This is a question, silent but loudly audible, that gets asked day by day.

…from a mother trying to put her three young children to bed while her husband watches football in the living room or busies himself with more ‘work’ on the laptop after the day’s work. To a teacher when she asks the fathers of the kids in school to help at a special event, and only two dads show up. You see it asked in the eyes of a single mom whose husband moved in with another woman, leaving her with two angry teenagers.

What we see daily is a cultural crisis that is more serious than many people realize…“the absent-father syndrome”. It’s a common complaint among wives—whether in the church or outside of it:

“My husband is just so passive”

“He feels his job is to make money, and then he’s entitled to do what he wants when he gets home”

“He rarely gets involved with the kids—all he wants to do is hangout with his “boys” and watch TV”

Many fathers today are not physically absent, but they are so preoccupied with their work and their own interests that they pay little attention to their kids. With this kind of uninvolved father, what we are getting is a generation of children being raised on the world’s values. Unfortunately, the cumulative cost and implication of the absence of fathers or lack of effective fathering are simply mind-boggling, with tell-tale effects in practically every segment of society.

Some sociologists trace this problem of passive fathers to social changes of the last century, when fathers began leaving their family farms to find work at factories and offices. At some point during that transition, men began to view their role as “breadwinner” for the family and left primary responsibility for parenting to their wives.

One other side of the rather broad spectrum of the abuse of fathering are issues ranging from the ludicrous to the ridiculous, where certain fathers are declared AWOL (absent without leave), refusing to take on some basic duties like providing support for their family members, ignorance and confusion as to how to raise a family, or emotionally, physically and sexually abusing their own children. There are also the few cases of some even sacrificing the lives of their own children for the sake of some material and other temporal advantages.

My take in all of these is that such a definitely sustained and concerted attack on fathering is not simply as a result of the general decay in societal values, but much more as a result of a clear and present satanic agenda against mankind and, by extension, against God’s purpose.

Satan understands clearly what many fathers are strangely ignorant of…his sworn vendetta of disrupting and decimating the human social and spiritual order, with its attendant implications for time and eternity, as a payback for losing in his place and ambition in heaven (Revelation 12:7-12). This will be best served if he can succeed in making fathers ineffective and irresponsible because the domino effect of that will accelerate the fulfilment of his agenda, which is the fall of mankind.

The laundry list is simply a litany of woes: prostitution, child labour, teenage and child pregnancy, suicide, burglary, armed robbery, juvenile delinquencies, little or no education, obesity, rape and sexual molestations, violence, identity crises, complexes, murderers, and many more, all carry the signature of the dismal failure of fathering.

Any man can sire children, just like any animal can, but a real father however, is one who can guideguardgovern and galvanize members of his household unto the fullness of realizing and fulfilling their purposes in life.

No doubt, this takes tact, time, sweat and guts, but thankfully God is ever so willing to lend a helping hand for whoever wills in addition to being in the company of men, fewer by the day, who desire and are making all the efforts to make a brilliant success of their fathering assignment. Let no man make a mistake about this one fact: no amount of success out there can ever compensate for failure at home!

The good news about life is that it is never too late to do the right thing and be the right person, though the scars of the past failures may persist. Any father can choose to learn the ropes, apply the wisdom, and obtain the right results in the fathering quest. Counsel is always available for those who seek it.

In the midst of the confusion and bedlam out there, the call today is unmistakably loud and clear, “where are the fathers?”

The final call of God that closes the Old Testament clarifies: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse

Malachi 4:5-6

Please stand and be counted.