For many things, I’m a pretty laid-back mom.
But there we were, hiking Pyramid Mountain in Kodiak, Alaska, when I couldn’t seem to stop worrying.
I had hiked that mountain before—years ago—but this time I was with my kids. And that changed everything. As we scrambled up the final rocky portion to reach the top, I saw with fresh eyes how one wrong step either way would end in severe injury or tragedy.
It’s a good thing they were faster than I was because I would have sucked all the joy out of the climb by nagging them to be careful.
We reached the top, and the view was spectacular. After we grabbed a quick picture in the clouds, we climbed back down. My friend and I (bringing up the back again) commiserated as we descended, discussing all the ways that we pictured the danger our kids could be in.
That’s when I said, “This is why kids need dads.”
See, both dads knew that there were risks but that the view would be worth it and the kids would have a blast—and they did it all without worrying or nagging. (Weird, right?)
Kids need dads for far more important reasons than just enjoying adventures.
Children raised without a father have a greater risk of poverty; suffer from a higher risk infant mortality; and are more likely to be obese, drop out of high school, abuse alcohol and drugs, have behavioral problems, or commit crimes.
There are eternal implications for why kids need dads too.
If a dad does not attend church—even if the mom does—only 1 in 50 children will become regular worshipers. If the dad does attend regularly—even if the mom does not—between two-thirds and three-quarters of the children will attend church as adults.
If children are separated from their earthly fathers, this could lead to them being separated from their heavenly Father—and that one wrong step would end in tragedy.
If your children don’t have an active father in their lives, please find them a male role model. Men, if you know of children who need your influence, invite them along on adventures.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who knew she was being ridiculous on that hike.
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