Fathers, the importance of
1. A recent article has this to say about Fathers!
Say what? Report says fathers are "not essential"
By Justin Torres
CNS Senior Staff Writer
An article in a leading psychology journal reports that the presence of fathers in families raising children is "not essential," and that fathers "may be detrimental to the child and the mother."
The report in the current issue of The American Psychologist, a journal of the American Psychological Association (APA) - recently in hot water over an earlier report that concluded that child sexual abuse did not cause pervasive harm - takes aim at the notion that fathers and two-parent heterosexual marriages are necessary for the psychological health of children.
"[W]e do not believe that the data support the conclusion that fathers are essential to child well-being and that heterosexual marriage is the social context in which responsible fathering is most likely to occur," wrote Drs. Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach, both from Yeshiva University, in an article called "Deconstructing the Essential Father." The report appears in the June 1999 issue of the journal.
In fact, having a father present in a family situation may be detrimental to the child and the mother, said the authors, given what they called the male tendency to consume "resources in terms of gambling, purchasing alcohol, cigarettes, or other nonessential commodities," which "increase[s] women's workload and stress."
The authors "deconstruct" several notions about fatherhood and marriage that they label as "neoconservative," including the importance of male role models on boys, the civilizing effects of marriage on men, and unique paternal contributions to childrearing.
Also, the authors concluded that "divorce does not irretrievably harm the majority of children," and that any harmful effects of divorces are related more to economic factors such as the loss of a father's income, rather than the absence of a father.
The idea that a male role model is important in raising boys is also contested in the report, and the assumption that single mothers have a difficult time raising boys alone is attributed to "the larger cultural context of male dominance and negative attitudes toward women. . . . Within patriarchal culture, boys know that when they become adult men, they will be dominant to every woman, including their mother," according to the article.
The authors also questioned what they called the "privileging" of heterosexual marriage, saying that "one, none, or both" of the adults that have a "consistent relationship" with a child could be male or female, related or not, without significant psychological harm.
"Our goal," the authors concluded, "is to create an ideology that defines the father-child bond as independent of the father-mother relationship."
To achieve the goal of eradicating social customs whereby "fathering is inextricably intertwined with marriage," the authors recommended a "comprehensive family policy that provides paid parental leave, governmentally-financed day care, and economic subsidies for all families with children," including single-parent families and families headed by homosexual parents, as well as de-emphasizing the "sacred status of the mother-child dyad."
Silverstein is a past president of the APA's division of family psychology, and chair of the APA's Feminist Family Therapy Task Force. Auerbach heads Yeshiva University's Robert M. Beren Center for Psychological Intervention.
2. In the Western world – FATHERHOOD is under attack.
3. Who is it that wants to destroy the idea of the family – especially the concept of Fatherhood?
1. We will see today that there is a conspiracy to destroy the family.
2. Satan is the unseen influence behind this approach in society.
3. We want to see the terrible affect this has on families and children and,
4. What a Godly Father should be like.
1. What does Satan hate the family? He has tried to pervert the family ever since man has been on this earth.
2. 2 Cor. 6:17-18. God is a Father. When we become converted, we become His sons and daughters.
a. The relationship between God and humans is a family relationship. Satan wants to destroy that relationship.
b. He wants to hide the fact (called in the scriptures blind the eyes or deceiving the heart) that you and I can be a part of the family of God – that God is producing children.
c. He has perverted the idea of God being a family and having a family with the concept of the trinity. The trinity says that God is somehow three person in one. It is a closed unit.
d. Heb. 2:10. God purpose is to bring MANY SONS TO GLORY.
e. Satan can not do that. He is not God – He can not begat children and have a true family relationship like God can.
f. Jn. 8:44. How is Satan a Father.
i. Can he begat children?
ii. Can he reproduce himself and have other little devils around – a race of devils.
iii. He is a father in the sense of his influence. He influences the whole world to be like him, to mimic his attitude and approaches.
iv. Mt. 22:30 – The implication is that angels don’t marry and don’t have children – little angels.
v. Each angel was a separate creation.
vi. God begets us with His spirit. That spirit unites with the spirit in man and a new life begins – a spiritual life.
vii. Satan can posses people – control them, but not beget them. He can not resurrect a man and make him immortal and make him a spirit being.
1. 1 Tim. 6:15-16. Only God has immortality.
2. 1 Cor.52-54. In the resurrection we will be made immortal.
3. This is one reason Satan Hates God – because God is a Father. He is envious of God and filled with pride.
a. Notice Satan’s influence on those who even profess to be Christian today.
b. From an write-up by David Hoke: “There are some today who would like to make the Bible gender neutral. They would like to remove all the references God as Father. God, in their edited version, would become our divine parent instead of our heavenly Father.
