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Study shows good dads make a big difference

Happy Father’s Day!   As I’ve traveled the world, I’m amazed at how few good fathers there are. In many parts of subSahara Africa, they are not even around. In countries like Moldova and Russia, it’s normal for them to be drunks. In Cambodia, many sell their children into the sex trade….
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Happy Father’s Day!
As I’ve traveled the world, I’m amazed at how few good fathers there are. In many parts of subSahara Africa, they are not even around. In countries like Moldova and Russia, it’s normal for them to be drunks. In Cambodia, many sell their children into the sex trade. In America we do OK on a relative basis, but too many fathers are absent or are raising little narcissists. Around the world the lack of fathering is appalling.
That’s why when, on my trip last week to Minnesota, I see good ones like Dwight Buller, father of nine children, I want to celebrate them. Dwight puts his children to work on the family farm. They understand the importance of God, family, and personal responsibility. He and his wife Peggy have raised their kids to have a kingdom worldview that includes mission trips. Dwight understands the importance of hard work and strong values. And his children are growing up healthy and secure.
A study by the journal Child Development underscores how important dads like Dwight are.  It shows that good fathers make a big difference, citing the specific area of sexual behavior.
An MSNBC article summarizes the study:

When it comes to preventing risky teen sex, there may be no better deterrent than a doting dad.

whose fathers are more involved in their lives are less likely to
engage in risky sexual activities such as unprotected intercourse,
according to a new study.

more attentive the dad – and the more he knows about his teenage
child’s friends – the bigger the impact on the teen’s sexual behavior,
the researchers found. While an involved mother can also help stave off
a teen’s sexual activity, dads have twice the influence.
Why is it that good dads make this kind of difference? Did you have a good and did he make this kind of difference in your life? I’m interested in your thoughts and stories (I’ll even post your Dad’s pic if you send it to me).

Comments (8)

  • My father is Jerome Joseph McGarry and he has always been the greatest example of an earthly father. He has raised 7 of us kids and has nineteen grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He is a traditional God fearing man by description. He worked to support us, mom stayed home, we all ate supper together, and went to church on Sunday. As a child I can remember lacking nothing but as a adult I can’t figure out how he always made the money stretch.

    What did having father like this feel like to me? I always felt safe, secure, loved and cared for. He gave this family foundation and stability. He also spent time with each of us on little mini dates. I can remember getting dressed up to go see “Annie” with dad and how special that made me feel. He ran his life with order and disciplined with love and a ton of forgiveness.

    Now in his eighties and I wish I could post his picture. He has recently given the family name to two orphans who are now his grand daughters. He loves these little girls with all that he is! I snapped a photo of them sitting outside with one on each leg reading story after story to them. I love you Daddy…………………..Tami

  • Thanks, Seth. I posted something on FB this morning about my own father attempting to reinforce the notion that dad’s don’t have to be perfect and mostly are not.

    I’m looking forward to this next season together.

    Love you friend.

  • How true Seth,
    My Father was an amazing man. He too believed in mini dates with myself and 2 brothers and taught us that this quiet time with him was the same as truly quiet time with God.
    I can remember all the times that we would sit in the early morning hours on the dock at the cottage and Dad would say,”Just talk to God Patti and then stop thinking and listen.”
    The lessons that Dad taught me over the years are now being passed on to the next generation that he loved so well, his 4 grand children.
    While he is in heaven and celebrating the joy of our Father’s eternal love, he will always be in my heart and by my side. Love you Daddy.

  • My real Dad did a runner when my Mum was 4 mnths pregnant. Not long after I was born my Mum put me in a home where I met my Heavenly Father. The lady in the home said the only thing that stopped me crying was to sit me in front of a real fire. She had no idea that I was sitting there watching the flames of The Holy Fire of God dancing around in the flames.

    After I was adopted to a family that later disowned me (not that they ever had the right to OWN me in the 1st place 🙂 ) I remember being a young child in school feeling the presence of God with me in the play ground. I would look up knowing my Heavenly Father was with me.

    My Father is amazing, my Father has the most loving arms that surround me and my Father will never leave me.

    Happy Fathers day Dad!

  • Interesting question about influence of dads. My dad died when I was 27 and already living a life. He was ‘making a comeback” but sadly for him, he did not live long enough to overcome alcoholism and the issues that fueled that addiction. My preteen, teen, early adult life are best summed up as “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” I think that’s a key to the study you referenced. My kids, having very different parents than I did, were able to make very different choices. It was not so much about discipline as it was about affirmation, consistancy, credibility, and reliabllity. One simple difference- their dad was present, clear minded and focused.

  • I am so grateful to my Dad, Pete. He’s not a Christian but he’s been the most patient, loving, attentive father I could ever want even without knowing God. God himself even commended him to me, saying that my leadership of others should be like his leadership of me – his authority when he offers me advice or asks me to do something doesn’t come from his status or position as head of the household, it comes from the relationship and the knowledge that he’d lay down his life for me at any moment and the countless times he’s served me sacrificially and put me first in the past. It gives his opinion so much weight – I don’t have to obey, I choose to.

    Thank you Heavenly Father for my earthly one!!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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