According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 25% of kids in the United States grow up in fatherless homes. One out of every four boys and girls lack a day-to-day model of a loving man whose primary role is to nurture, protect, and provide for them.

But what about the majority of kids? What influence do their dads have on the family?

Research indicates that children who grow up with a loving dad present in their lives are more likely to experience economic stability because their dads generally work full-time. The same kids are more likely to stay clear of drugs and alcohol since they have less need to block out pain or look for quick fun. They are more likely to be emotionally stable and secure in their identity and relationships, and not prone to becoming sexually active or marrying before finishing high school. Moreover, boys and girls whose dad lives at home and are involved in their lives are more likely to finish high school rather than drop out.

Are you a dad? If so, did you know your presence has a powerful redeeming influence on your kids? Are you a dad who is separated from your children due to circumstances? What choices do you still have to connect and support your sons or daughters?

We sometimes say that God is father to the fatherless, at least in spiritual terms. Perhaps now we realize that His Spirit in us, present with our children, is God’s awesome plan for our kids to always have a dad around.

Dear God, Thank you for the nurturing role you gave dads. Help us to nurture our kids to become responsible, godly citizens who love you, people, and your world. May your Spirit strengthen us to make wise choices as we raise our kids to your honor and glory. Amen.

Go Deeper — No matter what dad you have or had, or rarely had, your Father in Heaven is perfect, loving and always there for you. Talk to Him, “child to daddy” today.

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Tags: The Lord's Prayer Matthew 6
Photo Credit: Vincent Guth