Pete Riehm
Father's Day: When men sing!
By Pete Riehm
June 13, 2024

Americans are generally dejected. By every metric, nothing in America is going well. At least two-thirds of Americans, according to polling, believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Economic hardships and international threats will come and go, but Americans have always had the character and grit to face whatever challenges were hurled their way. However, a deepening moral malaise is eroding character and weakening grit. With social ills ever spiraling into contagion, there is a lingering despair hanging over America. The root of the problem is that one of the most fundamental building blocks of a vibrant, vigorous nation – strong families – has been increasingly decimated the entire past half-century.

Many factors, from out-of-wedlock children to substance abuse, contribute to the fall of the family, but all the problems facing families and society can be traced to a singular failure – NO FATHER IN THE HOME! By default, or by design, fathers have run from their paternal obligations or been run out of the family unit.

Strong families are fed and led by strong fathers. Up until about the 1970s, fathers were portrayed as strong and wise, but then fathers started to be depicted as fatally flawed, and ultimately as fools. For about three decades now, the entertainment industry has cast Dads as dolts, being shown as dispensable and dumb. In every TV show, the Mom or the children make the hard decisions because Dad is incapable.

In real life, the government gladly replaced fathers with welfare checks and hedonistic, selfish, society-fostered men who recklessly spread their seed with no intention of providing for the mother or raising his progeny. With no expectation to provide and their roles denigrated, fathers fled the family, and those who've stayed have been diminished by a militant feminist culture that views men (and fathers in particular) as unnecessary.

America has come to the brink where societal decay seems inevitable, all because men are missing in action. After a half-century of imprudent government policies and deleterious pop culture, the result is that almost one in three children are growing up without a father in the home. Meanwhile, the evidence is piling up that fathers are essential to raising happy, productive kids.

The magnitude of this crisis is manifest in the statistics. Children growing up without a father in the home are 90% more likely to run away or be homeless, 85% more likely to display behavioral problems or go to prison, 71% more likely to drop out of high school, and 63% more likely to attempt suicide. Overall, fatherless children are much more likely to become addicted to drugs, be violent, and end up in poverty.

Americans have always known fathers are essential to strong families, but the professionals are finally catching up as American society hits bottom. Groups and studies are popping up, breathlessly telling us that fathers are important to raising well-adjusted children. Ya think?! Children with good relationships with strong fathers are more ambitious, confident, disciplined, emotionally stable, happy, and productive.

Human history and human nature show that mankind will stray from the path of goodness and truth to embrace what each person thinks is good in his own eyes, and each time the result is the same – civilizations collapse and disappear. America is not immune, but like the ancient Israelites, they can return to God with revival of righteous morality and obedience to God. And our families and nation will be restored.

Children absolutely need fathers, because fathers are vital to healthy development. Wives need their husbands to be fathers to their children. Families need fathers not just to be the protectors and providers, but they need fathers to be the spiritual leaders! When fathers reflect the love of God the Father and lead their families spiritually, families flourish and prosper.

Godly men leading their families must also lead in their churches. We too often see the pathetic habit where churches just cater to women and at best parents drop off their children for Vacation Bible School but do attend as a family. God appointed men to be the head of the family, and so too they must lead in church. When men make a point to not just attend church, but to lead worship, it shows the importance and value of faith. Their example is contagious!

When men sing in church, the church comes alive with vibrant devotion and steadfast purpose. Women and children feel safe and valued, because they feel the infinite love of our heavenly Father through the embrace and example of earthly fathers. Strong families make strong churches, which give rise to strong communities that create a strong country.

Our children certainly need fathers, and America needs men to be the fathers God created them to be. Men, return to your families and love them unconditionally, and assume the mantle of spiritual leader that God ordained for you. Your families will return that love exponentially and will honor you. Be the spiritual leader of the family and make it a happy Father’s Day for you, your family, your church, your community, and your country!

“The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise” (Proverbs 23:24).

Pete Riehm is a conservative activist and columnist in south Alabama. Email him at or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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