Homer Simpson from The Simpsons, Peter Griffin from Family Guy, and Jerry from Wizards of Waverly Place, are just a few of the many youth television shows that present a dangerously distorted male figure. Or The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody, who run rampant throughout the hotel that they live in with their mother who was left to raise her children due to a dead beat father who left the family when the kids were young. Whether there is a Dad or there is not a Dad; they are presented as weak, childish, and brainless.
These men are, at best, the whipping post for the strong-willed mothers who apparently have the real power and are the ones that essentially keep the home and the children from falling apart. It is clear that the role of Fatherhood has been distorted and watered down in the current century. Because of this, many modern day fathers fail to accomplish their duties towards their family, duties defined in Scripture, not because they do not want to but because they do not understand how crucial they are to their family, because society tells them that they are not really needed, and simply that they do not even know where to start.
The task of being a father is of critical importance, and it has never been more so than in this day and age. A child’s relationship with Dad is a decisive factor in that young man or woman’s health, development and happiness. Stephen K. Baskerville, an American scholar of political science as well as a leading authority on divorce, child custody and the family court system, wrote, “A generation of fatherhood advocates has emerged who insist that fatherlessness is the most critical social issue of our time.
In Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn calls the crisis of fatherless children “the most destructive trend of our generation” (1995, 1). Their case is powerful. Virtually every major social pathology issue has been linked to fatherless children: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, unwed pregnancy, suicide, and psychological disorders—all correlating more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other single factor, surpassing even race and poverty. The majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists come from fatherless homes (Daniels 1998, passim).
Children from affluent but broken families are much more likely to get into trouble than children from poor but intact ones, and white children from separated families are at higher risk than black children in intact families (McLanahan 1998, 88). The connection between single-parent households and crime is so strong that controlling for this factor erases the relationship between race and crime as well as between low income and crime (Kamarck and Galston 1990, 14)” (Baskerville, independent. org). These statistics bring forth something vastly different than what is seen in pop culture’s most-watched TV shows.
Despite these staggering statistics, no attempt is being made to change this very prominent issue that American society faces every day. Instead of the government focusing on getting rid of poverty through public school systems, go to the true source of the issue which would involve eliminating one-parent families and teaching every young man the importance of fatherhood and should be preparing them to step up when that day comes. History also plays a key role in the downfall of Male leaders in the home. The Industrial Revolution came upon the world with great force.
Women began entering the workforce and started becoming more and more independent. Feminists rose from this age and helped fuel the beginnings of what we see today: that being, more and more single family homes, often being run by the mother and not the father. Women think they can do it on their own but this is not always the case. There are some women out there who have been able to raise successful children but this is not the case for many other single family homes. The bible is very vocal when it comes to fatherhood. The concept of fatherhood begins with the one who created the universe.
Derek Prince, an international Bible teacher, says that “The fact behind all other facts is that God created the universe as father. He left his imprint on every aspect of creation” (Prince, 57). God is indeed, the perfect father whom every earthly father should model themselves after and give their all to be the best father they can be. Proverbs 22:6-11 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (English Standard Version). The father is the initial instructor of his children and therefore sets the path for how they are going to live their lives.
Ephesians 6:4 is a summary of instruction to parents, represented by the father, in a negative and positive way which states, “and now a word to you fathers, don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord” (English Standard Version). This is where the issue of discipline comes into play. The father should not discipline with the intention of frustrating their child or making their child feel less of themselves. Wanda L. Ball, an author, speaker, and teacher, writes, “A wise parent wants to make obedience desirable through love and gentleness.
Christian discipline is needed to prevent children from growing up without reverence for God, respect for their parent’s authority, knowledge of Christian standards and self-control. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, ‘All scripture is given of God and is profitable for teaching, reproving, correcting and instruction in righteousness; that the man (or woman) of God may be completely equipped for all good works. ’ This is what the Bible says about being a father” (Ball-publications. com). With this being said, a solid framework for how a father should be is established. The tricky part is how to carry this all out. God is indeed the model father.
