Archives for February 2018

The Super Power Given to Every Father

“Dad is destiny. More than virtually any other factor, a biological father’s presence in the family will determine a child’s success and happiness.”*1

In 1995 when this quote appeared in a popular news magazine, 68 percent of black children and 30 percent of all children in America were being born outside of marriage, which typically translates into this scenario: single mothers as primary caregivers and absentee biological fathers.

These words are hard on the ears. Especially because so many children are being raised solo by mothers. These are loving, devoted, smart, gifted, hard-working, and entrepreneurial women. Some of them are my dearest friends. They feel their vulnerability and lack, even with strong support systems intact, and they often experience the lonely and empty void where an engaged father once participated. Nevertheless, we must face the cruel facts of fatherlessness.

If we fast forward 20 years to 2015, here’s an update on the fruit of fatherlessness.

20 million children in the U.S. are living in a fatherless home, making it an epidemic…and the negative implications are dizzying:

  • Fatherless families are 4X more likely to be raised in poverty
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are fatherless
  • Fatherless children are 10X more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 71% of all adolescent substance abusers come from a fatherless home
  • 80% of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes
  • Fatherless kids are 2X more likely to commit suicide
  • Fatherless children experience more accidents and a higher rate of chronic asthma, headaches, and speech defects
  • Fatherless kids are 9X more likely to drop out of school
  • Fatherless children are more likely to score lower than the norm in reading and math
  • 70% of adolescents in juvenile correctional facilities come from fatherless homes
  • 70% of men incarcerated in U.S. prisons never had a relationship with their natural fathers
  • Fatherless kids are 11X more likely to display violent behavior
  • 60% of rapists were raised in fatherless homes
  • Fatherless kids are 20% more likely to be incarcerated
  • Kids raised in a home without a biological father are 9X more likely to be raped or sexually abused *2
    AND THE KICKER….70% of teen pregnancies occur in fatherless homes…powerfully perpetuating this cycle of troubling, even disastrous societal trends.

As we can see from these numbers, Dad not only determines the fate of his own family, but the impact from his choices in fathering for good or bad will be felt like an earthquake, reverberating out his front door and into the streets of our communities.

In my opinion, a father carries an authority that is natural, inherent, just because they’re Daddy. A blessing bestowed upon them.

There is a commanding influence with which God has equipped Dad for the immense role he is to play in the life of his family. When Dad simply lives life amongst his kids, there is power.

I appeal to women, don’t despise your husbands, the father of your children. Even if you’re divorced from the man, and his glaring flaws and bad decisions keep you up at night, my advice is this: don’t tear them down, trash them, shame them, dissect them, and expose their ‘nakedness’ to your children. Your actions and words may feel good to you for the moment; you may seem justified, but you are driving an irreparable chasm between the kids and their Dad. And, you are further damaging your precious children! Our culture encourages this behavior in women and it is diabolical. Leave room for God, for time, for circumstances to play out. Pray and believe for healing, revealing and restoration.

Moms, remember this, you can do a lot, but you can’t take the place of a father.

In recent decades, we’ve watched the role of Anemic Dad played out in too many television sitcoms to list here! Not to mention the innumerable insipid characters stumping as the impotent heads of households, advertising everything from pain medication to laundry soap. These castrated men limp along to the drumbeat of their aggressive, decisive, and very capable wives. In each instance, Mom is running the show. These homes are dysfunctional and out of order, and a horrific model for the next generation.

In my opinion, fathers have super powers! A capacity for the mission they’ve been given – men are not the bumbling idiots media has portrayed them to be unless they decide to degenerate to those low levels.

I would beg you fathers, don’t settle for merely built-in clout, but take advantage of your God-given assets and wildly enhance them with all of your strength and passion as you engage with the children God has given you. Be the world-changer you are called to be, and your children will sky-rocket from your broad shoulders of strong leadership into the galaxies beyond.

Thank you for reading! Share your thoughts with me below – want to read more? Grab my free e-book JUST until the end of February HERE








*1 U.S. New and World Report 2/27/1995
*2 National Center for Fathering

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Want to Build a Solid, Successful Kid? Here’s a Non-Negotiable…

We hear a lot about emotional intelligence these days. It’s defined as:

‘the ability to use and manage your emotions – your FEELINGS – in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, overcome challenges and diffuse conflict.’

This emotional strength helps us to form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work and lead a more fulfilling life.

Emotional intelligence steadies the ship.

Feelings are so incredibly tangible, so seemingly ‘real’ to us as humans – Spock wasn’t hindered by such frivolity – but we modern Americans will stake our life on them.

Feelings can be extreme.

I don’t trust in my feelings because feelings are emotions and emotions are flexible, fallible, constantly changing, driven by diet, hormones, weather, emails and texts and circumstances beyond our control and within our control.

And yet, it seems to me that so many are raising their children by feelings, training them by their feelings, encouraging them to live by their feelings. And the fruit of this lifestyle is regrettable.

Sad? Buy something.
Bored? Watch something. Or play something electronic.
Angry? Act it out by throwing things, shouting, shooting off an email wrought with all your petty, selfish, angry tirades or a text for quicker satisfaction.
Depressed? Eat something. Treat yo’self.
Tired? Don’t show up.
Don’t commit.
Don’t follow through.
Don’t do what you don’t feel like doing…carry this into adulthood and marriage and there you have chaos and confusion.
Brokenness and devastation.

I believe ‘feelings’ are perhaps the worst guiding force in life.

If we make our decisions based on feelings, live our daily lives based on feelings, we are sure to stumble, to falter – to be unfaithful to important commitments, because feelings lie.

Emotional intelligence is new terminology in my vocabulary bank, but as I reflect upon our pattern of life in the Mira home, the following were some ‘lifestyle exercises’ that helped to build this necessary emotional muscle in our five boys in their growing-up years.

This ‘grit’ is serving our sons well as they pursue their dreams, achieve their goals, and follow through on their commitments, rain or shine.

  • As a rule, my boys were not raised to live according to their feelings and emotions. It was a luxury I knew we all couldn’t afford.
  • They had to get out of bed on time and read their Bibles and write in their journals even if they didn’t feel like it.
  • They had chore charts to complete every day; didn’t matter if they felt like it. If they performed their chores ineptly they re-did them with a happy heart, even if that ticked them off.
  • They spoke appropriately to their parents whether they felt like it or not. (Yes, they could express their contrary opinions, just in a respectful way.)
  • They did their bookwork before they played.
  • They ate the foods they didn’t feel like eating and learned to like pretty much everything.
  • They were kind to each other when it was the last thing they felt like being…or there were immediate consequences.
  • They shook hands and looked adults in the eye when they felt like hiding in a corner.
  • They weren’t allowed to throw crying tantrums and express out-of-control fits of rage.
  • They answered elders with “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” even if the adult didn’t deserve their respect.
  • They wrote thank-you notes in longhand for gifts and kindnesses they received. Probably the last thing a kid ‘feels’ like doing.

I, too, held myself accountable as Mom, refusing to allow moodiness, depression, anger and other fleeting emotions to rule my spirit, thus, our home. I recognized the importance of not giving in to the emotions that would have liked to dominate my home with a black cloud.

It was the little things like this, day-by-day, that built healthy habits that not only serve my adult sons well today, but serve their clients, employers, wives, children, and the society they live in.

Want to read more? Grab my free e-book HERE until the end of the month. 

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House hunting?? Here are some upgrades to consider…

I’ve been looking at real estate. Eyeballing all sorts of houses boasting miles of rich wood flooring, grandiose fireplaces, and kitchens equipped for kings, but I’m reminded that a house is just sticks and bricks if it’s devoid of life and love.

It’s not the upgrades or the neighborhood or the size of a dwelling that makes a home, it’s the memories created, the love experienced, the food tasted, the kindnesses expressed, the life lessons learned.

How many grew up living in ‘mansions’ but reflect on a sour note at the emptiness of that abode?
The loneliness.
The barrenness.
The desperation.
The alcohol-induced feuds and chaotic atmosphere.

I recently lived in a cozy, (cramped), loud, bustling, tiny two-bedroom urban apartment where I could look down from my perch and watch assorted unsavory activity taking place on any given day on the city streets below. Some of my happiest memories occurred there in that nest, high above the cold hard world outside while I quietly nurtured my growing family in my temporary home.

What are you building?
How are you building?
Mom, dad, YOU are the home.
You are the PULSE of the home, the fire in the fireplace, the love light burning bright.

How are you living life?
Is your communication just sticky notes and occasional food in the fridge – a pizza box, a frozen dinner with a how-to stuck on top?
Do the hallways echo with gracious words and helpful intentions and tender voice tones?
Or is it f-bombs and threats and screams?
Or perhaps passive anger expressed through cold silence as ships pass in the night down the hall…

Does the aroma of good food linger through the rooms and out the front door?
Are souls so happy to be home they bring friends to share in it all?
Oh the power we have in our hands with our possessions and our schedules.
We rule our worlds.
We can’t blame someone else.

Does grace abound in your abode?

Do hearts sing and are steps made lighter upon exiting your house?

Are prayers offered up continually?

What is a home?!
We all drive by jaw-dropping ‘perceptions’ regularly.
Trimmed hedges, landscaped gardens, BMWs in the drive, lawn chairs on perfect patios.

But where is humanity?
Who sits in the chairs?
Who eats in the dining room?
So much wasted space and tools of love sit empty, gathering dust…day-by-day until they turn into year-by-year.

Why is Junior so distant?
Where is the Little Princess?
What do they value?
Who do they flock to?
What is their anchor?
Where did the years go?

I just heard a lady whine about wishing she could stay home with her miracle baby and be a mom.
So…why not work another miracle and sell the great house, rent a good house, sell the extra car, NOT pay for daycare and afford to stay home?
Her daughter is two..tomorrow she will be 22.

Instead people will work their a$$ess off to keep a great empty shell of a place filled with anxiety and strife and take-out food.
The sounds of silence.
I’d rather live in a love-filled camper and have mom home than in a hoity-toity gated fortress where mama is absent trying to produce more income to pay the debts incurred by discontent and illusions in order to prop up a perception.

That gate ain’t keeping anything out of that house if Mama’s away all day….

Thank you for reading! If you’d like to read more, grab my free E-book 15 Minutes to Raising an Extraordinary Human HERE 

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