Remember May, 1992, when former Vice President Dan Quayle chided Murphy Brown (a fictional, divorced woman in a sitcom by the same name) for her decision to have a child outside of marriage?

“Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. . . mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.”

There was a lot of criticism to Quayle’s comment. Are fathers only needed to be sperm donors or can they play an important role in the lives of their children? 

My heart goes out to single parents. They have a very difficult task. Raising children, when both parents are in the home and on the same page, can be a very daunting task. Many single parents are in that situation, not of their own choosing.

In 1972 when Nixon officially signed Father’s Day into law, only one out of 10 children in the US did not live with their biological dads. Today that number is nearly one out of three. What is the impact? Let me cite a secular source: the U.S. Census and from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to their data, kids who live apart from their dads are four times more likely to flunk a grade in school, five times more likely to commit suicide, seven times more likely to become teenage parents, 69 percent more likely to abuse drugs, 76 percent more likely to commit a crime and 80 percent more likely to engage in various forms of antisocial behavior, such as bullying or vandalism. (Also quoted in the June 11, 2017, Tulsa World article by Michael Overall)

If you have or had a godly, involved father, praise and thank God for your father's’ role in your life. If you are a father, remember you can make a huge difference in lives of your children.

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.