“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” – Pope John XXIII

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” – Bible

Joe went on a field trip with his daughter’s third grade class. At the beginning of the bus ride out, a young boy, totally unknown to Joe, came and sat by him. For the rest of the bus ride and throughout the rest of the day the boy clung to Joe’s side, talking constantly and even holding his hand as they strolled about.

On the bus ride back the boy again sat next to Joe. Halfway home the boy laid his head on Joe’s shoulder and said earnestly, “I wish you were my daddy. Do you wish I was your son?”

This story is told in a book by Rick Johnson entitled “The Power of a Man.”

Our young people today are craving for a man in their life that will be their father. Consider the following facts. Fatherless homes account for:

• 63 percent of youth suicides

• 90 percent of homeless/runaway children

• 85 percent of children with behavior problems

• 71 percent of high school dropouts

• 85 percent of youths in prison

Joe’s young friend on the field trip isn’t alone. In Aiken County in 2013 over 47% of live births were to single mothers and in 2010 over 35% of the children lived in single parent families. (SC KidsCount).

God ordained marriage as the vehicle for a man and a woman to come together to support one another and to have a family. The primary roles for the man are to give his wife love and security and to validate his children.

In society’s distorted drive for equality and tolerance today, the roles of the husband and wife, and even marriage, have become very blurred. What this means is not that the roles have changed, because God’s truths remain. What it does mean is that we suffer the consequences of abnormally modifying the roles ourselves.

Consider this quote from Frank Pittman in “Man Enough:” “What we men share is the experience of having been raised by women in a culture that stopped our fathers from being close enough to teach us how to be men, in a world in which men were discouraged from talking about our masculinity and questioning its roots and its mystique, in a world that glorified masculinity and gave us impossible unachievable myths of masculine heroics, but no domestic models to teach us how to do it.”

Our women and our young people need husbands and fathers who will fulfill the roles for which they were designed. Gangs exist primarily because the gang members are searching for a “family” to belong to and a father-figure they can look up to.

The opportunity to have a positive affect on the lives of our young people today is enormous. Men, consider the following Contract for Men offered by Rick Johnson:

“I believe that men were created to live lives of significance. I believe men are born with the magnificent ability to lift up the lives of those around them. I believe authentic masculinity can make a difference in the world. Because I believe that, I agree to abide by and live my life by the following code and to inspire those who follow in my footsteps to join me:

• A man is not passive – he takes initiative.

• A man uses his God-given influence to serve others.

• A man defends those who are weaker than he – he stands for what is right.

• A man protects and provides for his family.

• A man bases his decisions on principles, not emotions.

• A man is a spiritual leader of his family.

• A man protects all women and children.

• A man teaches those under his influence what he has learned.

• A man does not quit – no matter how tough things get.

• A man is patient, affirming, kind, and loving to his family.

• A man is accountable to God and other men.”

Roger Rollins is the executive director of The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc. Contact him at 803-640-4689, rogerrollins@aikenfamco.com or www.aikenfamco.com.