The Fatherless Generation
- Friday, June 18, 2004
We will win the battle if we stay focused on our calling, if we make sure we wear the full armor God provides for us, and if we determine in our hearts to take the offensive by exposing the works of darkness. Clearly, we need a cultural renewal. That will not happen through legislation because we know morality and spirituality cannot be legislated into existence. Rather, it requires that hearts be changed by the Spirit of God.
Does Crime Pay?
The cost of crime for the victims of our society is incalculable. Speaking in terms of cash, the aggregate cost of crime for victims back in 1984 was $92.5 billion! This does not include the emotional toll violence extracts from its victims.The Wall Street Journal, in showing how the fastest growing segement of our nation’s criminal population consists of children and young people, observed, "The tragedy of this system is that because he is so rarely made to pay for his crime, the juvenile offender doesn’t get the message that crime doesn’t pay. He may not even get the message that what he’s done is reprehensible in any sense" ("The Young and the Violent," September 12, 1992).
Many of these young criminals are truly fatherless, and most know nothing of a father’s authority.
When Will We Ever Learn?
Suicide is now the second greatest teenage killer in the United States, according to Dr. Bob Anstine and Dr. Richard Arno in their book Counseling the Suicidal/Teen Suicide (National Christian Counselors Association, 1991, p.2). For every successful suicide, there are believed to be approximately 100 unsuccessful attempts. Suicidal young people I’ve worked with indicate that a pervading sense of loneliness, hopelessness, and purposeless is what drives them to attempt suicide.
A fatherless generation of orphans goes through the early years of life feeling rejected and devoid of meaning. Such orphans may turn to sex in an effort to find love. The number of unmarried teenagers getting pregnant has nearly doubled in the past two decades—and now one in every four pregnancies ends in abortion.
The number of divorces in America has increased nearly 200 percent in the past three decades, leaving many of our children and young people feeling fatherless. Less than 60 percent of all children today live with their biological, married parents. As William Galston writes, "The economic consequences of a parent’s absence are often accompanied by psychological consequences, which include higher than average levels of youth suicide, low intellectual and education performance, and higher than average rates of mental illness, violence and drug use."
I wrote a tract called "The Condom Cover-Up" for an outreach at a local university. So often our society wants us to cover up the problem instead of dealing with its root issues.
Similarly, abortion attempts to solve a problem that stems from intrinsic irresponsibility. Giving clean needles to drug addicts attempts to solve one problem by exacerbating another one. Sex education gives information without providing a clear-cut framework for building a person’s character.
Methadone therapy in the lives of heroin addicts simply substitutes one drug for another. "Just say no" sounds nice, but a slogan is useless in the life of a person who does not have a sound spiritual base on which to build. A fatherless person has a hard time saying "no."
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