Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

I recently read this little article on how children are better off with than without fathers. Charity, values teaching by the school – these things cannot replace fathers. I agreed so strongly that I immediately wanted to link to the article on Facebook. Only one thing caused me to pause:

J. Warner Wallace, the article writer, suggested that we conserve “the traditional role of fathers.”

In my circles and others, traditional roles of men are often understood as males being the boss, males having to be sole breadwinners, etc. As such, that one sentence could be misunderstood.

The traditional way of having both your biological parents around – Mom and Dad – is usually really the best for children.* But none of these studies say that children are better off when Daddy is the boss of Mommy, or when Dad, not Mom, is the breadwinner between the two parents that are both around.

fathers-day-dad-with-kidsYes, I believe in the importance of fatherhood. You could say I believe in a male biological gender role. But in a certain sense, I’d disagree. I argue that fathers should do the same thing most mothers do: Live in the same house as their children, be there for them, and love them. Like mothers, they should care enough to think about child rearing and what their children need to learn.

Arguably the most significant thing we “traditionally” regard as the female role – child rearing – is as much a male role! Modern society is both better and worse at giving men this traditional(?) role: Worse, since we already mentioned how single parenthood is sadly common in today’s world. Better, as today’s family men statistically spend way more time with their children than men of yesteryear.

Fathers who are as much needed as mothers, and in pretty much the same way, is an egalitarian value as much as a traditional one.

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Note: *This post does not suggest that a mother should stay with an abusive father (or father with an abusive mother), because “children need two parents.” That will be like giving children spoilt food because “children need food.”

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Comments on: "I support this traditional male role. Very much!" (3)

  1. I’m personally glad that the definition of the ‘role’ of the father has changed somewhat. I see how my father interacted with us, compared to my grandfather’s role in the life’s of my parents. There was a huge difference, and I think the sense of respect for Dad was closer to what God had in mind. When we were growing up there was a sense of him being the boss of the children – of course – but this need I see today from some leaders he never asked for. He didn’t have to – we all respected and loved him – and YES that included his wife.

    As my brother and I grew older this ‘boss man’ part was lessened, and yet I don’t think that label would have ever been a good one for him to begin with. Don’t get me wrong! We had to mind! He didn’t have this ‘friends versus parent’ relationship with us. As I even tell my own children, “I’m a parent first! I’m not here to be your friend!” Priories from him – and from me is what we speak of. It wasn’t a legalistic form of priorities, because he could be a friend if that is what was needed. Children are a gift from God, and we are to treasure and raise them so they can go out in the world…and know how to live. God was always a huge part of our life’s. It wasn’t reverence for his manhood.

    He was able to love my mother, and respect her without all this ‘manhood’ stuff you see today. He knew what helped her thrive, and encouraged her to serve as he saw she was gifted to do so. What was neat is she also did the same for him. My grandfathers had to be the boss of the families – the leader of the home, etc. There was always a certain distance and closeness that was missing. They did all the ‘manly’ things, but Dad has his own type of strength that was way more approachable. He didn’t need this ‘status’ that is called upon today to ‘feel’ his manhood, or in order to live it.

    He was always looked at as a leader, but without all the lists or acknowledgements we read about today. They say your funeral is a time people come together to celebrate your life with our friends and family. To mourn and comfort as well. Dad had stepped away somewhat from his active life when he got sick, and near the end was only at home.

    Yet, at his funeral over 300 people showed up. I remember the funeral home telling us about the numerous phone calls asking for directions after his death was announced. They had to open up 2 additional sections in order to receive all the people that came. They all had stories of how my father touched their life’s, and as his ‘hand picked’ preacher friend spoke at his service…I remember all the tears from others that evening. We also laughed as his Pastor friend recalled all these things he did for others, and how he brightened up a room with laughter when he was present. He was a true leader, but without all the bells and whistles that are asked for today. He wouldn’t have had all those people show up to give their last respects if all they saw was boss man, and not a man that clearly loved and cared for them. I think the difference was they felt it from him, and he didn’t require anything from them. It says something about his life when people I hadn’t seen since I was child came that day to acknowledge him.

    We aren’t missing manhood today. We seem to be missing relationships in the sense that others treasure. If you can’t get to know the real person? If you can’t get to close, because they MUST be the leader? I think we all miss something huge. God blessed us with a man that made us feel loved and treasured. Love and respect just follow automatically I do believe – I mean how can you resist that? It certainly wasn’t commanded – it just was.

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    • Hannah, your father sounds great. And thanks a lot for this comment. It is one of these regular times when one or more great comments more than doubles the value of reading a blog topic here. (I have great commenters – not that many commenters, but regulars with good hearts and sensible minds.)

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  2. Strong families are not made by weakening the mother by requiring her to submit to the father like the children do. Families are made strong by a mother and a father who have equal status, standing together, and raising their children. A visual of this that I like to use is to hold your hands up side by side in strength. Then lay one hand down horizontal to the other hand. You can easily see that both hands standing side by side is stronger than when one hand is lying down in a submissive manner.

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