The Power of Fathers | Tomorrow's World

The Power of Fathers

Comment on this article

In today’s world, many children grow up with limited support from their fathers or without fathers entirely! A growing body of research suggests that fathers play a profound role in the emotional support of their children (Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2023). One recent study of families with two intact parents discovered that closeness with fathers powerfully impacted children and resulted in “fewer weight concerns, higher self-esteem and fewer depression symptoms for both boys and girls.” Some researchers call this the “good father effect.” Mothers play a key role, too. When mothers were also present, the compounding effect of engaged fathers had a highly influential impact on children.

The research provides further insight into what appears to be a world where boys show less emotional connection to people in general. The Apostle Paul warned that men in the end-times would become “unloving” and “brutal” (2 Timothy 3:3), and, interestingly, researchers found that if the mother is the sole provider of emotional caregiving and support, boys mistakenly learn the false lesson that only women can aptly express such feelings. This “further entrenches the idea that the expression of vulnerable feelings belongs in the domain of women.” One researcher makes the case that boys need to see emotion and compassion rightly expressed by men in order to learn that it is acceptable for men, as well, to show and express these feelings.

As our societies fracture and the historical family is dismantled and rebuilt in opposition to biblical guidelines, the suffering of our children grows. However, the biblical structure for the family, known and practiced for thousands of years, holds a key to raising physically and emotionally healthy children, though so many elements of society that claim to prioritize concern for children actively and passionately struggle against this traditional and proven structure. As the Bible warns, at the end of the age, many will call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), even as our children suffer for it (Deuteronomy 28:18). To learn more about the importance of both parents’ involvement in raising their children, be sure to read or listen to Successful Parenting: God’s Way.