There’s a river about half a mile from my house that my 7-year-old son and I enjoy. We hunt for fossils, skip rocks off the water, and watch boats speed along. Every now and then, we even catch a beautiful sunset.
It’s a perfect father-son destination and brings back memories of that opening tranquil scene in “The Andy Griffith Show”— minus the whistling, of course. But on one recent afternoon, my son did something that could have been set in fictitious Mayberry.
He picked up a stick and was writing in the sand, shielding his creation from my eyes.
“Don’t look,” he demanded.
A few seconds later, he asked me to turn around.
“I love Daddy,” it read.
It was one of those “awww” moments that every parent has, the kind you want to bottle. But on this night—after he went to bed—I began thinking not about him or me but about our society. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, one-third of all children in America live in a home without their biological father. Meanwhile, we are in the midst of a great cultural debate over whether children need both a mother and a father.
No doubt, there are heroic single mothers who do an amazing job and overcome obstacles every hour of every day, but what is the ideal?
Fathers, it turns out, are still needed, despite what culture may say. Why would God require both genders to make a child, but not to raise the child? Yes, God has gifted moms and dads in unique and complementary ways.
With a hat tip to sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox’s excellent research for points 4 to 6, let’s look at why kids still need dads: