5 Myths on Fathers & Families (For the full analysis and data, read the original article).
1. Myth: There's a surge in stay-at-home dads.
Fact: Of the 22.5 million families with children under 15 years old, 24 percent have a stay-at-home mom, and less than 1 percent have a stay-at-home dad.
2. Myth: Women want everything 50-50.
Fact: While women want their husbands to do their fair share of housework, they don't want them to do the same tasks. "Only 20 percent of mothers with children under 18 wanted to work full-time, compared with 72 percent of fathers with children under 18."
3. Myth: Marriage is just a piece of paper.
Fact: "50 percent of children born to cohabiting parents saw their parents break up by age five; by comparison, only 15 percent of children born to married parents saw their parents divorce by age five. Dad is much more likely to stick around if he has a wedding ring on his finger."
4. Myth: Children can weather divorce just fine.
Fact: Divorce is not good for children. Ask any child who's gone through a divorce. For instance, "girls whose parents divorce are about twice as likely to drop out of high school, to become pregnant as teenagers, and to suffer from psychological problems such as depression and thoughts of suicide."
5. Myth: Dads are dispensible.
Fact: "Children typically do better in an intact, married families with their fathers than they do in families headed by single mothers." And "fathers bring distinctive talents to the parenting enterprise."
What Wilcox doesn't address is the pastoral role of fathers. In the Large Catechism, Luther contends, "all other authority is derived and developed out of the authority of parents" (LC, 141). And the psalmist explains the role of fathers: "I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God" (Psalm 78:2-8).
Fathers play the immeasurably important role of catechizing their children, of pastoring their families. They don't take the place of the Office of the Ministry but work in concert with it to see that their children hear the Gospel proclaimed and receive Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord's Supper.