Do you think that it an accident that God has been revealed to us as Father? Is it because of the patriarchal society that existed in the times in which the Bible was written that male imagery was used? Could it be that God actually wants to be known as Father?
There is no doubt in my mind that He does. To think that God would deny the truth of who He is to accommodate the thinking of a culture is to accuse God of duplicity. To assign the reason God is known as Father to the mistaken assumptions of the biblical writers is to deny the total inspiration of the Scriptures. No, God intentionally revealed Himself as Father because He is Father. Father reveals something of His nature and character, something He wants us to understand.
We live in an age where fatherhood has been depreciated. There is no doubt that the traditional understanding of the family is under constant attack. From the homosexuals and lesbians who advocate same sex marriages, to the widespread acceptance of unwed motherhood as normal, we have seen the traditional family take severe and heavy shelling. The radical feminists would have us believe that the real problem with society is men. To them the idea of a traditional family headed by a father is a setback for women and for society. Robert Griswold, associate professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Oklahoma, says in his book Fatherhood in America: A History, "There is a debate in society today over father’s roles. Fatherhood has lost its cultural coherence. It’s no longer clear what we want, what we expect from fathers."
c. We need to be clear about the role of the Father and the influence of Fathers. Satan wants to blur fact that God created us male and female and that there are to be husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.
d. The devil wants everyone to be the same.
i. Can you remember the time when men were men and looked like men?
ii. A time when women were the ones who wore earrings and make up?
iii. Various studies conducted by Yale, John Hopkins and other groups have documented the following;
The absence of a father is a stronger factor than poverty in contributing to juvenile delinquency.
In 48 cultures around the world crime rates were highest among adults who as children had been raised solely by women.
Closeness with parents was the common factor in hypertension, coronary heart disease, malignant tumors, mental illness and suicide.
A study of 39 teenage girls suffering from anorexia nervosa showed that 36 of them had one common denominator; lack of closeness with their fathers.
An emotionally or physically absent father contributes to a child’s
(1) low motivation for achievement;
(2) inability to defer immediate gratification for later rewards;
(3) low self esteem;
(4) susceptibility to group influence and juvenile delinquency.
4. God the Father is the perfect example of what a Father should be like. We want to look at how God deals with us to see what a Father should be like.
5. God is able to express genuine love. We love and accept our children.
a. 1 Jn. 4:7-11, 19. God love us.
b. Rom. 5:6-8. How God expressed His love for us. God’s love is unconditional. He loves us (He does not love our sins). He knows that we are human and weak.
c. 2 Thes. 2:7-8. Notice how Paul emulated God in His approach to the Church.
i. 7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.  (NIV)
ii. In the original language those words expressed an intensity of love that gives over and over.
d. V. 9-11. A Father exhorts, comforts and charges his children.
6. A Father encourages
a. DAN BENSON IN HIS BOOK THE TOTAL MAN TELLS HOW ONE SURVEY REVEALED THAT PARENTS AVERAGE TEN NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO THEIR CHILDREN FOR EVERY POSITIVE ONE. YET BENSON OBSERVES, "EXPERTS IN CHILD PSYCHOLOGY BELIEVE THAT IT TAKES AT LEAST 4 POSITIVE REMARKS TO OFFSET THE DAMAGE TO SELF-ESTEEM CAUSED BY JUST ONE NEGATIVE COMMENT."
b. MANY TIMES WE AS PARENTS SPEND MORE TIME TELLING OUR KIDS WHAT THEY DID WRONG OR FAILED TO BE RATHER THAN WHAT THEY DID RIGHT AND WHAT THEY CAN BE...
c. Eph. 4:29 – We are to exhort and build up our children.
d. Eph. 6:1-4. Not to provoke our children to wrath.
7. A FATHER WHO COMFORTS AND SUPPORTS
a. 2 Cor. 1:3-7. God comforts us.
The real story of a child that I will call Amy demonstrates the lack of support that many children experience.
14 YEAR OLD AMY VIVIDLY REMEMBERS THE FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED. SHE WAS 5 YEARS OLD. A THUNDERSTORM OUTSIDE HER BEDROOM WINDOW WOKE HER UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. FRIGHTENED OF THE DARK, AND OF THE ROARING THUNDER OUTSIDE, SHE LEAPED FROM HER BED AND RAN, CRYING INTO HE PARENT’S BEDROOM.
SHE PADDED TO THE SIDE OF THE BED AND, CRIED SOFTLY FOR HER MOTHER. BEFORE HER MOTHER COULD RESPOND, HOWEVER, HER FATHER WOKE UP.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF BED?" HE SAID, ANGRY AT HAVING BEEN AWAKENED, "GET BACK IN YOUR OWN ROOM."
"BUT DADDY, I’M SCARED," SHE ANSWERED, CRYING HARDER.
