The Father Effect

by Lorana Hoopes

This morning I got a DM from @thefathereffect asking me to watch a video. I’ve often heard how important fathers are as children grow, and so I was intrigued.

The video is very powerful, full of staggering statistics and heartbroken stories. Kids who grow up without a father are more likely to commit suicide, drop out of school, get pregnant, and commit rape. With the rising statistics in divorce and abortion, this is becoming even more apparent.

I see the effects as a teacher every year. I have more students who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other issues than ever before. Almost all of them don’t have a father in their life or their parents are divorced.

So what has happened to our fathers?

I think there are a lot of things, but one thing that sticks out to me is that we have told our fathers they are not important. By supporting women’s choice the way we have, we have basically told men that their choice is not important. How many men out there would raise the baby if they knew? I don’t have hard numbers, but I bet it’s more than you think. After all, that baby is half of their DNA as well. The other problem abortion has caused has affected both men and women. By glorifying the option of getting rid of your problem rather than working through it, we have told both men and women that the easiest thing to do is run, avoid, and ignore. It’s no wonder it trickles into other areas as well.

We’ve also cultivated a culture that supports the notion that if you aren’t happy, you should do what makes you happy. This has resulted in the glorification of sex, and with it, the loss of the emotional tie that is supposed to be there. So men and women alike now jump in bed with multiple partners, sometimes after the first meeting. Sex was meant to be preserved in marriage so that the emotional tie went with it. You would be invested in your partner, rather than in your own glorification.

What can we do then?

One thing is to share this video. There will be a full length movie coming soon as well. We also need to change our thoughts on abortion. If we are to have choice (and that is not my hope as I’d like to see it end) then it should be the choice of both parents, just like it is for adoption. Both mother and father have to sign away parental rights before a child can be adopted, it ought to be the same for abortion. We also need to change our rhetoric. We need to start telling our husbands how important they are. We need to tell our sons how important they are, and we need to give them good examples, not our politicians or celebrities. I’ve become a huge supporter of PureFlix because they actually have TV shows I can let my children watch. They have good examples of fathers, husbands, mothers, wives, etc.

As a writer, I also try to incorporate examples of strong Christian men in my novels. I think it’s important both for men and also for girls who are looking for examples of what they should marry. In fact, for my next novel, I want to explore the view of a single father who chooses life. If you have experience either as a single father or being raised by one, I would love to hear your story.

One thing is for sure as I look around at our crazy world, it is clear that we have forgotten how important fathers are and it is imperative that we remember.

Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on the inspirational with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.

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