Michael W. Smith: Fatherlessness Is a ‘Crisis We Need to Wake Up To’

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

Michael W. Smith: Fatherlessness Is a ‘Crisis We Need to Wake Up To’

By Movieguide® Staff

Contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith issued a challenge to the Body of Christ to stand in the gap for fatherless families.

“We need a lot of surrogate dads. We have thousands of young men who need mentors, and I don’t think that’s the government’s job. I think it’s the Church’s job to mentor,” Smith told The Christian Post.

“It’s a crisis that we need to wake up to, realize that we’ve got to be a part of the solution, and we have the tools to be a solution and help. Let the Church rise up, and I’m pointing the finger right at me too,” Smith said.

Smith’s sentiments reflect a recent Movieguide® article on how fatherlessness is the greatest epidemic facing our country today.

Movieguide® Editor Tom Snyder reported:

According to statistics from multiple government sources and multiple studies, fatherless homes may be America’s biggest problem.

A child raised without a father is five times more likely to commit crime and be poor, nine-times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in jail or prison.

Also, the U.S. Dept. of Health and the U.S Census Bureau say 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice says 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.

Researchers of Columbia University found that 30% of teenagers in single mother households are more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. The National Principals Association found that 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

According to the Heritage Foundation and Marripedia, almost 25 million children have absentee fathers, and families with absentee fathers are “the single most important cause of poverty” and crime.*

Conversely, children in intact families “are the least likely to commit delinquent acts.”

This problem is not new. In their book, Family Life and Delinquency and Crime, Kevin and Karen Wright report that the New York State legislature was made aware of this problem way back in 1829 and 1830!

Smith said some of the struggles of people rejecting God as a Father come from their personal experiences with their earthly fathers.

“They can’t quite grasp that He actually sings over you, and He dances over you. In all these promises of God [He says] how He wants to just father you,” Smith said.

“It’s a tricky thing to … be able to portray the truth,” Smith continued. “But you finally see people get it, and it’s like a light bulb goes off. And it’s a game-changer because you’ll never be able to walk into your full destiny until you know that you’re loved.”

In addition to Smith, Stephen and Alex Kendrick are also exploring the importance of God as a Father in their first documentary, SHOW ME THE FATHER.

“We have five stories in SHOW ME THE FATHER, and they are some of the most powerful stories I’ve ever heard of fatherhood. They cover from every perspective, a good father, a bad father, a father who’s never there, one that broke his child’s heart, and how did they recover from all of this and reconnect to God the Father,” Alex Kendrick tells Movieguide®.

Understanding God as the Father is critical for Smith.

“When you understand the Father’s heart of God, and knowing how much He loves you, what do you do? You just respond to it. And when you respond to it, you walk in obedience, and you want to do the right thing … you just want to please God; you go, ‘God, what can I do to further Your Kingdom? Because of what you’ve done for me, you just want to love Him back.

“When you see travesty and you see people doing crazy things, they don’t know the Father. But they can know the Father. I’ve seen evil like you’ve never seen it, and I’ve seen those people turn their hearts to Jesus. So there’s hope for everybody,” Smith said.

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