Posts tagged ‘Children’






WRITTEN BY PASTOR TERRY COOMER                                                                                                 Elwood Bible Baptist Church, Elwood, Indiana 46036


God says, worship is to be led by the father. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:9).

Most fathers I know could care less. This is a wicked thing. There is more to being a father than just producing children. The lack of leadership by the father today in every area is the most important factor in the breakdown of the American home. I pray the Lord will give us more men like Joshua.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

There has to be a consecration by dad. There is more to a marriage than just living together in a physical relationship.

Lack of godly male leadership brings about the disastrous consequences of rebellion, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity. Divorce is usually caused by a father not taking his Biblical responsibilities and is something God hates, (See Malachi 2:12-17. Matthew 19:5-6.)

The most important cause of divorce in America is the lack of proper, godly leadership by the father and husband. It is also the most frequent cause of children’s feelings of rejection, behavioral problems, and anxieties.  Ephesians 6:1-4. Notice in verse 4, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word “wrath” means a strong desire to avenge. How does a father provoke a child to wrath? By not bringing him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; Nurture means training with structure. Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father.

David Blankenhorn in his 1995 book, Fatherless America,” says “the culture change from a stable, two parent home to the father’s abandonment of his responsibilities of marriage and parenting is America’s most urgent social problem. The father’s absence is the main reason for unhappy homes, many current social problems, and is a national crisis of our time.”

According to the National Fatherhood Institute, 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year! In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million. 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes. Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership. This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates. One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate. It is more than a physical presence. There are many homes where a father is there, but that is all. They want all their needs fulfilled, but do not want to take the spiritual, godly, or normal leadership that God intended. Instead children grow up listening to their parents fight, cuss, yell, scream, spend money on all kinds of entertainment and material possessions trying to be happy.

The father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

The family is in trouble in America because men fail to be the leaders God wants them to be. We desperately need to pray for the men of this country to do as God has commanded. The results of the men not obeying God have been disastrous. The great need is for men to repent of their sins, to really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then to be obedient to the commands of God from His Word. Men must be the leaders God desires them to be. May God help us to pray for the men of America.

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CHILDREN OF GOD, let us understand and take serious these words I speak to you here today when ISTOP BULLY ING 01say, “CYBER BULLING IS A SERIOUS CRIME,” and indeed it is punishable by law.  However, there are too many people that are using the internet and other technology as though it is no big deal, and feel if though they are invisible and can suffer no punishment because they have done nothing wrong to harm anyone, yet our Children are taking their own lives because a bully is hiding in Cyber Space and committing Crimes against our Children as well as against us.

This is very serious and we must take it serious or in the end we all will suffer the consequences.  Cyber Bullying can seem so innocent because it can range from embarrassing to cruel online posts, to threats, harassment, negative comments, to stalking through emails and online websites.  Therefore, many of us are not taking it serious and the bully continues to use the internet as a bunker that is going to keep them safe and allow them to do anything they may desire.

In my oath as an Ordained Minister I am called upon to speak truth to power.  The truth is in these words as each one of you knows them, and the power is in each one of our hands to bring about a change.  Although bullying may not have happen to you are your child, it affects all of us in one way are another when the bully is usually hiding behind false identity, spreading lies, posting pictures, using your name and identity to create post and make threats, telling you to kill yourself because you don’t’ deserve to live in their space.  They do all of this to force the other person to do something totally against their will.

The greatest harm in our society however is to our Children.  When a 9, 10, 11 or 12 year old child is being bullied by some other child and even sometimes adults, then find themselves caught up in a position where the bully seems to be getting the best of them and the only avenue they have left is to kill themselves, that is a serious crime.

CYBER BULLYING 02More and more we are learning that this is happening to our Children and not enough of us are taking it serious enough, listening with a patient spirit to our Children, believing the truth of what our Children are saying, and not reporting it to the authorities.  In the past some of the people that were in authority and especially the school officials did not take it serious enough.  Our Children are our most precious resource, and if this situation is not brought under control and stopped we as a society will be the losers.   

I personally have been the victim of such a crime and it continues even today.  The difference between myself and a young child is that my mind is centered in the Lord and He orders my steps and directs my path providing me with self-control my mind and over the situation.  But that does not make it any less serious especially when it is been done by someone who claims to be a Christian themselves and then hides behind a false identity and uses your own identity to spread lies, smear your name, and try to destroy you anyway they can.  So I truly do understand just how a very young mind may feel and be completely venerable to these and so many other type of threats that are affecting their lives and ability to cope with this difficult situation that they did not create and had absolutely nothing to do with.

This is the first in a series of articles that I will be writing continuously on this subject, and I encourage many of you to do the same.  Knowledge is Power, and when we know the truth we can stand on it because it will never fail us.  God is truth and He knows our hearts, the devil is the evil one who is the bully because He has no power over God.  So he uses our Children to try and destroy God’s Kingdom.  Now let us all stand strong against the evil works of the devil and say, “devil get behind me,” enough is enough.