As Josh McDowell writes in his book, The Father Connection, “He is a tender Father who invites us to address Him as ‘Abba’…He is a listening Father who bids us to approach him boldly as ‘our father in heaven’… He is a loving Father who freely and forcefully demonstrated his Father-love at the baptism of his Son, Jesus with a voice like thunder that said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. ’ He is a giving Father who gives good gifts to his children. He is the Father of all, the very definition of father-hood, the fount of everything that is good, moral, and worthy of imitation” (McDowell, 18).
If this is not how a father would want to be then something is very wrong. Every man should be humble enough to model themselves to be like their Heavenly father who gave them the opportunity to even be a father. God is a wondrous God who is more to us than just a Creator. What follows will lay out all that a father should be towards his son, his daughter, as well as his wife. These will all be discussed separately and then related back to each-other in the end. For his son, a father must create an early bond with him, must be able to discipline his son, and lastly, must be a consistent example for his son in every aspect of life.
For his daughter, a father must recognize that he is the first man in her life, must constantly encourage her, must exercise leadership and display perseverance, and needs to be there for his daughter by comforting her, being compassionate, and by supporting her. Lastly for a father, is his relationship with his wife, who is the source of his father-hood. How a husband treats his wife is crucial in raising children. A husband must be able to take input from his wife and be able to make decisions from that input, must love and cherish his wife at all time, and must also be able to give praise to his wife.
A father’s children watch him constantly and one of the main ways children learn from their father is by observing how he treats their mother. The modern day man fails to accomplish his duties towards his son: to teach and guide him towards manhood. Fatherhood is not something to fool around with and take lightly. A father has the responsibility of properly raising members of the future generations. The job of a father is not just doing well in business but rather raising their son. A father’s main goal in raising his son should be to train the young boy throughout his early life how to be a man and to teach him what it means to be a man.
Fatherhood is complex and requires hard work and commitment, as well as love. To start, manhood needs to be defined. Rick Johnson, a best-selling Christian author and speaker focusing on parenting, marriage, fathering, personal growth, character development, and masculinity, says that “authentic manhood is living for a cause bigger than yourself” (Johnson, 18-19). This means that one should not simply live for themselves but live for the benefit of others. A man needs to be a servant to others which includes, first and foremost, his wife and children; to be the protector and leader.
When it comes to the son, he needs to be able to look at his father in a similar way to the way he looks at superheroes like superman and spider-man. In other words, his father needs to be able to look at his father and say, “I want to be like my dad when I grow up. ” For a father, this type of respect must be earned. Relationships are hard work and take effort and care. As it says in Proverbs, “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not turn from it” (English Standard Version, Proverbs 22:6). A father needs to focus on his character because that is the best way to gain a young boys respect.
A father could be courageous, compassionate, loving, strong, understanding, and so on. A son will notice this and seek to emulate it. To start out, a father must begin to bond with his son in his sons early years. This is much harder to do now than it did in the past. Before the Industrial Revolution, the father and son were with each other almost every moment of every day. The father would work the land at home and would train his son at an early age to do the same. Fathers did not have to take time out of there day to have “bonding time” with their son.
It just happened because that’s how the times were (Johnson). Unfortunately, after the Industrial revolution, the men started to work outside of the home for hours and hours on end and were not home nearly as much. In current culture it becomes more and more difficult for fathers to bond with their sons in the early stages of life. Cheryl Erwin, a licensed marriage and family therapist who provides parent coaching, parent education, and professional training to help you develop both wisdom and skill wrote, “A father’s role in the raising of his children has changed dramatically over the past century or two.
In generations past, sons expected to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, apprenticing in their work and in their approach to life. During the nineteenth century, however, fathers began to go out to work, and the measure of a man’s success slowly changed. Rather than the closeness of his family and the strength of his family business, a man’s worth could be measured in his income, the value of his house, and the size of his car. Parenting became “women’s work”; fathers were just too busy earning a living.
