Fathers: The key to strengthening families quickly

Social workers are trying to find it. Researchers are looking for it. Individuals desperately search for it. Lawmakers even try to legislate it.

The silver bullet that ends poverty. Something practical and definitive that will break generational cycles of pain, suffering and difficulty.

The simple truth is we know what makes the biggest difference in breaking poverty cycles: Strong families. And nothing strengthens a family faster than an involved father.

Studies have shown active fathers radically change the lives of their children. The presence of a father figure decreases a child’s risk of becoming a drug addict by 50 percent and reduces the likelihood of children becoming involved in crime by 90 percent.

The impact of strong fathers goes far beyond helping children avoid negative behaviors. Sons and daughters of involved fathers grow with the emotional skills and abilities to lead their lives. 

A strong father-child relationship encourages:

  • Better friendships
  • Better academic performance
  • Higher self-esteem
  • More satisfying relationships as adults

Strength and focus are required for fathers to take care of their marriages and lead their families to reach their full potential. That’s only possible if fathers challenge themselves and realize they are the ones who are responsible to teach their sons and daughters to face and overcome obstacles.

For men to become the fathers and family leaders children need them to be, they must first become followers. God provides role models for every father. They show other men how to foster godly families. 

Godly fathers put Christ at the center of their families. They encourage prayer at meal times. They recognize the God-given talents of their children and foster those abilities. They live out Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Writen by Ricardo Brambila, director of the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake in Dallas, where he strengthens vulnerable families.

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