When Society Loses Faith in Fatherhood

What can you do when you’ve been failed by fatherhood?

Many of the political movements gaining ground in society are led by those who have experienced the pain of a father’s abuse or neglect.

Many of you have also experienced the pain caused by the failings of a father.

What can we do with that pain?

We find ourselves facing two paths.

The first is to reject fatherhood. 

This doesn’t mean to reject every individual father who is doing his best to love his family, but we can choose to build the kind of society that does not depend on fathers.

A society that needs fathers, many believe, puts too many women and children in vulnerable circumstances if the man they depend on will not live up to his responsibilities.

For the first time, perhaps in human history, our culture may see so many choose this path that it will become the majority within our lifetime.

Where will this path take us?

New, unforeseen consequences await.

“You can’t go against the grain of the universe and not expect to get splinters.” -C.S. Lewis

The second path is to reaffirm fatherhood.

Even if a father has failed us we affirm that fatherhood itself is good.

This requires a measure of faith, to continue to believe in the goodness of what God designed even when it can so badly break down.

Do you believe there’s a better design for raising children than the wife/husband, mother/father identities in the family?

If this arrangement unfairly privileges those from intact families, should we affirm new, innovative solutions as equally effective?

These movements seeking to cast the family as one of many options signal a profound loss of hope.

And the best way to restore hope is not through downplaying the pain caused by the experience so many have had because of the failure of fatherhood but through building flourishing families.

It’s up to our families to give the world a reason to believe again.


This entry is a part of Jeremy’s Journal, a newsletter Jeremy sends out every Wednesday morning to encourage you on your parenting journey. You can sign up to get them every Wednesday here.

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