United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon/The Dalles Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

What Happened to Dad?

Today it's common to see the father's role disparaged in media, many times making him out to be a bumbling, inept fool while the children are saved by an almost superhuman mother.

This is a subtle but withering attack on the proper role of the father. "The effect of filling our children's heads with negative images of father, of ignoring men who share equally in raising their children," says Dr Ross Parke, "and of showing nothing but part-time or no-time father is, quite simply, devastating" (Throwaway Dads, 1999, p. 81).

Modern literature thrives on this caricature of the father figure. Books such as Raising Boys Without Men exemplify this radical vision of children not needing fathers.

Yet when we see the statistics on how hedonistic and dysfunctional society is becoming by following such ideas, we ask, Where have all the fathers gone? Where is their leadership?

The answer? Many have selfishly deserted their responsibilities. But others have been cowed by today's liberal, morally relativistic culture and have slowly relinquished their God-given roles as providers, protectors, teachers and nurturers.

A particularly unsettling passage from the book of Isaiah describes society not only as it was in Isaiah's day, but prophetically as it would be at the time before Christ's return. It is eerily similar to what we see today:

"I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed every one by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder and the base toward the honorable… The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves … As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." Isaiah 3:4-5, 9,12

Yes, it was prophesied that the father's role would one day be mostly forfeited in the face of an increasingly blind and lawless society. "Much of our national discussion of youth drive," writes sociologist David Blankenhorn, "simply ignores the elephant in the room called fatherlessness. Moreover, many analysts come quite close to viewing all traditional norms of fatherhood not as a remedy for the problem of youth violence but rather as a leading cause of it" (Fatherless American, 1995, p. 29).

So we have a duty to resist following society's evil ways. One crucial way is by strengthening the family unit as best we can.

We must realize the importance both the father and the mother have in properly rearing children and not give in to the false notions commonly presented that alternative-lifestyle parenting is just as good.

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