Now let me leave you with God’s word on this important subject, it says, “Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom.

But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.

This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).

 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. (James 3:13-16 AMP)

May the Peace and Blessings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with each one of you as you work to help change hearts and minds to show the love and live the love as Jesus has taught us.






In part one of this four part series we talked about the role parents play in raising loving and respectable children.  We asked you to share your thoughts on what you would do to raise your children up in the right way that would make them a more responsible and productive adult in this society.  Several of you responded and I will share a couple of your response here.

One of our own Ministers, Sister Shirley wrote, “What we as adults, leaders, and parents must understand is that children are a gift from God, one to be cherished. They are our future leaders, doctors, teachers, etc., therefore our responsibility should be to teach and guide them now or pay the price in the future. Life is about choice and chance.”  

When I was a youth living in a small town, everyone knew everyone and no one was ever afraid to correct us if they saw us doing something wrong.  Today, if you correct a child when you see them doing wrong, you will have the parents knocking at your door for chastising their child.  You might even have the police come calling on you, if you are lucky that the child has not shot and killed you.  There is something badly wrong with this picture, but it is a true one today.

I can recall a time when I was in a vacation bible school; my wife at the time was teaching a Bible Study class with one of our Associate Ministers.  I had been called outside to break up a disturbance.  When I came back into the church, this young man’s sister was standing in the middle of the church cursing my wife and the pastor out using all sorts of foul language.  I escorted her outside and attempted to talk with her to no avail.  She left and within a few minutes, just after things had gotten back to normal within the church class, the doors swung open with a loud bang and a loud voice began to roar from the rear of the church.  It was the mother of the two teenagers yelling and screaming at me with language worst than her children had used, telling me what she was going to do to me if I ever put my hands on her children again.

Now this mother was the chairman of the usher board within the church.  Not only were her children wrong, but she was wrong for the way she handled the situation.  Her children went home and lied to her about what had taken place at the church.  She was willing to believe the worst from them, and instead of coming to find out what was going on, she came in accusing me and others of striking her children when no such thing had taken place.  If this had happened when I was a youth, I would have gotten my butt whipped before I left the church, then I would have been taken home to my parents and they would have whipped my butt again.  But you see, in today’s political correctness society, there are too many parents who refuse to correct their own children and will not allow anyone in the churches, schools or the community to do so.  Therefore, the youth’s attitude is you are not my parents and you can’t tell me what to do.  This is a sad commentary for our youth and it is a factor that is contributing to the youth violence in America today.

Another part of this problem of correcting children is some of the abuse that some parents have perpetuated upon their children that has caused the government to get more involved in our daily lives.  We parents are responsible for our children and we must shoulder that responsibility with love, understanding and patience.  Children can be a problem.  There is much peer pressure on them.  They want to fit in with their friends, therefore as a parent, we must try to understand their changing life style, and the growth hormones as they experienced adulthood.  We must treat them with respect, try and understand that they too do have problems and they may not always share those problems with us.  But we must always be willing to put our arms around them and daily tell them that we love them, even though we may not be having the kind of conversation we would like to have with them.  But I tell you that there is power in love.  When our youth can feel within themselves that they are loved, it brings a much different kind of respect from them.

Another one of our readers wrote and shared her story with us as to how she as a single parent is raising her daughter and preparing her for adulthood and to become a creative and productive member of this society.  Here is what she had to say; “I am trying to be here during my daughter’s childhood and teen years. I have chosen to sacrifice a more materialistic living in favor of being a stay at home mom. I’m available to my child when she comes home from school and stay available until she’s in bed at night. I find this helps immensely in our communication and the trust being built between us. We still have immense challenges, as I’m a single mom, but I’m so glad I made the decision to put her before materialism in our lives.”  (The Warrioress  Life of a female Blogger)  We encourage you to go by and read her writings.  You can reach her by clicking on this link:

We also encourage you to share your story with us and we will include it in Part 3 of this series which we will post next week on Tuesday June 25, 2013.  Your story just might be the one that helps to encourage another parent to become a better parent or perhaps improve their parenting skills and even save a child’s life.









Just a few months ago, a deranged individual with an assault weapon walked into a school located in Newtown, Connecticut and took the lives of 26 young people.  Since then more than 3,900 Mothers’ have lost their children to gun violence and will not be able to hug their children this Mothers’ Day, nor receive a Mothers’ Day wish from their children.  This is truly a tragedy that none of us can comprehend unless we are one of those Mother’s that have lost a child to gun violence.

So many hearts have been broken; so many tears have been shed because the family chain has been broken. Gun violence has taken many young lives and those Mothers have come to know the meaning of shattered and broken.

