As we approach Father's Day this Sunday, I think it is necessary to once again draw attention to what has become one of America's greatest problems: the dearth of masculine leadership in the home.
As everyone universally acknowledges, there are more children being raised by single mothers today than at any time in our nation's history. Obviously, divorce is far and away the biggest contributor to this unfortunate phenomenon. But another factor is that many women are choosing to have children out of wedlock. And, of course, a small percentage of single mothers became this way due to the premature deaths of their husbands. But it is safe to say that the vast majority of fatherless families are the result of choice, not circumstance.
The ramifications of raising children without a father are taking a toll, not only on children, but also on society itself. According to published reports, 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes, 90% of all runaways and homeless children come from fatherless homes, 80% of rapists come from fatherless homes, 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes, 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes, and 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. See the following sources for these (and related) stats:
Before militant feminists assail me as a sexist and male chauvinist, I most certainly understand that there are many examples of women who have overcome the most adverse circumstances in order to raise fine, upstanding children.
I not only understand it theoretically, but I also understand it practically, as a single mother raised my wife, and she turned out marvelously (as did her older sister and younger brother). My mother-in-law is among the outstanding success stories of single women who have overcome some of the most adverse circumstances possible to successfully raise three young children. All three children are living prosperous, productive lives, and not one of them is dysfunctional or criminal.
So, to all the Betty Friedans out there, please spare me your jaded knee-jerk reactions and mindless accusations!
That there are wonderful exceptions to the rule doesn't change the fact that the overwhelming majority of evidence conclusively proves that a family is much better off when Dad is in it. Boys, especially, require the firm hand of masculine leadership. And that is a fact! And this brings to mind another problem: many fathers are either chronically away from home due to work schedules or are deliberately taking a passive, non-leadership role in the home.
Either way, the result is the same: too many families are experiencing a dearth of masculine leadership. Let's say it another way: masculine leadership is needed now more than ever!
Black families have been hit especially hard. According to the Pew Research Center (PRC), 72% of all black babies born in 2008 were out of wedlock. [The New Demography of American Motherhood, by Gretchen Livingston and D'Vera Cohn, May 6, 2010]For all intents and purposes, the black community is now overwhelmingly a matriarchal society. Is it any wonder that the crime rate is so high among young black males?
PRC also reported that 53% of all Hispanic babies born in 2008 were out of wedlock, 29% of white babies born in 2008 were out of wedlock, and 17% of Asian babies born in 2008 were out of wedlock. Nationwide, 41% of all babies born in 2008 were out of wedlock.
The lack of masculine discipline and leadership in America's homes is easily visible everywhere you go. Stroll down the aisle of most any shopping center, eat out at just about any restaurant, and attend practically any movie theater or church service and one is inundated with unruly, disrespectful, disobedient, bratty kids. And in almost every instance, there is either no father anywhere to be found, or if he is present, he is completely unattached and devoid of leadership skills.
I recently witnessed one of these out-of-control brats take almost total control of a restaurant with his incessant temper tantrums, while the mother hid her face in her hands (literally) and the father buried his head in a newspaper. Meanwhile, the entire restaurant (customers and staff) was forced to endure an hour of non-stop belligerence and blood-curdling screaming. In the meantime, I am still anxiously waiting for the first restaurant that provides a "brat-free" section, similar to the way they often provide a "smoke-free" section: I want to be its first customer! (Commercial airplanes need such a section, too.)
There are many contributing factors to the decline of masculine leadership, of course. Society, itself, has mostly feminized our entire culture by ridiculing and lampooning manhood. Note the television commercials and programs that denigrate fatherhood. In most of these commercials and shows, the dad is caricatured as being the resident nincompoop, a bungling buffoon who barely has enough sense to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Hollywood is no better. Think about it: when was the last movie you saw that extolled genuine masculinity? I'm not talking about bulging muscles, either. I'm talking about moral strength along with the inner character of virtue and integrity. As far as the social acceptance of masculinity is concerned, it seems that manhood died out with the black and white westerns.
Think, too, about how our children are being raised. The vast majority of them are being raised in a home devoid of strong, masculine leadership. In our schools (public, private, parochial, or Christian) the vast majority of teachers are women. The same is true for most churches. Think about it: unless a young man plays sports, he may grow from childhood to adulthood without hardly ever being exposed to real masculine leadership. No wonder more and more boys seem to be confused about their sexuality.
In addition, our laws increasingly discriminate against fatherhood. Let a father discipline his children according to Biblical instruction and there is a very good chance that he will be charged with some sort of criminal abuse, and have his children taken from his home by the authorities. Even an unfounded or unsubstantiated accusation against a father can result in State agencies removing his children from his home. Furthermore, the father may be subjected to a lifetime of government harassment by being permanently declared some sort of child abuser; he may also be forced to forfeit his freedom to purchase a firearm or to live where he chooses.
I can tell you this: if a bruised butt is evidence of child abuse, I was abused BIG TIME! My dad took seriously that maxim, "Spare the rod; spoil the child." I can say this, however: I never got a spanking that I did not deserve; and looking back on it, I thank God for every spanking I got, because Dad's correction gave me the sense of security, love, and direction that I desperately needed to make the right choices in life. I shudder to think where (or what) I would be today had my father not disciplined me.
I also thank God that I was raised in a better time, when the culture had not ditched the laws of God and Nature in favor of this stupid, senseless, asinine political correctness that is rampant today!
I tell you the truth: there are not too many problems that could not be solved today with an old-fashioned, honest, morally upright, courageous disciplinarian-father who would lovingly bring up his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And let's all remember that it is extremely difficult for a man to be this kind of father without the love and support of his wife. In this regard, the feminist movement is largely responsible for destroying both the femininity of our women and the masculinity of our men.
So, while we are rightly concerned and focused on the myriad problems facing us today, let's remember that America has no greater need than the need of families to be led and strengthened by good, Godly fathers. Furthermore, that is something each of us men should aspire to do beyond anything else. To paraphrase the words of our Lord, "What shall it profit a father if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own children?"
Therefore, to all of America's outstanding fathers out there who quietly go about the business of being an example to their children; who consistently and humbly discipline their children; who instill the time-tested principles of honor, integrity, and devotion in the hearts of their children; who bravely accept the responsibility of fatherhood without grumbling and complaining; and who are willing to put the security and well-being of their families above their own personal pursuits:
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!