The Importance of Fathers


I found an article in my files that contained some interesting quotes and stats about dads:

"Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow." – Reed Marhkham

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." – Mark Twain

A father's presence is crucial. Here are some stats that support this idea:

  • EDUCATION: Fathers who are involved on a personal level with their child's schooling increase the likelihood of their child's achievement. When fathers assume a positive role in their child's education, students feel a positive impact.
    – Source: Applied Development Psychology 25 (2005): 201-216.
  • HEALTH: Almost 9 of 10 adolescents ages 15-17 living with their biological married parents reported to be in excellent or very good health, compared to less than 8 of 10 of those living with a single parent.
    – Source: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office: 70. 
  • HEALTH:  A study of 3,400 middle-schoolers indicated that not living with both biological parents quadruples the risk of having an affective disorder (mood disorder).
    – Source: "Family Psychosocial Risk Factors in a Longitudinal Epidemiological Study of Adolescents." Journal of American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry 44: 121-129. 
  • POVERTY: Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in femaile-householder families.
    – Source: US Census Bureau, Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics. p. 200-547, Table C8.
  • SEXUAL ACTIVITY: Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual acitivty and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.
    – Source: "Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy." Child Development 74: 801-821.


  • Or in summary: An analysis of 100 studies on parent-child relationships showed that having a loving and nurturing father was as important for a child's happiness, well-being, and social and academic success as having a loving and nurturing mother. Some studies even indicated that a father's love was the sole significant predictor for certain outcomes, such as psychological adjustment problems, conduct problems, and substance abuse. – Source: "The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence." Review of General Psychology 5.4: 382-405.
  1. I really like this article. I spent most of my younger years without my father and was getting into a lot of trouble and hanging around the wrong people. At 18 I went to live with my father and my whole life changed for the better. I am who I am today because of my Father.

  2. David, I have been intending to tell you that I appreciated you sharing your father’s heart for your daughter Ali during the worship service a few weeks ago as you were anticipating her departure for college. There was also a sermon illustration that day which revealed your tremendous love and protection for all three daughters. God’s grace and wisdom to you, as you balance responsibilities as father, husband, and point pastor.

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