Fatherlessness

LOST BOYS PRAYER CAMPAIGN – WEEK 3

By Warwick Marsh
Founder, Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation

Malachi 4:6 – “Turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.”
Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Australian psychologist and author Steve Biddulph says, ‘love grows the brain’. Steve is right but tragically love is one of those commodities that is in desperately short supply in the Fatherless homes that many children inhabit.

Currently one in three marriages fail. The rate is higher for second and third marriages.[i]

Some believe that children are better off when unhappy parents’ divorce, but the social sciences show that the reverse is true. If parents stick out an unhappy marriage, in five years’ time the majority of them admit to having a happy marriage. [ii]

An article titled The True Impact of Divorce on Children, compiling the results from a survey said that: “Divorced parents are often in denial about how badly the break-up has damaged their children”.[iii]

Almost a quarter of youngsters said that they had not seen their father since the split.

More than three quarters believed their children had “coped well” – even though just 18 per cent of youngsters said they were happy with the situation.

One in 20 had turned to alcohol and one in nine had deliberately wounded themselves. A further 6 per cent had considered suicide, while two of those polled had tried to kill themselves.

Almost a third described themselves as devastated by divorce, while one in 12 thought that it meant their mothers and fathers “didn’t love them” and had “let them down”.

But despite the damage wrought by their parents splitting, few children felt able to speak openly and honestly about their emotions.

Meanwhile, just 5 per cent of parents guessed their children blamed themselves for the split – even though 13 per cent of youngsters admitted feeling this way. One in ten parents thought their offspring were actually “relieved” they had left their partner.

Sadly, almost a quarter of youngsters said that they had not seen their father since the split.

Children of divorce lose out in every way. According to the statistics they suffer higher rates of addiction, mortality, poverty, suicide, incarceration and higher rates of mental health problems. Fatherlessness is the by-product of family breakdown which is exacerbated by our current family law system that is still essentially antagonistic to fathers.

One of the greatest challenges facing our nation is the social problems caused as a result of Fatherlessness. The problem of Fatherlessness has been estimated to cost Australia over $13 billion per year.

Studies into the potential impact of growing up without a father in the United States have produced the following statistics in relation to boys.

Boys from a fatherless home are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape.
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemicals.
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.  

While not every child who grows up in a fatherless situation will experience either one or any of these problems, there is a much greater statistical likelihood that he or she would.

And tragically in some situations Fatherlessness can have fatal consequences;[iv] “A child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with married biological parents. A child whose mother cohabits with a man other than the child’s father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse.[v]

The situation seems overwhelming, yet Scripture is replete with accounts of God working seemingly impossible transformations when His people turn to Him.

This is why Cindy McGarvie’s book Lost Boys is so crucial to bring these issues to light and why this 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting for our boys and young men is so important to see change in our nation.

Let’s stand together in prayer

Heavenly Father,

We pray that you will minister your life to the lost boys of Australia.

You are the Way, the Truth and the LIFE!

You came to give us life and LIFE more abundantly!

Turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children and the Hearts of the children to their fathers as it says in Malachi 4:6 in Jesus Name

 

PRAYER FOCUS

  • For the restoration of Malachi 4:6 - for the hearts of fathers to turn to their children so that healing will flow from our Father in heaven.
  • For the Tide of Fatherlessness in our nation to be turned around!
  • For all young people, girls and boys to experience the unconditional love of the Father. John 3:16. That they know their adoption into the family of God.
  • For God given complementarity between men and women to be revealed in the media and the education system.
  • For our children to grow up free from sexual abuse and gender whisperers, free from perverse influences in the education system, media and government.
  • For the boys and young men of Australia - that they will find their identity as sons.
  • For healing in broken families.
  • Spiritual fathers and mentors to disciple lost boys.

 


Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975 and they have five children and eight grandchildren. He and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. Warwick Marsh is a family & faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker. Together they founded Dads4Kids in 2002 with a vision to fulfill Malachi 4:6.

Join the PRAYER CAMPAIGN

Join with us for 40 days of prayer and fasting for the lost boys of our nation from Wednesday 26 February – 5 April 2020. Signup to let us know you will be praying and fasting with us. Each week we'll be producing a devotional and prayer guide to help focus and encourage us to persevere in prayer for our young men.


[i] https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blog/fast-facts-marriages-australia/
[ii] https://ifstudies.org/blog/should-couples-in-unhappy-marriages-stay-together
[iii] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/the-true-impact-of-divorce-on-children/story-fni0fiyv-1226791995341
[iv] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513805000929
[v] http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/children/children.cfm

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