"I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. YOU’RE A BIG GIRL AND IT’S TIME YOU START ACTING LIKE ONE." AMY SHOT A PLEADING GLANCE AT HER MOTHER, WHO SAT UP IN BED, BUT HER MOTHER ONLY STARED AT THE FLOOR.
"DID YOU HEAR ME?" HER FATHER SHOUTED, CAUSING AMY TO JUMP. "I SAID GET BACK TO BED. AND DON’T BOTHER US AGAIN."
AMY LEFT HER PARENTS BEDROOM AND WALKED TO THE BATHROOM. SHE TURNED ON THE LIGHT, LOCKED THE DOOR BEHIND HER AND SPENT THE REST NIGHT OF THE NIGHT IN THE TUB, CRYING, AND SHUDDERING AT EVERY CRACK OF THUNDER. THE SCENE WAS REPEATED SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE AMY LEARNED NOT EXPECT COMFORT FROM HER FATHER. UNTIL AGE 10, SHE SPENT STORMY NIGHTS CRYING IN THE BATHTUB, WITH THE LIGHT ON AND THE DOOR LOCKED.
AMY’S STORY IS TRUE. SHE HAS SINCE GOTTEN OVER HER FEAR OF THUNDERSTORMS, BUT SHE STILL SUFFERS THE RESULTS OF THE LACK OF COMFORT AND SUPPORT FROM HER FATHER.
AND THE RESULTS CAN BE DEVASTATING. ACCORDING TO DR DAVID FERGUSON AND DR DON MCMINN OF THE CENTER FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY INTIMACY, A PERSON WHOSE NEED FOR COMFORT AND SUPPORT IS NOT BEING MET IS LIKELY TO FEEL DISCOURAGED, ALONE, EMPTY AND TIMID. SUCH A PERSON IS PRONE TO PROMISCUITY, FEAR OF FAILURE, WEARINESS TOWARD LIFE, AND A OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE ORIENTATION.
A YOUNG PERSON WHO DOESN’T EXPERIENCE A FATHER’S COMFORT AND SUPPORT WILL FIND IT MORE DIFFICULT TO HANDLE FEELINGS OF INSECURITY AND WITHSTAND UNHEALTHY PEER PRESSURE, THEY MAY EXPERIENCE TROUBLE FORMING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUCCUMB TO THE PRESSURE TO BECOME SEXUALLY ACTIVE IN AN EFFORT TO MEET THOSE EMOTIONAL NEEDS.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, A YOUNG PERSON WHO DOES RECEIVE A FATHER’S COMFORT AND SUPPORT IS MORE LIKELY TO FEEL LOVED, GRATEFUL AND HOPEFUL AND TO BE CARING COMPASSIONATE, POSITIVE, GIVING SENSITIVE AND SELF CONFIDENT.
"THE RIGHTEOUS CRY OUT AND THE LORD HEARS THEM; HE DELVERS THEM FROM ALL THEIR TROUBLES. THE LORD IS CLOSE TO THE BROKEN HEARTED AND SAVES THOSE WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT..." PS 34:17,18
"SHOUT FOR JOY, O HEAVENS; REJOICE, O EARTH; BURST INTO SONG, O MOUNTAINS! FOR THE LORD COMFORTS HIS PEOPLE AND WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON HIS AFFLICTED ONES." IS 49:13
"PRAISE BE TO THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE FATHER OF COMPASSION AND THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT, WHO COMFORTS US IN ALL OUR TROUBLES SO THAT WE CAN COMFORT THOSE IN ANY TROUBLE WITH THE COMFORT WE OURSELVES HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD."
2 COR 1:3,4
GOD’S COMFORT EXTENDS TO "ALL OF OUR TROUBLES." HE COMFORTS AND SUPPORTS US WHEN WE SUFFER PERSECUTION FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE AND WHEN WE SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR OWN STUPID BEHAVIOR.
HE COMFORTS US WHEN WE DESERVE IT LEAST. HE EVEN COMFORTS US WHEN WE’RE TRAPPED IN A MESS OF OUR OWN MAKING.
HE SUPPORT US WHEN WE ARE WEAK AND HE COMFORTS US WHEN WE FALL.
THAT’S THE KIND OF FATHER I WANT TO BE.
8. A FATHER WHO DISCIPLINES
GOD IS GOOD. HE IS A LOVING FATHER. HE IS A PERFECT FATHER. HIS INTENTIONS AND HIS ACTIONS ARE NEVER EVIL OR UNLOVING. YET HE DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN.
HE DOES NOT DISCIPLINE IN SPITE OF HIS GOODNESS, HE DISCIPLINES BECAUSE OF HIS GOODNESS.
HE DOES NOT DISCIPLINE INSPIRE OF HIS LOVE, HE DISCIPLINES BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE.
