modern fatherhood

Dr. Mohler hits a glancing blow at something that really bothers me about the way fathers are portrayed in current popular culture.

Fatherhood has been marginalized and the rule and authority of fathers have been depreciated, ridiculed, and continuously redefined. From the Berenstain Bears to The Simpsons, fathers are all too often the object of ridicule or the subject of the laugh line.

I hate that the dad is always the clueless out of the loop buffoon. I like playing the clown for my kids and making them laugh, but I resent having to compete with a dominant cultural view of my role that says I don’t have anything useful to offer the family except being the last one to know whatever is going on.

That is one of the reasons that I like the show Hannah Montana. Billy Ray Cyrus has elements of the out of the loop buffoon in his character, but he always ends up knowing more than the kids thought he knew about what was going on. He provides wisdom and comfort when they need it, discipline when they need it and generally makes them obey him.

Dr. Mohler attributes the cultural marginalization of fatherhood to feminism and I think he is correct.

The marginalization of fatherhood can be traced to many developments, but one prime source of this marginalization is the intellectual class and its radical commitment to ideological feminism. Fatherhood is now an ideological category that is inescapably linked to everything from patriarchy (considered to be the original sin) to popular culture (where the intellectual elites exert a very significant, if indirect influence).

Dr. Mohler then spends some time looking at an article by Bradley Wilcox dispelling modern myths of fatherhood and concludes with this reminder:

Christians have a special stake in this argument, for we believe that fatherhood is not just a social construction but a matter of biblical importance. Though informed by sociological analysis and encouraged by academics like Bradford Wilcox, our confidence in the role of fathers is based in the fact that fatherhood is a role that is honored, dignified, and defined in Holy Scripture. The Christian father is answerable to a far higher calling, but the data surveyed in Brad Wilcox’s essay serve as a reminder that fatherhood is a gift to all creation and that the evidence of the Creator’s design for fatherhood defies all the ideological efforts of so many to subvert fathers and fatherhood.


2 Responses

  1. What pisses me off is you always hear about the dead-beat dads….but never about the dead-beat moms.

    I’m a single dad who is involved in my sons life right down to the each and every detail he needs/wants to know….and alot of things he doesnt care to know.

    He knows he can call on me anytime day or night and I’ll be right there….no matter what.

    At age 16 I have done my very best to raise me up the the respect and knowledge that he needs.

    He’s a great kid with his head screwed on right and his goal of going to Law School starting to come true.

    We as the dads just need to keep doing the right thing, the things that our children need/should know and be the best example we can be to our children, and just let the rest of the world think what they want to.


  2. I too hate the stereotypical view that fathers are uninvolved in their child’s upbringing, contributing only to provide five lashings with the belt every now and then.

    This is not the case. Fathers nowadays are more involved than ever before, and play an incredibly important role in their child’s development.

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