Father is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, God in His holy dwelling.
Psalm 68:5 (NIV Bible)
We have a vision to see entire cities around the world blanketed with the Father’s love.
According to 72% of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America,* and in most nations of the world.
*Fathering in America, America Poll 1999
There are many factors that contribute to the absence of fathers in our families.
One third of all newborns were born out-of-wedlock in 1999 in the USA.
National Center For Health Statistics
The number of live births to unmarried women went from 224,300 in 1960 to 1,248,000 in 1995. (An increase of 400% in 35 years.). U.S. Bureau of the Census, Abstract of the U.S.1996,1997. Washington, D.C., GPO, 1997.
Of the children born to married parents, half will experience their parent’s divorce by the age of 18. Larry Bumpass, “Children and Marital Disruption: A Replication and Update,” Demography 21(1984): 71-82
The number of currently divorced adults in the U.S. quadrupled from 4.3 million in 1970 to 17.6 million in 1995. (Divorce rate is 73% in Jacksonville, Fl.) Saluter, Arlene F. “Marital Status & Living Arrangements: March 1995, Update.” U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Report, PPL-52. Wash., D.C: GPO, 1997.
42% of fathers fail to see their children at all after a divorce. Frank F.Furstenberg, Jr. and Christine Winguist Nord, “Parenting Apart.” Journal of Marriage and Family. Vol. 47, No. 4, November 1985.
At yearend of 1999, there were an estimated 1,372,700 dads behind prison bars with children under 18. Bureau of Justice Statistics (An 80% increase since June of 1994)
Every year, thousands of children lose their fathers to untimely deaths due to accidents & illnesses.
The impact of fatherlessness is far-reaching...
Three out of four teenage suicides occur in households where a parent has been absent.
Jean Beth Eshtain, “Family Matters: The Plight of America’s Children.” The Christian Century 1993
Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, National Center For Health Statistics Survey On Child Health, Wash. D.C.1993
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. Rainbows For All God’s Children
Children in single-parent families are 2-3 times as likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Natl. center For Health Statistics, Natl. Health Interview Survey, Hyattsville, Md. 1988
Fatherless children are “twice” as likely to drop out of school. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. Natl. Center for Health Statistics Survey On child Health, Wash. D.C., GPO1993
71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. Fulton Co. Georgia Jail Populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. U.S.D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
Boys born to an unmarried teen mother are 10 times more likely to become chronic juvenile offenders. Source:Conseur, Amy et al. Maternal & Perinatal Risk Factors for Later Delinquency Pediatrics 99(1997):785-790
“I have worked with thousands of homosexuals. I have never seen a homosexual who had a loving, respectful relationship with his father.” Preventing Homosexuality Focus On The Family Radio Broadcast April 2003 Dr. Joseph Nicolosi – Author “A Parents Guide To Preventing Homosexuality – Author “A Parents Guide To Preventing Homosexuality”
of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26
The “root cause” of
crime, more than any other, is fatherlessness. Almost
70% of juveniles incarcerated in state reform institutions, 75% of teenage
homicide perpetrators, and most gang members come from homes with no
father present. Fatherlessness & Crime
1996 by Dave Kopel
One report states that fatherless children are up to….
5x more likely to commit suicide
32x more likely to run away
9x more to drop out of school
10x more likely to abuse drugs
20x more likely to end up in prison
Mark Hall, Father’s Manifesto
But not all father issues can be quantified by statistics. Many more fathers are at home but are emotionally absent, abusive, angry, hurting or simply uninvolved in their children’s lives.
Driven by the pressures of work, many men don’t have time to be there for their children, as they should be. Many have struggles with the pain of growing up in difficult father situations themselves. They could only pass on to their children what they first received from their fathers. For generations, hurting fathers devastated by traumatic events, such as war, have been unable to provide the love that their children needed. The end result is that millions of people are struggling with father-related issues. Here are a few testimonies relating to father issues:
“When I was six years old, my dad grabbed me by the shirt and told me that he never wanted me and that I was a mistake. I couldn’t stop crying for at least three days.” VT
“I was abandoned by my father at 10 months old. The next time I met him, after tracking him down, he abandoned me again. I was 28 years old at the time. It was even worse this time as I could put a face to the father who didn’t want me.” Steve
“My step dad abused me from the time I was 2 until I was 13. The man that my mother married next, constantly made sexual advances towards me.” Elisabeth
Even the best fathers can’t meet all their children’s deepest needs for love. Our need for acceptance and affirmation goes far deeper than what any earthly father could satisfy. Unfortunately, many people relate to God as a Father the same way they related to their own father.
