Dads matter – and more than most people realize.
That’s the message I’ve been championing for years now, a reality born out of the social science and my own childhood growing up in a broken home.
The Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis agree – which is why the state has just approved a bill that will invest $70 million in programs designed to promote fatherhood.
It’s called the “Responsible Fatherhood Bill,” and funds will be distributed to nonprofit groups committed to dads. The dollars will be focused on mentoring and numerous other father-related resources. This promises to be money well spent.
“Incredibly, there are those who diminish the importance of fatherhood and the nuclear family — we will not let that happen in our state,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud to say we are doing everything we can to support involved fatherhood in Florida.”
Every scientific measurement of child well-being around the globe consistently reveals that fatherlessness is profoundly harmful to children and society.
· 25% of households in America are fatherless.
· 85% of all youth in prison come from fatherless homes.
· 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes.
· Children from fatherless homes are four times more likely to live in poverty.
Dr. Brad Wilcox of the National Marriage Project says that the best research shows that for all races, kids who live with a married mother and father are less likely to live in poverty or spend time in jail. They are more likely to graduate from high school and successfully enter the workforce, and they are dramatically more likely to attend college.
And it’s not a surprise why – dads model character for their daughters, shaping what they will seek in a future husband. Men model for sons how to be a committed husband, a loving father, and a man of integrity who guides his family according to biblical values.
Every man needs to be reminded from time to time that their wives and children deserve their best.
Inexplicably, former football coach and NFL analyst Tony Dungy has been criticized for supporting the bill. Critics immediately pounced and politicized his endorsement, suggesting that Coach Dungy was a “racist apologist” who shouldn’t be partnering with anything coming from a Republican administration.
They’re just wrong. Fatherlessness should be a bipartisan issue. Leftists need to stop their demagoguery. If they spent half as much time working to encourage men to be better dads as they do trying villainize good men like Coach Dungy, our children would be far better served.
Well done to the state legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis. I hope other states will follow Florida’s lead. Dads supply a key ingredient in the development of children, and we must do everything we can to support them.