For those Mothers who have experienced such tragedy and pain, let me encourage you as one Mother to another, please allow this Mothers’ Day to be a time of release and reflection. Take a moment and look around you and you will see your child in the elements of the world God has created.  Look at the flowers as they bloom and beacon you to come closer, see the beauty of the birds as they cross your path, excited and having fun with one another, see the brightness of the sun as the raise beams down upon your body, feel the gentle breeze of the wind as it sweeps across your face and you here in it a soft and sweet voice that says to you, “Hi Mommy, I love you, then you pause, look all around you, and say, I love you also baby!” Now embrace it as a memory of the child that once occupied your space.  Know that they are always there ready to wipe away the tear drop from your eyes and give you encouragement and strength to carry on and fight the good fight that will help others survive the tragedy that took their young, tender and precious lives.

Remember the words of Job: We are all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles. We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then we wilt transit in the shadow of a cloud (Job 14: 1-2, MGS).

Allow the memories of your loved one to linger as long as you like but rest assured your child was blessed to you for a season and within that season take the memories and cherish them.

Allow yourself time to mourn and then embrace life as it is given each day because it is a gift that cannot be replaced.  God bless each Mother who have lost a child to violence and may your journey be one traveled in the assurance that at any given moment you will greet your loved one in a unique way, that’s how God have designed it. May you be blessed abundantly this Mother’s Day, 2013?








I wanted to be a missionary when I was in my early twenties and was not interested even in dating at university. Suddenly, in a space of a few hours I knew God’s call was marriage;  His presence was so strong, I received an inner image of Jesus’s hand on Michael’s and my heads.I was disappointed but I said yes to becoming a mother even though I had never held a baby before my first child.MOTHERING 02 MOTHERING 03 MOTHERING 04 MOTHERING 05

My children literally saved, healed and set me free. They have shaped my whole spirituality . My life in Christ is simple and full of Joy.

With so much to do, I was forced to let go of control and let God take control. We are cash poor and He has provided for us, even performing a multiplication of heating oil. One tank of oil lasted for 4 months instead of refilling 6-7 times.


Living on a hobby farm helped us raise kids with a good work ethic, who learned how to work and play together. Today they  socialize with other regularly and help look after each other







Melanie Jean Juneau is a petite wife, writer and mother of nine children who blogs at When the words “The Joy of Mothering on a Hobby Farm” popped into her head as a subtitle for her short stories it was like an epiphany for her because those few words verbalized her experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Her writing is humorous and heart warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking with a strong current of spirituality running through it. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life, especially a life lived in God.

We thank our Dear Sister in Christ for sharing her beautiful story of The Joy of Mothering Nine with us.  We encourage all our readers to click on this link and visit her Website and get her complete story.


The five dimensions of meta-leadership as deve...



The most important thing that any leader can do is to lead by example. Jesus demonstrated by example in everything that He did that He was a true leader.  Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).  In today’s lesson, we will provide you with the two of the four example of Jesus true leadership abilities, and we will give you the last two in tomorrow’s lesson.

Now let us begin with this question, is there a need for godly leadership in the family? Whenever God‘s people have been without godly leadership, the result has been disastrous. For example, in the period of the judges, every man did what was right in his own eyes because there was no king in Israel. The result was the disastrous record of sin and rebellion, which we have recorded, in the biblical book of Judges. Today in those families where there is no strong godly leadership, families will predictably be torn apart by sin resulting in the suffering of family, church and society. Godly leadership requires more than just being able to quote scripture and telling our children the difference between right and wrong. Although knowing truth is essential, just knowing what is right does not prevent people from doing wrong.

Throughout scripture, God has given us various principles for godly leadership. These principles are interlocking and overlapping. It is difficult to speak of any one of them without describing to some extent at least some of the other principles also.

As we study this subject, we need to comprehend the basic truth that the godly principles for leading a family do not differ or contradict the general principles, which God has established for other areas of successful leadership. In others words, we should not expect God to teach his leaders within the congregation that they can achieve success by employing a particular set of leadership tools and objectives while expecting parents to achieve leadership success through an entirely different scheme which might even include contradictory principles and goals. Texts such as Titus 3:4-5 confirm that leadership principles in one area of life are applicable to others also. Therefore, when we speak of leading our family, we are pursuing a biblical study incorporating both how the great principles of leadership within the Bible find expression within the family setting as well as any additional biblical teachings which might be specifically applied to the family.

Unlike the world where only some people possess the necessary skills, knowledge and personality considered essential to be a successful leader, none of God’s principles for leadership are beyond the reach of any faithful Christian. I would like to suggest that scripture provides at least four basic principles for successful leadership, which can be applied to leading the family. These are:

  • Leaders need to base their security and identity upon God, not in false sources of security (idols).
  • Leaders need to be examples worthy of imitation.
  • Leaders need serve others instead of demanding to be served.
  • Leaders need to accept the responsibility, which God has given them.

