Todd Johnson uses his book to encourage fathers to be active, present, godly examples in their children’s lives to combat the epidemic of fatherlessness and its long-lasting damage to society.
Johnson never knew his father. By age 17 he was a pot-smoking high school dropout, abandoning his own child. Johnson attributes many of his failures to his father’s absence during his formative years, stating that “our children will do the things we have done.” Johnson believes that although his mother did her best, he “needed a father…to teach me right from wrong, how to fish, hunt, provide, work hard, to be disciplined and respectful…how a husband lives, behaves and treats a wife.”
In this brief work, Johnson explores the effects of fatherlessness on society, where “more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.” Drawing from firsthand experience and research, Johnson connects the epidemic of fatherlessness to a slew of emotional problems such as anger, inability to focus, trouble “establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity,” suicide, violence and more.
Christian readers will appreciate Johnson’s many scriptural references defining a godly father as well as his inspiring personal salvation testimony. Unfortunately, his powerful, sobering message is muddied by extensive grammatical and spelling errors, including periods in the middle of sentences and consistent use of “&” instead of spelling out “and.” Improper documentation of sources within the text weakens credibility, even if they are listed in the index. Johnson offers a statistic from the Department of Health and Human Services followed by nearly three pages of additional statistics without indicating where they came from. HHS isn’t listed in his source index.
Despite the book’s need of editing, Johnson’s heart and motive seem pure and his message is intriguing. While professional revisions are required to maximize the book’s impact, those interested in the topic of fatherlessness in America might find his contribution useful.
Also available in paperback and ebook.