According to the 2010 Census, of the 168,000 children living in Memphis, nearly 67,000 — about 4 in 10 — are living in a family with a female householder and NO FATHER PRESENT.
Later this month, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton will host the Second Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads. (Wharton is writing a guest column about the issue that will run with your response.)
From your perspective, how big is this problem? How do you see if effecting your congregation, your community, the culture at large? What can/should be done about it?
What child doesn’t need more love, more caring, and more time with their fathers? Clearly, the most important thing about a father is his love expressed in a real sense, not just saying “I love you.” That is why initiatives like Mayor Wharton’s Training Camp for Dads and other role modeling initiatives for men are so important. The bible relates the enduring impact of fathers in reporting King David’s death. The bible says, “And David slept with his fathers.” Why “slept?” ask the early rabbis. Why not, “and David died?” Because, they answer, David left a child, King Solomon, who despite his flaws walked in his father’s good ways and continued his father’s good deeds. So many of the challenges we face – education, crime, poverty – will be eased when fathers are no longer missing from the lives of their children.