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No Father, No Hope?

July 17, 2007

In his book To Own A Dragon, donald miller writes:

More than 70 percent of students who drop out of school come from fatherless homes. Reading the statistic from the National Principals Report a few weeks ago came as no surprise. With no father to ground the home, the mother works and is exhausted, and is in no way free to nurture and support. I don’t believe the sinful nature can be summed up easily, but I know part of it means a person left alone doesn’t grow or get strong, not emotionally anyway, and certainly not academically.

I don’t believe “sinful nature can be summed up easily” either. Fatherlessness is a tragedy. So is motherlessness. I believe that God in the gospel deals with these issues. However, all too often people tend to reduce adolescent misbehavior and adulthood failures to the absence of a father. True, fathers exert a significant influence on the family, positively and negatively. But at the end of the day, aren’t we responsible for how we act with or without a parent?

It is no compliment to tell someone that their issues can be reduced to “nature” or “nuture”. Reducing our behaviors to nature or nurture is an insult to human dignity. Nature tells us that we have no choice; we are biologically pre-determined to succeed or fail. Nurture tells us that we have very little choice also; we are sociologically pre-determined to fail or succeed. However, the gospel tells us that we are valuable, responsible, sinful people that are actually worse that we dare believe, but in Christ more accepted and loved that we can ever imagine.

Biologically and Psychologically driven interpretations of humanity are destiny-focused, denying humanity a role in their own lives, for good or for ill. Christian theology offers an alternative. We are valued, as people in the image of God. We are sinful, as people in the image of Adam. And by choosing Christ, we may become new people in the image of Jesus. Instead of determinism, the gospel offers us hope. Hope for a better, everlasting future. God offers us much more than fixed fathers or successful careers or stable families. He offers us himself. God gives us the gift of himself, and in receiving that gift, we gain the whole world, a world that we would freely give up for re-union with the creating, redeeming, perfecting, loving, all-glorious, all-satisfying Father, Son and Spirit.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2007 7:56 am

    …[we are] actually worse that we dare believe…

    I don’t understand what that means. Can you expound?

  2. July 18, 2007 8:01 am

    we are more sinful than we want to believe. We spend much of our time covering, ignoring, and pretending that we are not sinful, instead of confessing and turning from it and receiving grace upon grace…

    make sense?

  3. July 18, 2007 1:35 pm

    yes. thanks.

  4. Chris permalink
    July 19, 2007 8:20 am

    Speaking 1st hand and being involved in a relationship with a single mom, I can attest to the influence a father/father figure can have on young children.

    I agree that ultimately we are responsible for our own actions but in childhood without a father figure, what tools are given to these children?

    In the short time I have spent with my girlfriend’s children, I see a tremendous difference in them. I pray nearly everyday that God grants me the discipline, patience, and wisdom to be an example to these kids. It is through the strength that I find from the Holy Spirit which guides me in this new role that I have found myself in.

    We (her and her kid’s and I) share Bible stories, go to church together, etc. but MORE IMPORTANTLY they see an adult man (me) that is God fearing, God loving and attempting to reflect Jesus’ love and grace back into the world. Not just with them but with every person, situation that I encounter.

    It is this observation by them that I think is the MOST powerful evidence for a young child of God’s love.

    To steal from your “action figure” post. I want to be their “Action figure”. A real life superhero FOR Jesus. Wardrobe is an issue though. I’m not ready for a robe! LOL.


  5. September 16, 2009 5:50 pm

    Fatherless homes could very well play a part in kids and crime .

    This is just some input from a seasoned song writer musician .

    I think song writing should be paying attention to world community in regard to
    it’s struggle and life experience . Example ( Song For My Son ) is a song about children and weapons . It is culturally diverse because of it’s performance .This song has over 49.000 views and growing on You Tube . I invite you to view it and hope you enjoy

    God Bless

    Mickey Carroll
    Grammy nominee
    Gold Record recipient

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