Double Jeopardy! (Part One)

 Normally, in this column, you write your letters, I pray, and then I answer the question. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to play Jeopardy. In other words, I pray, I write the answer, you ask google a question, and stumble on my site (or happen to read it regularly as the case may be, and thank you if you do!)

In the past forty or so years, the traditional role of the father has been all but destroyed in our culture. In a relatively short time, we’ve gone from producing shows like Father Knows Best and model families like the Cleavers to the Brady’s to shows like Step by Step (a ‘90s remake of the later that I once followed faithfully for the record) to Ellen, Friends, the Simpsons, King of the Hill, and their successors.

With few exceptions, such as the occasional bastion of decidedly unbiblical wisdom, fathers, and men in general, are overwhelmingly portrayed as either inept, powerless, lazy, stupid, or a combination. Often, the father’s favorite past times are burping, substance abuse, hurting himself or someone else in the process of trying to fix something, and ogling, if not actually chasing after, other women. The unmarried men, for that matter, are typically either womanizers, or homosexual. Men are portrayed as powerless against the wiles of a seductive woman, thoughtless creatures captive to their sexual drives, and little more than relatively hairless apes.

For the most part in TV Land, fathers are primarily good for a few laughs and little more. Increasingly, the only demographic group that it’s open season on is the white married male—especially if he has religion.

But what are fathers not being portrayed as? Too often, as not someone to take a serious problem to, not someone you can depend or rely on, and certainly not someone respectable.

In another aspect of the culture, we are presented with a mere two options for what fatherhood should be—either the overly permissive, loving dad who gives his children everything they ask for and never would think of punishing them, or the overly demanding, impossible-to-please tyrant who seeks to control every aspect of your life and itches for an excuse to punish you.

In both options, the example of what fatherhood should be is God.

The truth is, where our human fathers are concerned, our experience fits with reasonable closeness to one of these two archetypes, and the other we witnessed in a friend’s family, on television, or both. And most of us easily confuse the Perfect with the Imperfect, remaking God into our image of what fatherhood is—a Frankenstein’s monster constructed of own father, any father figures we may have, plus culture, ie, the media, with the emphasis of the sources varying from individual to individual.

A father’s most important task on this earth is to do his best to point his children to their Heavenly father. A good father models Christ and points His children towards the Perfect father. A wicked father heedlessly follows the dictates of his own heart and defiles in his children’s minds their image of Father God, a wound that could take years to recover from. Some may never recover.

An unwise father allows the media to taint that image with it’s confused effeminizing and mocking contempt for fatherhood. While genuinely striving to follow Christ, this father will tend to abdicate his proper role in the family and fail to realize, as important as mothers are, his relationship with his children has huge ramifications for his children in how they relate to god.

The majority of Christians spend more time watching television and immersed in other secular media outlets than we do reading the bible, in prayer, in Church, or perusing media sources based upon a biblical worldview.

Considering this, it’s no wonder so many of us struggle with ideas about God that depart from the God of the bible. We’ll take a closer look at our false perceptions and who God really is tomorrow.

Trackposted to Rightwing Guy, Is It Just Me?, Perri Nelson's Website, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Big Dog's Weblog, Adam's Blog, stikNstein... has no mercy, basil's blog, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Planck's Constant, Common Folk Using Common Sense, Dumb Ox News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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