And generations of boys grew up hungering for closeness with a father they barely knew, someone who came home only to eat dinner, look over omework, hear about the day’s misbehavior, and watch a little television” (Erwin, life. familyeducation. com) Sons yearn for their fathers. In Proverbs it says, “The glory of sons is their fathers” (English Standard Version, Proverbs 17:6). Just as God’s people seek to worship him, a son seeks to worship his father. It’s clear that young boys seek to be like their father. They try to walk the same way, talk the same way, dress the same way. It is a part of our genetic makeup. Rick Johnson writes, “Our sons’ eyes are watching us constantly.
They observe how we react to the many justices and injustices of the world” (Johnson, 20). They need to see a man’s ability to recover from mistakes and stay strong in tough times. A boy relies on his father to be there through all of what life brings forth. Next, a father needs to be able to discipline his son. Many men misunderstand the concept of discipline. They think that discipline should be used to instill fear in their children for what he might do to punish them for their wrongful actions. This however, is exactly the opposite of what disciplining is.
Discipline is to be done in love and not anger. One does not discipline because he is angry that his child has overstepped his bounds. Instead, he should be committed to teaching the child what to do and what not to do; to know what is right and what is wrong. Dr. Lawrence Balter, a child psychologist and parenting expert wrote that “discipline is not just punishing, forcing compliance or stamping out bad behavior. Rather, discipline has to do with teaching proper deportment, caring about others, controlling oneself and putting someone else’ wishes before one’s own when the occasion calls for it.
When disciplining, the focus needs to be on teaching and not on punishing. Over time, as a father bonds with his son and develops a deeper relationship with him, the son should not have to fear the wrath that is about to come but should instead fear disappointing him due to the deep respect the son has for the father. Lastly, possibly the most difficult of all, is the father being a constant example to his son. In order for the son to accept things that he is corrected about, he must see that the Father does those things that he is constantly instilling in his son.
The most important of which is being respectful to everyone. In order for one’s son to respect him, they must see that the father respects everyone in all situations including his son. In order to get respect you must first give it . Respect is earned. In relation to having respect for others, the father must display self-respect. A boy must see confidence in his father. The father must know that no matter what people think of him his son will always think highly of him. This goes a long with the fact that boys yearn for their fathers love.
Included in being an example is having respect for women. Chivalry, something that has been around for hundreds of years is becoming less and less implemented in young men by their fathers. One of the simplest ways a father can do this is by opening doors for women. This shows a young boy that we are willing servants of women in that we do the “dirty work. ” A woman is delicate and should be treated as such. Chivalry is only the half of it. A father needs to be an example for his son by how he treats his wife.
The bible calls men to be considerate of their wives and to treat them with respect. If a son sees his father disrespecting his wife he will more than likely treat women in a similar fashion and vice versa. In the end, the father plays the most crucial role in the development of a young man. It is easy for a man to become distracted with all of the things life throws at him and forget about how important he is to his son. A man needs to set his priorities straight from the moment he gets married and has children. In all things, God is first, family is second, and work is third.
A man needs to, above all else, instill biblical principles in the family life. He needs to be the anchor of the family in Christ. He is the natural leader and needs to act as such. His job is to raise a son with the same values. Moving on to daughters, Meg Meeker, a Pediatrician, wrote, “Fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for a daughter’s life” (Meeker 1). Whether a father wants to believe it, he is the most important person in a young girl’s life, not the mother. The problem today is that fathers assume they do not have much of an influence on their daughters.
A father automatically thinks that the mother has the bigger responsibility over the daughter because she can better relate to a girl’s problems. In media, it is very common for the father to cause their daughter to cry over an unimportant issue and then would send the mother after her to comfort her. Unfortunately, this is how it is in many homes. Fathers are becoming more and more distant from their daughters and are unaware of how detrimental this can be as they become more and more uninvolved in their daughter’s life.
The modern day father fails to accomplish his duties towards his daughter and to realize how important he is to his daughter, not because he does not want to but because he does not know what to do or even where to start. A father needs to recognize that he is the first man in his daughter’s life, needs to be encouraging of his daughter, must display leadership and perseverance, and must be able to be compassionate and understanding towards his daughter’s emotions and problems.