By: Dan Bartkowiak

Kids need love. Love on a daily basis. Providing for physical needs is just not enough. They’re smart enough to learn that no amount of food or toys can take the place of the emotional need of love from others.

Ideally, the primary source of love and care for children is through their parents. Unfortunately, we have a problem of too many parents – especially dads – failing to show love to their kids. That needs to change.

The 1970s brought about pet rocks, mood rings and a redefinition of marriage. Changing marriage to include no-fault divorce jump-started the problem of conveying the message that fathers are not necessary to stick around or to be present in raising their children.

The absence of dads has helped to lead to one in four moms living in poverty and on food stamps. That’s part of the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been spent on social problems related to the breakdown of marriage.

Our country has the highest incarceration rate in the world; with men making up 90% of the inmate population. That’s another huge factor in nearly half of all children being raised without their father.

Walk down your street: almost every other house with kids is a house without their dad around.

The breakdown of marriage and fatherless families is at an all-time high. For decades our culture has run away from marital responsibility. To continue redefining marriage policy brings us farther away from what’s best for kids. There is a need to rediscover the value of marriage between husband and wife as the greatest source for loving children and promoting fatherhood.

From both a fiscal and social standpoint – for the sake of loving and caring for the next generation – it’s time fathers ‘man-up’ and make their wife and kids priority number one.

Society would help families by promoting public policy that reflects this priority. We’ve already scarred a generation because we redefined marriage and caused kids to think twice about ending up like their divorced parents. The solution is to restore the marriage ideal as the lifelong union of husband and wife, not redefine it again and again.

If we’re going to be a great nation, it starts with a strong family. The price of greatness is responsibility (Winston Churchill). It’s far overdue for public policy to reflect the importance of marriage and for men to take responsibility for leading their family.