1. God wants his leader to depend upon God, not upon other sources of strength or confidence.

The fact that God taught his people about what was required from the one who would lead his people ought to cause us to take notice. In Deuteronomy 17:15-20 God not only made provision for an Israelite king, he also laid out a number of rules that were to govern this king. This is a very interesting list especially when we realize what God did not include. God did not appear to be concerned about a king’s economic strategy, his managerial ability, his expertise or experience with proven techniques, his social status, etc. It appears that none of these characteristics were important to God for his ability to be a good leader.

Instead, through the rules listed in Deuteronomy 17:15-20 we discover that God was primarily concerned with one central tenet. God prohibited the king from acquiring those items which could tempt the king to confide in an alternative source of security. For example, God prohibited the king from increasing his horses. In modern language, this would be equivalent to prohibiting him from building up his supply of tanks, etc. Leaders must trust in something. Israel’s kings would face the strong temptation to trust in their own military or in the strength of another country. 2 Kings 16:7-9; Habakkuk 1:11; Hosea 5:13; (14:3) Having prohibited various sources of confidence, God then commanded that His law was to be continually with the king in order that he might learn to fear His God. Properly understood, such fear describes someone who in reverence worships God. And then finally, these rules in Deuteronomy stipulated that the heart of the king was not to be filled with self-centered arrogance. After all, the king was merely to be God’s prince (God’s son cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-15; Ps. 2:6-12) with both the kingdom and its king depending upon God as the King. God’s point was, “I want my king to depend only on me.”

When God chose Saul to be king, God did not make a mistake. When God selected Saul, he was someone who was “small in his own eyes” (1 Samuel 15:17; 10:16, 22) and who would therefore be required to depend upon God. In fact, Saul was immediately rejected by those who apparently measured leadership based upon worldly standards of personal power (1 Samuel 10:27). The problem with Saul’s leadership is that he changed as he falsely began to credit his successful leadership to himself instead of to God. This caused him to become proud (1 Samuel 15:12), to begin to take initiatives based upon himself and how he would appear to others, rather than upon God (I Samuel 15:30). Eventually, he disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15:11) and was rejected. Because of who Saul became, God was sorry that He had made Saul king.

Clearly, David did not possess the leadership qualities which the world demanded of a national leader. He was the youngest of eight brothers and merely a common youth taking care of some sheep when God chose him to be king over Israel. But David did possess the quality of heart which God valued, namely he utterly depended upon God (1 Samuel 16:7; 17:37).

Why is this such an important principle of leadership for God? Behind this principle of depending upon God, lies the contest between God and idols for the heart and the love of an individual. The love of a person’s life has always been and will always be devoted to what that person believes offers him the greatest source of security and meaning. Our beliefs create our values which we feel as powerful desires and objects of love that in turn empower our behavior and attitudes. If we believe that our own ability, our jobs, education, social connections, money, etc. is the bottom line of what will take care of us, then our primary devotion will be to something other than God. Whatever is our primary devotion will control how we make decisions and how time and resources will be spent. If our center for life is falsely built upon this world, then our leadership will be secular not godly. God demands that his leader be an individual whose heart relies upon him, not upon some other rock or shield. A godly leader’s identity and security needs to be founded upon his trust in God, not upon false sources of meaning and security (idols).

Any leader who fails to learn this lesson of leadership will find himself making many decisions, based upon values which are not rooted in God. The decisions he makes may reflect placing priority upon the status which his work may provide or which comes from owning the latest technology. Or perhaps he will be tempted to place too much value upon the power he has acquired, instead of upon God. There is nothing inherently wrong with technology, money, or possessions. The problem arises when these things become the sources of our security and identity. For reasons outlined elsewhere, the capacity for godly leadership becomes greatly crippled, if not fatally flawed, when someone fails to trust God first.

Although worldly status, wealth, position, power and influence may forever be beyond most of us, the principle of utterly depending upon God is within the reach of each one of us. Anyone can choose to apply this principle of leadership within his or her life.

2. A second principle of Godly leadership is that leadership comes from first being the type of person God wants me to be in order that I might become an example worthy of imitation.

One key requirement of pastoral leadership is for elders to be an example to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Being an example should not be understood as summarizing all of the means by which an elder leads. He also leads through teaching (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 5:17) and equipping the flock for good works (Ephesians 4:11-14). But unless the elder is “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7; 1 Timothy 3:2,7) and thus worthy of imitation, he has lost his capacity to be a godly leader within the church.

