Yesterday, I heard a disturbing statistic on the radio. In fact, it made me angry, so angry that I researched it when I got home. I found it in an online article in Investopedia. The article cited the value of salaries related to both a father’s and a mother’s work at home. The father would earn a measly $20,415, while his counterpart’s salary would be a whopping $112,962. That’s quite a staggering discrepancy.
There was no by-line, but somehow I feel fairly confident that a woman penned the article. To be fair to the anonymous writer, she was only assigning value to the cost of replacing the work performed in the home. Hopefully, she sees a few more benefits to the role of fatherhood than that.
But it does reflect our society’s alarming disregard of the importance of a father. Of course, many women have courageously risen to the challenge and filled both roles, when necessary, in their children’s lives. But does that mean fathers are superfluous? Television dads, if present at all, are portrayed as buffoons while the moms are the capable and caring ones who clean up everyone’s messes.
My husband has ministered in prisons for over 20 years. An overwhelming majority of inmates had no father in their home growing up. These men can attest to the value of a father’s presence, wisdom, care, guidance, provision, and discipline in the life of a son. Likewise, daughters benefit from the same care as their brothers. Girls learn about men from their fathers; boys learn how to be a man from their dads.
Just as all women can have a mothering role, even if they have never given birth to a child, guys do not need to be biological fathers to have a positive influence in the life of a child. Any man who walks with integrity can be a constructive role model.
To all the good men I know, thank you for your invaluable role in our world and society!
There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1: 31)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)