"KNOW THEN IN YOUR HEART THAT AS A MAN DISCIPLINES HIS SON, SO THE LORD YOUR GOD DISCIPLINES YOU." - DT 8:5
"THE LORD DISCIPLINES THOSE HE LOVES, AS A FATHER THE SON HE DELIGHTS IN..." PROV. 3:12
THE MAN WHO DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN IS REFLECTING THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
QUESTION; WHY DO WE DISCIPLINE OUR CHILDREN?
LET ME SHARE A COUPLE OF SCRIPTURES TO HELP US ANSWER THAT QUESTION.
"HE WHO SPARES THE ROD HATES HIS SON, BUT HE WHO LOVES HIM IS CAREFUL TO DISCIPLINE HIM..." PR 13:24
"...ALL CHILDREN ARE DISCIPLINED BY THEIR FATHERS. IF YOU ARE NEVER DISCIPLINED (AND EVRY CHILD MUST BE DISCIPLINED), YOU ARE NOT TRUE CHILDREN. WE HAVE ALL HAD FATHERS HERE ON EARTH WHO DISCIPLINED US, AND WE RESPECT THEM...OUR FATHERS ON EARTH DISCIPLINED US FOR A SHORT TIME IN THE WAY THEY TAUGHT BEST. BUT GOD DISCIPLINES US TO HELP US, SO WE CAN BECOME HOLY AS HE IS. WE DO NOT ENJOY BEING DISCIPLINED. IT IS PAINFUL, BUT LATER FATHER WE HAVE LEARNED FROM IT, WE HAVE PEACE, BECAUSE WE START LIVING IN THE RIGHT WAY..."
WE DISCIPLINE BECAUSE:
WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN
. TO TEACH THEM RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT WRONG ACTIONS HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES
. TO HELP THEM START LIVING RIGHT
(WE DON’T WANT TO RAISE IDIOTS WHO PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND)
QUESTION; HOW DO WE DISCIPLINE
1) IN LOVE NOT ANGER
"THE LORD DISCIPLINES THOSE HE LOVES..."
ALL FATHERS GET ANGRY - IT BESTS NOT TO DISCIPLINE RIGHT THEN."
2) BY COMMUNICATING RULES CLEARLY – CLEAR TEACHING.
MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THE RULES AND PENALTY FOR BREAKING; "NOW IF YOU DO SO AND SO, WHAT WILL HAPPEN?"
3) MAKING THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME
DIRECT DEFIANCE SHOULD HAVE A GREATER PENALTY THAN CHILD-LIKE MISTAKES...
9. A FATHER WHO IS A REFUGE
A. "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until disaster has passed..." Ps 57:1-1
"I love you , O Lord, my strength. the Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Picking them up - so they can run the race called "life"
The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona featured memorable moments of sports history.
Derek Redmond of Great Britain was on the way to fulfilling a lifetime dream, that of winning a gold medal in the Olympics. He had earned a spot in the semifinals of the 400 meter race, and as the gun sounded to start the race, Derek got off to a great start. He was running the race of his life, and the finish line was in sight, when suddenly he felt a stab of pain in his right leg. He fell face first to the track with a torn hamstring. The race was over for Derek.
He struggled to his feet before the medical team could reach him. Though every runner had passed him, he began hopping forward, tears of pain and disappointment streaking his face, determined to finish the race. Suddenly, man plowed through the security guards on the sidelines and ran onto the track.
He raced up to Derek and hugged him, "You don’t have to do this," Jim Redmond told his weeping son.
"Yes I do," Derek answered.
"Well, then," his father said, "we’re going to finish the race together."
Derek’s father gripped his son around the shoulders, and they faced the finish line, resolutely waving off the security men who hovered around them. They limped and hopped together, Derek’s head sometimes buried in his father’s shoulder, and stayed in Derek’s lane all the way to the end.
The watching crowd gaped at first at the unusual scene. Then one by one, they rose to their feet, and began cheering and crying at the son’s determination and the father’s support.
1. The need for fathers today is great: everyday in America:
. 1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers
. 1,106 teenage girls get abortions
. 4,219 teenagers contract a STD
. 500 teens begin using drugs
. 1,000 teens begin drinking alcohol
. 135,000 kids bring a gun or other weapon to school
. 3,610 teens are assaulted, 80 are raped
. 2,200 teens drop out of school
. 7 kids (ages 10-19) are murdered
. 7 juveniles (17 and under) are arrested for murder
. 6 teens commit suicide
2. The need for God the Father is great in this world today.
3. There is a false God out there who palms Himself off as a Father – is full of perversion, hatred, lies, rebellion, and destruction.
4. The world is following that Father and his pattern of life now. Mankind has been suffering the consequences of His way for 6,000 years.
5. His aim is to destroy mankind physically and spiritually; to pervert their minds, emotions and consciences so that they cannot have a proper relationship with God the Father.
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.