Jesus provides us with the ultimate human model of leadership worthy of imitation. One major aspect of Jesus’ leadership is that he first modeled those beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior which his disciples were to possess (John 13:15; Luke 9:23-24; Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Although the answer is rather obvious, there is the need to ask the question, “an example of what?” Leadership involves knowing what is important and where the group ought to be headed. Fundamentally, there are two diametrically opposed goals which war for the heart of the leader. On the one hand, either we will seek to preserve Self or some human value which Self has embraced, or on the other hand we will seek the Lord. God’s primary goal for his people has been and will always be summarized by the command “to love the Lord your God will all of your heart, soul and strength.” The second priority is to love others as one loves himself. Accordingly, these should be the primary goals driving godly leadership.

Unfortunately, at times the religious shepherds of Israel failed to love God and others, as they ought. Instead, they fell into the idolatrousness of living to serve themselves (Ezekiel 34:1-3, 8; self-centered greed is idolatry Colossians 3:5). This predictably resulted in them abusing and failing in their leadership responsibilities toward the flock (Ezekiel 34:2-6).

In instructing parents what to teach their children, God focused parents upon the primary lesson and value within life, namely to love God with all of our being (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) Success in raising children is not measured by their eventual economic security, societal status, power, prestige, ability to acquire material goods, how much leisure time they can afford, etc. Success is determined by whether they grow up to love God. The parent who through actions, words, time and financial means places the greatest emphasis upon his child’s development toward being a doctor or a sports hero, should not later wonder why his child left the church. The child learned and obeyed exactly the values of the parent.

Our goal should be to first love God and then to love our fellow human being. In this way, we will be an example worthy of imitation. The husband and father who selfishly demands that the TV be always tuned to his favorite programs or who insists on being with his friends and doing what he wants to do, will be virtually inept at teaching his family to love and to seek the well-being of other people. The parent who is easily angered when something breaks will reveal through his or her temper just how much he or she values the things of this world. Accordingly, the children will perceive any words about loving God and not the things of this world to be hypocritical and empty. Although the parent might fool himself, others will clearly see what matters most within his life. A parent should not expect his household to respond to him with love, patience, kindness and mercy unless he has first demonstrated these qualities to them. Do not expect your children to listen to you, to forgive you, to make decisions to serve God instead of pleasure and the hectic demands of life, etc. if you have not first modeled these values and behaviors through how you chose to act. This principle of leadership is not beyond the reach of anyone who has first died to self in order to live for God.



WILL FATHERS STAND UP AND BECOME GODLY LEADERS?                               

Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 AMP)

Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father as I see it today.

We know that sometimes fathers fail to accept the responsibility God has given them toward their wives and children. Many fathers pursue their own selfish interests thus abandoning the role God has given them.

Whenever parents fails to fulfill their role of godly leadership, the responsibility for leading their children will wrongly pass to a child’s peer group, a school or even the television. When an absent parent’s egoistic barked orders are met with resistance and rebellion, out of frustration and impatience a worldly parent might then even further discourage his or her children by cursing them. Instead, every parent needs to accept the leadership roles God has given us. This will require us to possess a heart devoted to God, to show our children how to live and to model serving others through love.

The principle of accepting our God given responsibility is within the grasp of each person. It is a decision. It does require work as well as death to Self.

God has provided a number of biblical principles for effective leadership. Any parent who abandons these principles will find their leadership ability in God’s service severely damaged. As parents seeking to serve God, let’s focus on being those whom God wants us to be. Let’s provide the godly leadership that our families need and which God has described for us. May our families be shining beacons of godly love, hope, values and all sorts of godly behavior in a world torn apart by the fruits of idolatry. And when we have finished the course, may we hear “well done good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in a few things. Enter into your Master’s   glory.”

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE PARTERING, HERE ARE THE FACTS                                                                            

Involved fathers provide practical support in raising children and serve as models for their development. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.  Committed and responsible fathering during infancy and early childhood contributes emotional security, curiosity, and math and verbal skills.


The Department of Justice has estimated that over 7.3 million children under age 18 have a parent who is in prison, jail, on probation, or on parole. Given these numbers, it is important to understand how children and their caregivers are affected by the criminal activity of a parent and their subsequent arrest, incarceration, and release.  Additionally, it is important to know which services and assistance might be available to those under criminal justice supervision to help them be better parents and to return successfully to the community.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of three — live in biological father-absent homes. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the social issues facing America today.

Father Factor in Poverty

Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P200-547, Table C8. Washington D.C.: GPO, 2003.

During the year before their babies were born, 43% of unmarried mothers received welfare or food stamps, 21% received some type of housing subsidy, and 9% received another type of government transfer (unemployment insurance etc.). For women who have another child, the proportion who receive welfare or food stamps rises to 54%.

Source: McLanahan, Sara. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study: Baseline National Report. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2003: 13.

A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father.

Source: Sorenson, Elaine and Chava Zibman. “Getting to Know Poor Fathers Who Do Not Pay Child Support.” Social Service Review 75 (September 2001): 420-434.

