The Bible teaches that husbands/fathers are to be the spiritual leaders in the home (Deut.6; Ps. 78:1–8; Eph. 5:21–33; 6:4), yet husbands/fathers are becoming increasingly rare in the twenty-first-century culture of divorce-on-demand and unwed births. The modern concept of volitional fatherless families is absent from the NT. This fact is evident in the term ãïíåýò (“parents”). This term is never singular in the Greek NT—as in a singular “parent.” It is always, without exception, rendered in the plural: “Parents.”

The modern concept of volitional fatherless families is absent from the NT.

Today, children are being raised by secular daycares, after-school programs, and often by grandparents, rather than by fathers and mothers teaching them the fear of the LORD (Deut. 6:2; Ps. 34:11; Prov. 1:7). How do these disturbing trends affect God’s church?

Typically, fatherlessness has been handled in a defensive, transitionary manner through ministries such as divorce care after the damage has been done and the family fractured. Divorce care ministries may offer help for divorced adults, but what of proactive measures to keep families together before separation occurs? What of the hurt and abandonment felt by children caught in the middle of divorce? Buchanan and Chamberlain note eight common reactions of children to divorce: 1) being physically ill; 2) feeling guilty; 3) not caring; 4) pretending all is well; 5) hoping for a rematch; 6) being confused; 7) hating the parent who has custody; and finally, 8) hating the departing parent.


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