By Eli Crane, CEO at BottleBreacher.com
In the recent wake of several more school shootings our nation continues its mourning and search for answers. We have all been asking: Why? Why does this continue to happen? What can we do to stop it?
I personally don’t believe that there is one black-and-white answer. I do, however, believe that one of the biggest and most important reasons we continue to see this breed of unprovoked and unnecessary violence is largely being overlooked: We have a masculine initiation crisis caused by a lack of strong and present fathers in this country.
According to a story by Mark Meckler in Real Clear Politics, 26 out of the last 27 most deadly mass shootings were done by boys without fathers. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s more like a smoking gun.
There is not one statistic as commonly shared and alarming when you break it down and look at the facts. Yet this data and the heartbreaking root cause continue to get buried under the approved talking points. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, 24 million American children grow up without a father at home. If you are like some of the very confused people I have met over the years and think “this isn’t really that big of a deal” then please allow me to explain.
Children without fathers are four times more likely to live in poverty. They are twice as likely to suffer from obesity and drop out of high school. They are also more likely to have behavioral problems, to be abused, to use drugs and alcohol, commit crime, and go to prison. Girls without fathers are seven times more likely to become pregnant without being married. These stats are heartbreaking and staggering. They are also proof of how important a strong and just father is to the development of children. As a father myself, it honestly makes me a little ashamed to think of every time I have neglected or taken for granted this priceless role in the lives of my children.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” According to New York Times bestselling author John Eldredge, who has studied the subject, masculinity can only be bestowed by masculinity – meaning, by another man. Eldredge also concludes that the number-one question every boy and young man needs answered is the following: “Do I have what it takes?” Every man wonders if he has what it takes to be strong and mighty, to be counted on, to save the day and to rescue the beauty — to name a few.