When compared by family structure, 45.9% of poor single-parent families reported material hardship compared to 38.6% of poor two parent families. For unpoor families who did not experience material hardship, 23.3% were single-parent families compared to 41.2% of two-parent families.

Source: Beverly, Sondra G., “Material hardship in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.” Social Work Research 25 (September 2001): 143-151.3

Father Factor in Maternal and Infant Health

Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.

Source: Matthews, T.J., Sally C. Curtin, and Marian F. MacDorman. Infant Mortality Statistics from the 1998 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48, No. 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Based on birth and death data for 217,798 children born in Georgia in 1989 and 1990, infants without a father’s name on their birth certificate (17.9 percent of the total) were 2.3 times more likely to die in the first year of life compared to infants with a father’s name on their birth certificate.

Source: Gaudino, Jr., James A., Bill Jenkins, and Foger W. Rochat. “No Fathers’ Names: A Risk Factor for Infant Mortality in the State of Georgia, USA.” Social Science and Medicine 48 (1999): 253-265.

Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birth-weight baby. Researchers find that these negative effects persist even when they take into account factors, such as parental education, that often distinguish single-parent from two-parent families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD (Sept. 1995): 12.

Expectant fathers can play a powerful role as advocates of breastfeeding to their wives. Three-fourths of women whose partners attended a breastfeeding promotion class initiated breastfeeding.

Source: Wolfberg, Adam J., et al. “Dads as breastfeeding advocates: results from a randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 191 (September 2004): 708-712.

Fathers’ knowledge about breastfeeding increases the likelihood that a child will be breastfed. Children who fathers knew more had a 1.76 higher chance of being breastfed at the end of the first month and 1.91 higher chance of receiving maternal milk at the end of the third month.

Source: Susin, Lurie R.O. “Does Parental Breastfeeding Knowledge Increase Breastfeeding Rates?” BIRTH 26 (September 1999): 149-155.

Twenty-three percent of unmarried mothers in large U.S. cities reported cigarette use during their pregnancy. Seventy-one percent were on Medicare.

Source: McLanahan, Sara. The Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study: Baseline National Report. Table 7. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2003: 16.

A study of 2,921 mothers revealed that single mothers were twice as likely as married mothers to experience a bout of depression in the prior year. Single mothers also reported higher levels of stress, fewer contacts with family and friends, less involvement with church or social groups and less overall social support.

Source: Cairney, John and Michael Boyle et al. “Stress, Social Support and Depression in Single and Married Mothers.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 38 (August 2003): 442-449.

In a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 families, researchers found that toddlers living in stepfamilies and single-parent families were more likely to suffer a burn, have a bad fall, or be scarred from an accident compared to kids living with both of their biological parents.

Source: O’Connor, T., L. Davies, J. Dunn, J. Golding, ALSPAC Study Team. “Differential Distribution of Children’s Accidents, Injuries and Illnesses across Family Type.” Pediatrics 106 (November 2000): e68.

A study of 3,400 middle schoolers indicated that not living with both biological parents quadruples the risk of having an affective disorder.

Source: Cuffe, Steven P., Robert E. McKeown, Cheryl L. Addy, and Carol Z. Garrison. “Family Psychosocial Risk Factors in a Longitudinal Epidemiological Study of Adolescents.” Journal of American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry 44 (February 2005): 121-129.

Children who live apart from their fathers are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and experience an asthma-related emergency even after taking into account demographic and socioeconomic conditions. Unmarried, cohabiting parents and unmarried parents living apart are 1.76 and 2.61 times, respectively, more likely to have their child diagnosed with asthma. Marital disruption after birth is associated with a 6-fold increase in the likelihood a children will require an emergency room visit and 5-fold increase of an asthma-related emergency.

Source: Harknett, Kristin. Children’s Elevated Risk of Asthma in Unmarried Families: Underlying Structural and Behavioral Mechanisms. Working Paper #2005-01-FF. Princeton, NJ: Center for Research on Child Well-being, 2005: 19-27.

Father Factor in Incarceration

Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds.

Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.

A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail.

Source: James, Doris J. Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002. (NCJ 201932). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, July 2004.

Father Factor in Crime

A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.

Source: Bush, Connee, Ronald L. Mullis, and Ann K. Mullis. “Differences in Empathy Between Offender and Non-offender Youth.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29 (August 2000): 467-478.

Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-parent families were at higher risk of status, property and person delinquencies. Moreover, students attending schools with a high proportion of children of single parents are also at risk.

Source: Anderson, Amy L. “Individual and contextual influences on delinquency: the role of the single-parent family.” Journal of Criminal Justice 30 (November 2002): 575-587.

A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. Forty-two percent grew up in a single-mother household and sixteen percent lived with neither parent. (Fathers and Daughters)

Source: Snell, Tracy L and Danielle C. Morton. Women in Prison: Survey of Prison Inmates, 1991. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, 1994: 4.

Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.

Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

Youths are more at risk of first substance use without a highly involved father. Each unit increase in father involvement is associated with 1% reduction in substance use. Living in an intact family also decreases the risk of first substance use.

Source: Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta, Kristin A. Moore, Randolph C. Capps, and Jonathan Zaff. “The influence of father involvement on youth risk behaviors among adolescents: A comparison of native-born and immigrant families.” Article in Press. Social Science Research December 2004.

Of the 228 students studied, those from single-parent families reported higher rates of drinking and smoking as well as higher scores on delinquency and aggression tests when compared to boys from two-parent households.

Source: Griffin, Kenneth W., Gilbert J. Botvin, Lawrence M. Scheier, Tracy Diaz and Nicole L. Miller. “Parenting Practices as Predictors of Substance Use, Delinquency, and Aggression Among Urban Minority Youth: Moderating Effects of Family Structure and Gender.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 14 (June 2000): 174-184.

In a study of INTERPOL crime statistics of 39 countries, it was found that single parenthood ratios were strongly correlated with violent crimes. This was not true 18 years ago.

Source: Barber, Nigel. “Single Parenthood As a Predictor of Cross-National Variation in Violent Crime.” Cross-Cultural Research 38 (November 2004): 343-358.

Father Factor in Teen Pregnancy

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Source: Teachman, Jay D. “The Childhood Living Arrangements of Children and the Characteristics of Their Marriages.” Journal of Family Issues 25 (January 2004): 86-111.

Separation or frequent changes increase a woman’s risk of early menarche, sexual activity and pregnancy. Women whose parents separated between birth and six years old experienced twice the risk of early menstruation, more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, and two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. The longer a woman lived with both parents, the lower her risk of early reproductive development. Women who experienced three or more changes in her family environment exhibited similar risks but were five times more likely to have an early pregnancy.

Source: Quinlan, Robert J. “Father absence, parental care, and female reproductive development.” Evolution and Human Behavior 24 (November 2003): 376-390.

Researchers using a pool from both the U.S. and New Zealand found strong evidence that father absence has an effect on early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.

Source: Ellis, Bruce J., John E. Bates, Kenneth A. Dodge, David M. Ferguson, L. John Horwood, Gregory S. Pettit, and Lianne Woodward. “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy.” Child Development 74 (May/June 2003): 801-821.

Father Factor in Child Abuse

Compared to living with both parents, living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional, or educational neglect.

Source: America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Table SPECIAL1. Washington, D.C.: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 1997.

The overall rate of child abuse and neglect in single-parent households is 27.3 children per 1,000, whereas the rate of overall maltreatment in two-parent households is 15.5 per 1,000.

Source: America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Table SPECIAL1. Washington, D.C.: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 1997.

An analysis of child abuse cases in a nationally representative sample of 42 counties found that children from single-parent families are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse than children who live with both biological parents. Compared to their peers living with both parents, children in single parent homes had:

a 77% greater risk of being physically abused

an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect

a 165% greater risk of experiencing notable physical neglect

a 74% greater risk of suffering from emotional neglect

an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury as a result of abuse

overall, a 120% greater risk of being endangered by some type of child abuse.

Source: Sedlak, Andrea J. and Diane D. Broadhurst. The Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect: Final Report. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, D.C., September 1996.

Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in 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. Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households.

Source: “Survey Links Teen Drug Use, Relationship With Father.” Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly 6 September 1999: 5.

Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.

Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.

In a study of 6,500 children from the ADDHEALTH database, father closeness was negatively correlated with the number of a child’s friends who smoke, drink, and smoke marijuana. Closeness was also correlated with a child’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs and was connected to family structure. Intact families ranked higher on father closeness than single-parent families.

Source: National Fatherhood Initiative. “Family Structure, Father Closeness, & Drug Abuse.” Gaithersburg, MD: National Fatherhood Initiative, 2004: 20-22.

Of the 228 students studied, those from single-parent families reported higher rates of drinking and smoking as well as higher scores on delinquency and aggression tests when compared to boys from two-parent households.

Source: Griffin, Kenneth W., Gilbert J. Botvin, Lawrence M. Scheier, Tracy Diaz and Nicole L. Miller. “Parenting Practices as Predictors of Substance Use, Delinquency, and Aggression Among Urban Minority Youth: Moderating Effects of Family Structure and Gender.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 14 (June 2000): 174-184.

Father Factor in Childhood Obesity

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children.

