"He's a problem child And what bothers him all comes out, when he talks about His f**kin' dad walkin' out Cause he just hates him so bad that he blocks him out"
It is well documented the detrimental effects children, particularly boys, experience without the love, discipline and guidance of a father figure. According to the US Census Bureau there are over 24 million children in America alone must face the battles of there youth without a father figure. That is one in every three children.
According to the national fatherhood initiative there are 9 main detrimental effects that will affect these kids and include factors such as: poverty, crime, and education. (www.fatherhood.org)
It is estimated that children in fatherless homes have five times greater chance of being statistically poorâ€¨ 39% chance of being incarcerated (U.S. Census Bureau, Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P200-547, Table C8. Washington D.C.: GPO, 2003.), and are two times more likely to drop out of school early. (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).
It is clear that physiologically, even spiritually children need role models for affirmation, teaching and discipline. The absences of a Godly father leave huge voids in children's lives and it is no wonder that children look up to whoever and whatever they come across.
But who or what will answer these kids cry? Eminem? Hells angels? Tiger woods?
Typically kids have looked up to musicians? sportsman,? Who?
Musicians are attractive alternatives as they often sing with lyrics that relate to these troubled youth, but rarely have any reasonable solution. "That's why we, sing for these kids who don't have a thing except for a dream and a fucking rap magazine, Who post pin-up pictures on they walls all day long Idolise they favorite rappers and know all their songs". (Eminem – Sing for the Moment).
However some singers seem to present a solution "I was created by God but I ain't wanna be like Him, I wanna be Him, The Jack Sparrow of my Caribbean" (Lecrae – Just like you).
Sportsman have are just as likely to become the children's idols. David Beckham, Andy Murray, and Wayne Rooney was reported along with singers Britney Spears and BeyoncÃ©, as the most idolized celebrities. (www.askamum.co.uk)
But sportsmen often are poor role models as they become famous and idolised at young ages. They are often arrogant and unequipped to handle the celebrity life they find themselves living. Not to mention they are thrown temptations most of us never will endure. A headline in Mail online reflects the immaturity of soccer icon Rooney "Rooney's disgrace: A 15 minute hat-trick but then United star's four-letter rant ruins it all". (www.dailymail.co.uk)
You may be thinking the obvious solution is a good Dad or Father figure, wrong. Even the best Dads will not fill the need for a father. No, children need to know their heavenly Father. Every father and role model must, in the words of Lecrae, be a stardust leading to the Super star.
"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6 verses 6-9
The real solution is found in our Father in heaven, who as role models or fathers are to emulate. "So where are you men of courage? Where are you, fathers who fear the Lord? It's time to rise up and answer the call God has give you, and to say I will, I will, I will" (Courageous Movie)
Richard Arbon is an engineering student, a Northern Territory cricketer and is developing a Christian fellowship for like minded sportsmen and women in Darwin.
Richard Arbon's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/richard-arbon.html