Continued from, June 3 post, “The Strong Man”
Research and years of experience have shown without a doubt that fatherlessness leads to material poverty, poor physical and mental health, crime, violence, drug and alcohol addiction, a general breakdown in social connectedness within a community, higher infant mortality rates, promiscuity and an increase in out-of-wedlock births. If these are not the kinds of things that come to mind when we read, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” then I don’t know what is. With the “strong man” out of the picture, the deck is stacked against the children. We only need to think back to my friends, Eduardo, Lucas, and Mariana, to see the likely outcome for these young people. All were, for different reasons, without a father to protect, to provide, to teach and to love. Without this figure they were left to seek out models elsewhere.
The realization that Satan has been so successful in removing the God-given defenders of the family, and of civil society, should shock and alarm us. The damage he has been able to inflict as a result should break our hearts as they break the heart of our heavenly Father.
Strong man Technical Knock-out
An even scarier realization is that fatherlessness is not limited to the complete absence of dad. The key to protecting our children from Satan’s schemes, as we stated earlier, is the presence of a “godly” and “engaged” father, in loving relationship with his children. This distinction cannot be over-emphasized. Just any old dad simply won’t do and even a good father can be taken out of the fight. Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in a two-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. So we see that Satan still packs a punch even if he can only temporarily or partially incapacitate the “strong man” by getting him to take his eye of the ball.
(To be continued…)
 “Survey Links Teen Drug Use, Relationship With Father.” Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly 6 September 1999: 5.)