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What do the mothers of America think of the fathers of their children?  The National Fatherhood Initiative released a survey this week that asked 1,533 mothers with at least one child under 18, “How are fathers doing?”  Their responses might surprise you.

Here are 10 of the top 14 responses from the survey:

  1. 93% of moms believe there is a father absence crisis.
  2. Most moms think dad is replaceable.
  3. Married and cohabiting moms were happier with dads’ performance than moms not living with dad.
  4. Married moms believe more in the power of marriage to help dad be the best he can be than moms who are cohabitating or separated from dad.
  5. Dads of young children got better marks than dads of teens.
  6. Closeness to children and work-family balance were the biggest predictors of mom’s satisfaction with dad (after living arrangement).
  7. Most moms said they could do a better job of work-family balance if dad provided more help.
  8. Moms said that “work responsibilities” were the biggest obstacle to dad’s success in fathering.
  9. Strong religious values are beneficial to helping dads be better fathers.
  10. Moms think communities of faith are the top place for dads to get fathering help.

The results I found most compelling were:

  • Almost all the mothers (93%) believe a crisis of absent fathers exists.
  • Most mothers believe that all fathers are replaceable.
  • Mothers who are married believe more in the power of marriage than do those who are cohabiting or don’t live with their child’s father.
  • Mothers believe that religious values are important, and that faith communities are the best places for dads to get support and resources.

You can access the entire survey here. File this away for Father’s Day because it is jam-packed with good stuff.  In light of these attitudes, values, and lifestyles, what should we be doing in our churches to help both mothers and fathers?  What is your church doing that you have found helpful and effective?

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