Source: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Study that looked at family lifestyle and parent’s Body Mass Index (BMI) over a nine year period found:

Father’s Body Mass Index (BMI) predicts son’s and daughter’s BMI independent of offspring’s alcohol intake, smoking, physical fitness, and father’s education

Furthermore, BMI in sons and daughters consistently higher when fathers were overweight or obese

Physical fitness of daughters negatively related to their father’s obesity

Obesity of fathers associated with a four-fold increase in the risk of obesity of sons and daughters at age 18

Source: Burke V, Beilin LJ, Dunbar D. “Family lifestyle and parental body mass index as predictors of body mass index in Australian children: a longitudinal study.” Department of Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, University of Western Australia, and the Western Australian Heart Research Institute; Perth, Australia.

A fathers’ body mass index (a measurement of the relative composition of fat and muscle mass in the human body) is directly related to a child’s activity level. In a study of 259 toddlers, more active children were more likely to have a father with a lower BMI than less active children.

Source: Finn, Kevin, Neil Johannsen, and Bonny Specker. “Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children.” The Journal of Pediatrics 140 (January 2002): 81-85.

A study that looked at dietary intake and physical activity of parents and their daughters over a two year period found:

Daughter’s BMI predicted by father’s diets and father’s enjoyment of physical activity

As father’s BMI rose, so did their daughter’s BMI

Source: Davison KK, Birch LL. “Child and parent characteristics as predictors of change in girls’ body mass index.” Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.

Study that looked at the relationship between parent’s total and percentage body fat and daughter’s total body fat over a two and one-half year period found:

Father’s, not mother’s, total and percentage body fat the best predictor of changes in daughter’s total and percentage body fat.

Source: Figueroa-Colon R, Arani RB, Goran MI, Weinsier RL. “Paternal body fat is a longitudinal predictor of changes in body fat in premenarcheal girls.” Department of Pediatrics, General Clinical Research Center, Medical Statistics Unit, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

Two studies that have looked at the determinants of physical activity in obese and non-obese children found:

Obese children less likely to report that their father’s were physically active than were the children of non-obese children. This determinant not found for mothers.

Father’s inactivity strong predictor of children’s inactivity.

Source: Trost SG, Kerr LM, Ward DS, Pate RR. “Physical activity and determinants of physical activity in obese and non-obese children. School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Source: Fogelholm M, Nuutinen O, Pasanen M, Myohanen E, Saatela T. “Parent-child relationship of physical activity patterns and obesity.” University of Helsinki, Lahti Research and Training Centre, Finland.

Children who lived with single mothers were significantly more likely to become obese by a 6-year follow-up, as were black children, children with nonworking parents, children with nonprofessional parents, and children whose mothers did not complete high school.

Source: Strauss RS, Knight J. “Influence of the home environment on the development of obesity in children.” Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA.

Father Factor in Education


Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1993.

Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school; 10 percent of children living with both parents have ever repeated a grade, compared to 20 percent of children in stepfather families and 18 percent in mother-only families.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

Students in single-parent families or stepfamilies are significantly less likely than students living in intact families to have parents involved in their schools. About half of students living in single-parent families or stepfamilies have parents who are highly involved, while 62 percent of students living with both their parents have parents who are highly involved in their schools.

Source: Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001.

In 2001, 61 percent of 3- to 5-year olds living with two parents were read aloud to everyday by a family member, compared to 48% of children living in single- or no-parent families.

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2002. Table ED1. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2003.

Kindergarteners who live with single-parents are over-represented in those lagging in health, social and emotional, and cognitive outcomes. Thirty-three percent of children who were behind in all three areas were living with single parents while only 22% were not lagging behind.

Source: Wertheimer, Richard and Tara Croan, et al. Attending Kindergarten and Already Behind: A Statistical Portrait of Vulnerable Young Children. Child Trends Research Brief. Publication #2003-20. Washington, DC: Child Trends, 2003.

In two-parent families, children under the age of 13 spend an average of 1.77 hours engaged in activities with their fathers and 2.35 hours doing so with their mothers on a daily basis in 1997. Children in single parent families spent on .42 hours with their fathers and 1.26 hours with their mothers on daily basis.

Source: Lippman, Laura, et al. Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2004.

A study of 1330 children from the PSID showed that fathers who are involved on a personal level with their child schooling increases the likelihood of their child’s achievement. When fathers assume a positive role in their child’s education, students feel a positive impact.

Source: McBride, Brent A., Sarah K. Schoppe-Sullivan, and Moon-Ho Ho. “The mediating role of fathers’ school involvement on student achievement.” Applied Developmental Psychology 26 (2005): 201-216.

Half of all children with highly involved fathers in two-parent families reported getting mostly A’s through 12th grade, compared to 35.2% of children of nonresident father families.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics. The Condition of Education. NCES 1999022. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, 1999: 76.

The Numbers

According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes.

In 1960, only 11% of children lived in father-absent homes.

The Consequences

Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents to:

Be poor

Use drugs

Experience educational problems

Experience health problems

Experience emotional problems

Experience behavioral problems

Be victims of child abuse

Engage in criminal behavior



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