I want to start by saying, fatherlessness is a root, it is not a result. We have done this entire journey of teaching a disservice by putting it on the short list of social issues such as homelessness, addiction, crime, sex trafficking, and poverty. I want you to know that fatherlessness is not on the shortlist, fatherlessness has created the shortlist. Fatherlessness is not the result of something it is the absolute root of something. When you treat fatherlessness as a symptom rather than a source you miss the sense of urgency that is required to address this in a way that changes the course of history.
Fatherlessness is not a symptom it is a pandemic disease, it is not epidemic it is pandemic. There is a huge difference between something that is epidemic and something that is pandemic. I will make my case. When something is an epidemic it is a virus or bacteria disease, it begins to spread but when something becomes pandemic the rate of infection and how widespread the infection is what causes something to move from epidemic to pandemic. Fatherlessness is pandemic not epidemic. Fatherlessness is a root, not a result.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a tremendous organization locally that speaks prophetically and powerfully to our city about the fatherlessness issues. They say that in 1960, 50 years ago, there were 4.4 million children under the age of 18 that came from fatherless contexts or conditions. in 50 years that number has grown to 31.6 million which is 43% of the adolescent population in America. I am telling you this is not sustainable. When you put that many unsupervised children (in the father mother context) into the societal water supply to create a functional society of business leaders, people that can function as fathers and mothers themselves is creating an almost irreversible balance.
In the last 30 years out of wedlock pregnancies have gone raised in the black community by 28%, that’s a raise of 28% of fatherlessness families, in the Hispanic community it has grown by 137%, in the Caucasian community it has grown by 220%. If these numbers continue in 6 years if you are born in the United States the chances of you being fatherless are greater than the minority communities. It is not just something that effects simply the issues of poverty, location, geography, I believe the enemy uses anything he can leverage to destroy the family context and to poor into the human water supply in our nation this pandemic disease of fatherlessness.
My own father was what I call “functionally fatherless”. When we talk about being fatherlessness we talk about situational fatherlessness, you may come from a family whose father died or there was a divorce. There is a situation that caused it. It could be functionally fathers, like my dad, were there physically but he was disengaged. Whenever it came to the vital investments I needed in my life as an emerging young man, my dad lived with his eyes darting around the room, his head was like a bobble head, because in his own heart he had deep uncertainties within himself and God; he carried a deep sense of secrets. My father had died at 62 years old from an overdose of glucocorticoid. Glucocorticoid is a natural process of the brain that releases in times of crisis.
Do you know that God gave you the ability to outrun a lion if you are being chased? By poring glucocorticoid so your body like a shower head that turns on that cascades through the body. It suspends sleep, suspends hunger, suspends growth, so everything in you can outrun the lion. The thing is, the brain knows when the lion is no longer chasing you and it turns off the glucocorticoid and all your body functions resume. But the brain cannot tell the difference between a real lion and an imaginary lion. My dad, because of his father that abandoned his family and carried secrets in his life, those glucocorticoids pored through his life and created anxiety. That anxiety ultimately became plaque that filled his heart and caused him to die.
My dad was functionally fatherless. He was there but he was disengaged. Then you have generational fatherlessness. That is where you have no father, your mother was not married to a man, your grandmother was not married to a man. We have kids in our school system today that when you say the word “marriage” they look at you like it is a foreign language, there is no context, their mother was not married, their grandmother was not married, their great-grandmother was not married. They do not even know what a marriage, what a husband is. That is generational fatherlessness. It is a pandemic that is growing in both black, white, and brown communities.
What is the answer? What is the solution? I think we have to see two shifts. The first one is we need to see a shift in urgency. What we call a social norm in this nation must be re-categorized into a social storm. What happens is, what is a true storm has become a norm to our world. I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to awaken me to turn the norm back into a storm. The second thing we have to shift is we have to move from a place of recovery to a place of prevention. The only way that will ever happen in this nation is that the church must totally reengineer how it reaches and trains men. Not to be fathers, but trains adult men how to be sons to their heavenly father. What our sons need is not better fathers, what are sons need is their fathers to be better sons. So I pray for our nation, I pray for you, a new sense of urgency. There really is a storm that needs to be addressed called Fatherlessness.
God Bless you,
Scott Hagan; Lead Pastor of Real Life Church
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