With the current interest in redefining identities, the Christian Church is in the process of reevaluating relevant Scriptures. Binary identification, gender dysphoria and gender reassignment, gender affirming care for children, non-binary persons, shared pronouns, and misgendering are among the increasing list of labels by which some self-identify. (This explains the complexity that might introduce a gender studies course in college.)
The importance of “manhood” and consequently “fatherhood” within a changing culture is being marginalized and even discredited. Factions within the industrialized nations are pushing the narrative that men must become less virile and more feminine, more woke. Professor Tom Klingenstein, Chairman of the Clarmont Institute, addressing the need for strong national leadership (in a speech on what he called, “the war to preserve the American way of life”) opined,
“In present time when manhood is being stripped of its masculinity, traditional manhood even when flawed is absolutely essential.”
How is it even possible to imagine that a kinder-gardener should be credited with knowing anything about their own sexuality! The effort to include younger children, as the ‘misnamed’ gender affirming care seeks to do, is an effort through acculturation to introduce a way of life in the same manner the Sawi tribes of Indonesia trained their young children to eat human flesh. What should be a cringe-worthy approach to life becomes the social norm because—if children are anything—children are, to use Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s term, malleable. Children are being asked to understand an adult theme that has no relevance in their play world but, nonetheless, does have life changing consequences!
Men have lost their status as father and husband in any Biblical or Edenic sense and the family has been—not extended—but altered to exclude them. In the name of diversity, identity, and equity [die] masculinity has been disenfranchised and that’s tragic! Fathers have lost their identity as caregivers and protectors of the family unit.
What makes a man, a man? We have lost any intuitive understanding of the word—a fact made more evident by talks of gender fluidity or reassignment. We always understood, culturally, that boys grow into men and fathers were a vital part of that process [Proverbs 1:8]. But a society that condemns virility, that accuses loving husbands of rape, that empowers wives in the name of equity to redefine the dynamics of the marriage relationship, or that marginalizes a husband’s manliness, is a society that has lost the Biblical concept of family and its cultural importance. We have assuredly exited Eden in a most literal sense and cannot find our way back.
Fatherhood culturally always stood in the way of reinventing society. There was always something about a father’s creative genius, his passion for family, his strength—not just physically but his strength—of character that made him into a frightening opponent to any who failed to discern the love in his motives. Men are by nature revolutionaries where their families are concerned. It was important for social change to occur that fathers be defanged, domesticated, and made amenable to such change. Their determination to lead where their children were concerned became culturally and legally challengeable.
Enter the idea of equity which rips and tears at a long standing cultural recognition of the role of fatherhood in society. Diversity became an acceptable word for marginalizing a father’s cultural supremacy within the family. One has to ask rhetorically: Why the attempt at eroding the distinction traditionally awarded “mother and father,” “man and woman” by inventing generic terms that can serve to narrate the story of culture without any reference to either?
You are familiar with the acronym LGBTQIA+. Each stage of its development legally and culturally saw Hollywood introducing more and more social change in movie format. The ‘plus’ sign opens the door wide for any other words necessary to give language to such cultural change.
The Divine Model
We have seen fathers wimp out while mothers assume roles they were not psychological suited to. The fatherly task of teaching self-discipline, for one, became less and less evident even in a household were he was still in residence. But having a dad to learn discipline and the practical wisdom it engenders was, and continues to be, the divine model:
I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will correct and discipline him with the rod, like any father would do. – 2 Samuel 7:14
One father alone might seem insignificant in addressing crime but a culture that endorses and encourages “fatherhood” will deal with it decisively.
God, Give Us Back Fathers
Fathers were always a vital part of a Bible based social structure. It became important in a woke world to reinterpret Scripture in a way that spins this golden truth into worthless straw. [Homosexuality, for example, in the Bible is being interpreted as only an antiquated pagan religious practice not in any way akin to the present day dissolution of the nuclear family unit.] But the important truth being ignored here is the Biblical role of fatherhood in the children’s lives. If we can bring this to the forefront culturally, I maintain, we can cauterize this slow bleeding which is draining the very spiritual and psychological life out of our world.
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, 1 Chronicles 17:13
God, give us back our men, our fathers!