Men, our children need us in so many ways. Our absence has created an entire generation that is suffering from an “identity crisis”. We are such an enormous part of our children’s identity that our absence has left them searching for an understanding of “self”. They are looking for their identity in drugs, gangs, promiscuity, abusive relationships and more. They are reaching out trying to fill the void that was left when we walked away. We are a nation of broken homes and we must re-establish our position as leaders and protectors.
This country is crumbling under the weight of abandonment and irresponsibility. Crime is on the rise, prisons are being built at a rate that exceeds that of schools. Gang affiliations for youths are at an all time high. Teenage violence such as school shootings and hate crimes are on the rise.
I live in Houston, TX where a not long ago, a sixteen year old girl stabbed a teenage boy to death during a gang fight. She is now awaiting her second trial to determine her future. There were also two teenage boys who assaulted another teenager because of his race; subsequently they were sentenced to 90 years to life in prison.
There is a popular talk show that airs daily in which a large portion of its production is focused upon the errant lives of young teenage girls. These girls are normally brought to the show by overwhelmed mothers. The girls are disrespectful, violent, promiscuous, and generally out of control. The host of the show seems to be genuinely concerned and invites special guest and experts on the show to counsel these young girls. However, there is one thing in particular that baffles me; there is a question the host or the experts never ask, which happens to be the first question that enters my mind each time I view this type of segment: Where is the father? The father is never present and no one mentions him. I have found that absentee fathers are the common denominator in the plethora of social dysfunctionalities plaguing our country today.
No, I am not blaming the “Invisible Father Syndrome” for every social issue, but when the problems are traced to the source, IFS ranks toward the top of the list.
There are many men like myself, who are victims of IFS and are dealing with their own pain and difficulties from not having a father present or having a father errantly present. This, however, cannot stand as an excuse to fail in our own fathering duties. I do not declare myself a perfect father; in fact I have fallen short in several areas. Not having the role model to pattern myself after left me deficient in some aspects of fatherhood. I consider myself a work in progress. As long as I am present, active, and willing, I can and will improve. The effort alone tells my children that I care; that dad with all his imperfections will always be there. This is how it was meant to be. As our children grow as a person, we grow as fathers.
There are many fathers to whom the words of this book will strike a chord. Right now you may be hurting, overwhelmed, angry and lost, but there is hope. Likewise, to those who have endured pain and loneliness due to the absence of your father, there is hope for you too. Malachi 4:6 says, “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.”  (NKJV)
There are over 7,000 promises of a positive nature in the Bible. How interesting is it that the last promise of the Old Testament is one of restoration? God has promised to turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children and the hearts of the children towards the fathers. It is my prayer that by authoring this book in conjunction with the great writers and leaders in whose shadows I stand, such as Doug Stringer, Bishop Bart Pierce, James Gills M.D., Bishop T.D. Jakes and many others, a revival of the ages will be ignited. This revival will see men seeking God and discovering their destinies. It will seat men in their rightful positions in the home and the community.
This revival must take place before this nation can reverse the downward spiral toward moral decay; a nation full of dependent and codependent youth.
In the laws of divine establishment, God ordained four divine institutions though which those laws would function: The individual, the marriage, the family, and the nation. Each institution functions under the primary authority delegated by God. The individual functions under the authority of individual volition (self-will); the marriage functions under the authority of the husband; the family functions under the authority of the parents and the nation functions under the authority of the official government.
It is no coincidence that the man is given direct primary authority in two of four divine institutions, and is indirectly the functioning authority in the other two. This means that when we as men operate outside the will of God for our lives, the ramifications are far reaching. When we become spiritually corrupt, we corrupt not only ourselves, but we short circuit our marriages, we render our families dysfunctional and the nation as a whole suffers. R.B. Thieme Jr. says it this way; When parents do not fulfill their responsibilities and children do not ‘honor” their parents, the nation suffers from insecurity, instability and eventually loss of liberty. A Nation’s disintegration begins in the family. (Thieme, Freedom Through Military Victory)
We as men have lost our identity and subsequently, families and children have lost their identities leading to an entire nation under an identity crisis.
The question then arises; can we overcome this crisis. Can we regain our identity? Can this country reassume the identity that once made us a great nation? The answer is simply: We must?
I often counsel young men from the inner city that are considered at risk. At risk means that these young men stand a greater chance of going to prison than enrolling in a University (U.S. Census Study). They are likely to die prematurely at the hands of another misguided youth. When questioning the young men I find that almost to a man, they believe in Christ. Some have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. I tell these men that “if they are still breathing, they are here for a reason.
These young men are from broken homes. Some were abandoned by their fathers, others have fathers that are incarcerated, and yet, others have lost their fathers to death by violence. They are bitter, angry, confused, but most of all, they are in need of direction. They need to know what it feels like to have a male role model, someone who cares. The young generation of today is crying out for fathers, whether biological or spiritual. Bishop Bart Pierce says we all need the covering of a spiritual father. He also says it is time to address the need for fathers; spiritual and natural. I concur; it is time as men and spiritual leaders in the community that we step forward. Too often in today’s society we become content in waiting out problems in hope that they will rectify themselves. It is time to take a proactive approach in dealing with the serious issues of absentee fathers. It is time to step up.

by Bishop Rick Wallace