandonment and rejection. To cope with these fears, they usually develop a fear of commitment as a defense mechanism. In relationships, these women often strive for emotional closeness but then run away when things are going perfectly well out of fear that they will be rejected, which would reopen the early wound of being "rejected" by her father. This can prevent them from ever having a successful relationship with another male.

Today, now more than ever, the father’s role is both powerful and necessary. Fathers in general are thought to be nurturing for their children in a way that differs from the mother. The balance of the two varying nurturing styles is what helps to create a child's sense of confidence. Children who have a nurturing relationship with their fathers in their early years are more likely to develop better speech and decision-making practices. To make the most of the father-child opportunity, the father will need to focus on these key areas.

First, a father must be involved. I read that the average father spends less than 20 minutes a day interacting with their children. This lack of involvement over time causes the child to view the father’s role as a non-factor. To counter this view, men who are fathers must increase the amount of time they spend interacting with their children. This deliberate action at any point in the child’s life will have a positive effect. Even adult men and women long to have a father that seeks to spend time with them and enjoy their company.

Secondly, a father must be a positive influence. Children model the behavior of the parents. If the father has bad habits his children are more likely to adopt those bad habits. A father should be a positive role model and influence in their children’s lives.

Finally, a father must be affectionate. A father’s affection gives his daughter a higher self esteem and a positive inner self confidence and his son a positive sense of self worth. Without it, they both will look for love and affections in all the wrong places. Being lovingly affectionate towards his children is one of the most important roles that a father can perform.

The role of the father is more important now than ever. He is the calming influence in the family, and when daddy is home, everyone sleeps better. The father sets the limits in the family, keeping the negative influence of drugs and alcohol at bay. His absence is not only noticed by his family, but the world itself is impacted. I pray for every man that is a father that they be the best one possible. His role is too valuable to be replaced.

Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities.  For questions, comments or more information, go to


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