Martin Luther said, “I have difficulty praying the Lord’s Prayer because whenever I say
‘Our Father,’ I think of my own father who was hard, unyielding and relentless. I cannot help but think of God in that way.”
But God is not like our fathers. He is the Perfect Father (Matthew 5:48) and He is revealing Himself as a Father to a fatherless generation. (Psalm 68:5) It is only His love that can satisfy our deepest longing to be fathered. For God the Father so loved the world; (John 3:16) that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to show us what He really was like; (John 14:6-11) and to fully reconcile us back to His family through the cross. (2Cor. 5:18-19) Throughout the ages, God has been continually restoring revelation to the church.
At this time in history, we are seeing a greater revealing of The Father heart of God.
“I believe the church is about to experience a revelation of the Fatherhood of God.
A new wave of evangelism will result, as millions of prodigals will see the Father’s love in the church again. (Paul Cain-Charisma Magazine, Jan. 1990) Sharing the gospel message in the context of a Father’s Love is a relevant way to impact our fatherless generation. For God is the Father that we have been looking for all our lives.
If the plight of fatherlessness is truly at the root of many of our society’s problems, what would happen if the Father’s love began to blanket entire cities? What if people from all ages and walks of life
· Began to receive a revelation of the Father heart of God?
· What would happen to the crime rate, the school drop out rate, the drug abuse, and the teen pregnancies?
· What if believers from different churches came together in unity in fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:23 ?
· What if the local church began to pool their financial and human resources to meet the practical needs of their communities, to communicate the message of the Father’s love through mass media, and to invite the entire city to celebrate the Father’s love?
This is more than just a dream as communities are already launching “Father Loves Our City”
initiatives. Father Loves The World was birthed in New York City on September 11, 2001 in response to a request to share the Father’s love with the rescue workers and families of the victims of the World Trade Center Tragedy. Working with local churches and ministries, thousands of Father’s Love Letter resources were delivered to launch Father Loves New York: www.FatherLovesNewYork.com On this website, New Yorkers were given the opportunity to view the video of Father’s Love Letter and personally receive resources through the participating local churches and ministries.
· “The Father Loves New York CDs, cards and love letters have been handed to thousands of New Yorkers at Ground Zero and throughout Manhattan. So many souls have come to Christ and thousands of opportunities to witness the Gospel and pray with people have developed.” Pastor David Knapp-Full Gospel Christian Fellowship, Long Island, NY, October 2001
· “Over 50,000 FLL cards were taken for distribution into Ground Zero, the boroughs, Long Island, and to the Tributes that took place at Madison Square Garden and the Jacob Javitz Center on the anniversary of 9/11 in September 2002; distribution continues.” Bill and Deborah Fisher, Hot Pursuit Ministries, Atlantic Beach, Florida, September 2003. www.FatherLovesJacksonville.com and www.HotPursuitMinistries.com
What happened in New York has inspired other cities to launch “Father Loves Our City” initiatives.
· www.FatherLovesJacksonville.com Bill and Deborah Fisher, Hot Pursuit Ministries
· www.FatherLovesTampaBay.com Linda Chaney, Praise Cathedral, Clearwater, Fl.
· www.FatherLovesKingman.com Lisa Lannan, Christ First Discipleship Ministries
Compelled by the love of God, these Ambassadors of the Father’s love are beginning to work with other churches in their communities to help them share the Father’s love,
start community programs that help the homeless, feed the poor, etc., and sponsor
mass media messages sharing God’s love for their city.
Jacksonville, Florida is even flying ‘Father Loves You ’ banners over their city! We are praying that other cities will catch the vision to share the Father’s love with their city, so that the local church can be a safe place, rooted and grounded in the Father’s love, so the prodigals can come home, and the spiritual orphans can find a home.
God has a heart for your city and all cities, because of all the people that a city represents. His heart breaks for all the fatherless ones. And He has promised to be a Father to all who are fatherless. If God saved the Old Testament city of Ninevah in just 40 days, what does He want to do in your city?…In all cities?
For more information on how you can start a ‘Father Loves Our City’ initiative……..visit our website at www.FatherLovesJacksonville.com or www.FatherLovesTheWorld.com
A Special Message of Hope & Love ….. Father Loves Jacksonville & The First Coast Region
Please join us in our various outreaches in the community. Together, we can blanket the world with the Father’s Love, everywhere and every way. If we can be of assistance to you in your city, in establishing the Father’s Love Initiative, contact us…… Bill and Deborah Fisher
Hot Pursuit Ministries International in Association with Father Heart Communications
Sharing the message of Father's Love everywhere and in every way. Visit www.FathersLoveLetter.com
Bill and Deborah Fisher, Hot Pursuit Ministries, Ambassadors of Father's Love