Lucas Presson

Lucas Presson is the assistant publisher of the Southeast Missourian.


Why fatherhood has never been more important

Former NFL player Jack Brewer speaks at the June 11 Transition to Greatness roundtable with President Donald Trump. The event was held at Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas.
The White House

Fathers too often get the short end of the stick. You can chalk it up, at least in part, to a culture that too often paints dads to be ignorant, incompetent or worse. But the reality is fathers play a vital role in society.

Last week, President Donald Trump held a roundtable discussion at a Texas church. One of the participants was former NFL player Jack Brewer, now a minister to individuals serving time in correctional facilities. Brewer had powerful comments about race, faith in God and the family nucleus.

He told the president he was the first Republican to have received his vote, thanking Trump for standing up “for the Word of God” and shepherding in historic prison reform.

“But I’ll tell you what: This President — when I walk into my prisons, I’m blessed,” Brewer said. “I teach, in prisons across our nation, men who are broken — the most broken men in our country. Our Bible teaches us to serve those in prison. Our Bible teaches us to serve the poor. And when I walk into my class and I say, ‘Guys, raise your hand if you’ve gotten your sentence reduced from the FIRST STEP Act,’ and every single one of them raised their hand. That’s because of you, Mr. President, and that’s because of policy.”

He went on to say the root of many challenges our country faces go back to the absence of fathers in the home. He cited a statistic that 71% of children who drop out of high school don’t have a father in the home. That you’re five times more likely to go to prison or “have a run-in with the police department” without a father at home. Kids without a father in the home are four times more likely to live in poverty, he said, which leads to health care issues.

“We don’t have to keep looking for the problem when we see it,” Brewer said. “Now it’s time for Americans of all color — I’m calling on my white brothers and sisters; I’m calling on my Spanish brothers and sisters: Get out of your bubbles. Go into the communities that are under-served, and let’s do what Jesus told us to do.”

It’s a powerful message that transcends race. Black or white, kids need their father.

I was blessed to grow up with both parents in the home. Even when work would keep my father on the road, we talked several times a day by phone. Looking back, I’m especially grateful.

Kids need a mother and father who play an active role in their lives. There’s no doubt this helped me grow in confidence, educational progress and, most importantly, my faith in Christ.

Whether your father was active in your life as a child or not, the truth is there is a Heavenly Father who loves you and wants the best for you. Get involved with your local church. Find godly men who will mentor you with Christ-like love. They are out there.

To all the dads out there doing it the right way, keep it up. We celebrate you this Father’s Day weekend. Thank you for leading your families. It makes a difference not only in your child’s life but in society as a whole.

Lucas Presson is assistant publisher of the Southeast Missourian.