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The Fatherless Crisis

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing;

but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Psalm 68:5-6

Gentleman, you can save the world by doing one thing that will substantially reduce crime, end male violence against women, overcome the ever-growing mental health crisis, put gangs out of business and alleviate poverty.

So, will you rise to the challenge?

Before you say yes, let me warn you. It will be hard work, time-consuming and it will require immense sacrifice. You won’t get any public fanfare and I am afraid you won’t be paid for it. In fact, it will cost you money. Lots of it.

Still interested? Good…

We need strong and courageous men like you. Here is your call to action: be a good father to your kids and be a mentor to the fatherless.

Check out these terrifying US statistics to demonstrate why this is so important. People who have absent fathers account for 90% of people who commit serious crimes; 75% of adolescent murderers; 70% of juveniles in prison; 63% of all youth suicides; 71% of all high school dropouts; 90% of homeless and runaway kids and 80% of rapists with anger problems. They are also twice as likely to suffer obesity and 279% more likely to carry weapons and deal drugs.

And don’t write this off as a US problem. A 2019 study in Britain discovered that out of 60 young adults committing crimes, 72% were from fatherless homes. Tragically, five of them died before the study even ended.

Please step up. It is getting urgent. As the fatherlessness crisis grows, so does the scale of the problem. A 2020 study by the US Census Bureau reveals 18.3 million US kids (25% of all children) have no father in their life – and the UK is not lagging far behind, for our figure stands at 20%.

The good news is you can change this. If you want to.

Start by being a good father to your own kids. I am sure you already are. If you are estranged from your children (even if they are now adults), repair that relationship no matter how hard and how long it takes. Healing will happen. Good fathers are present. Not all the time, as they have jobs and other responsibilities, but they love their youngsters, guiding them, encouraging them, teaching them and disciplining them. Your kids don’t need you to be Superman, they just need you.

What about the millions of kids without a dad? Twenty-five orphaned male elephants provide an answer. These beautiful beasts were stuck in their adolescent (teenage) phase of development even though they were adults. This meant they had adult bodies and the increased aggression of a teenager. Not a good mix! They destroyed properties and even killed a rhino. So, as an experiment, scientists paired these orphans with older elephants that had been fathers before. Within hours, they calmed down and developed into calmer adults. How? The older elephants accepted the orphans into their tribe and corrected them when they were getting aggressive.

Look for opportunities to mentor fatherless kids and young adults in your sphere of influence. That could be at church, in your team at work, in your kid’s Sunday league team or by being a dedicated uncle or grandfather. It really does make a difference.

Trust me, for I was once one of them.

This article, written by Christopher Kerr, was originally published in Sorted Men's Magazine.

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