The Impact of a Father

In the past, the most commonly studied topic with, regards to fathers, was the impact of their absence. While current statistics reflect absentee fathers to be more of a growing reality, new studies are looking at the benefits that a father’s presence has on a child’s life and future.

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The upswing in positive psychology and the trend in what dad’s do right, we see that father’s who remain committed to the covenant of marriage, and who step into the role that God has for them create an amazing legacy .

What research shows

Carefully done studies show that fathers have positive influences on their children all throughout their life.

Actively-involved fathers provide their daughters and sons with a life-long example of what it means to be a good man, a good husband, a good parent, and a good person.  Their children make wiser choices in their own lives as a result of the lessons learned while growing up.

Fathers who are actively involved do the following:

  1. They engage – they are partners with their wives in parenting and share the responsibilities of being a parent
  2. They’re available – they have a close and affectionate relationship with their children. They talk & spend time with them.
  3. They’re responsible –  they provide the resources that their family needs.

“Children shouldn’t have to provide for their parents, but parents should provide for their children.” 2 Corinthians 12:14

According to Paul Raeborn, Author of Do Father’s Matter: What Science is Telling us about the Parent We’ve OverlookedFathers make unique contributions to language development in their children; fathers actually matter more in this sense. When fathers use more words with preschool children during play, children have more advanced language skills a year later.

Children whose fathers play with them, read to them, take them on outings, and help care for them have fewer behavioral problems in their early school years and a lesser likelihood of delinquency as adolescents.

When fathers are absent, there is a “robust association between father absence—both physical and psychological—and accelerated reproductive development and risk-taking in daughters.”littlegirl

Linda Nielsen, professor of educational and adolescent psychology and the author of Father-Daughter Relationships: Contemporary Research & Issues, underscores this influence: “The well-fathered daughter is also the most likely to have relationships with men that are emotionally intimate and fulfilling.

During the college years, these daughters are more likely than poorly-fathered women to turn to their boyfriends for emotional comfort and support and they are less likely to be “talked into” having sex.

As a consequence of having made wiser decisions in regard to sex and dating, these daughters generally have more satisfying, more long-lasting marriages. What is surprising is not that fathers have such an impact on their daughters’ relationships with men, but that they generally have more impact than mothers do.”

God’s Word is the Gold Standard

Wise fathers are loving, patient, long-suffering, and understand that children will push their buttons. They seek to understand the motives behind their childs behavior and look to the heart. This takes incredible self-control – but this is love in it’s greatest form.

“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” Psalms 127 3-5

There is a reason that children need both a mother and a father… it’s because this is God’s design. When we follow God’s design and plan for life – it just works.

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Mothers and Fathers both play an integral role in the upbringing, development and rearing of a child. While I love to see well-executed psychological research, I will tell you friends – there is only one blueprint that’s needed for raising children to be in the image of Christ – and that’s the Bible.

If you want to be a wise husband, loving parent, and have a marriage that’s built on the solid rock of Christ – you will build your home and your family on the rock of Jesus Christ!

May God Richly Bless all of you Father’s and Grandfather’s.

Warmly,

Dr. Christy

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