Quite a few years ago, the radicals at Covenant Community Church posted this message on their signboard, 'Fatherless Homes; More Dangerous Than Foreign Armies'. The point of this statement should be fairly clear, for the consequence of children, especially male children, growing up without a stable father-figure in their lives is more than manifest!
We are facing one of the most irresponsible generations that the world has ever seen! More & more, women, if they even get married in the first place, are finding it easier to remain single after a usually nasty divorce. The husbands in these scenarios are usually more than happy to get rid of the evidence that they were ever married in the first place! ( We should note here, most emphatically, that this is not ALWAYS the case, nor is it the 'norm' )
There is a common joke going around, and has been, for the past few decades ( at least ), that a mother's oldest child is her husband'! Unfortunately, in many cases, this is an all-to-true statement! You're no doubt familiar with the phrase 'big boy's toys' ( as in, 'the only difference between men & boys is the size of their toys' ); in many ways, this too is a true & verifiable statement! Men are no longer men ( and again, this is not the 'norm' ); so many adult males out there value their playtime ( 'workin' for the weekend' ) so much that much of their income, rather than being focused on their family, is focused on what is called 'fun'!
Very often, too, the woman becomes the spiritual leader as well, and this is likely because the husband either grew up without the stability of a father in the household, either that, or a weak example who allowed ( or 'forced' ) his wife to be the spiritual leader! This obviously could go back for generations, just like the idolatry of the kings of Israel did!
'What makes a man a man?' Maybe more to the point, 'how does a boy become a man?' Does a boy become a man simply by growing older, though not necessarily 'up'? Is a man a man simply because he is physically mature, and has fully developed the ability to be a sperm donor? Or does a boy become a man when he has spiritual matured to the point where he is able to father the child ( or children ) that he has, through his physical prowess helped to ( pro ) create? If someone has developed the ability to not only bring forth a child into this dangerous environment, but to nurture & protect that child until he/she develops his/her own maturity, do we not call him truly a man?
Women don't get off easy either! Maybe 'females' would be better terminology here! Women in this day & age have been just as affected by this travesty as the men, or males rather, have! Because more & more girls are growing up without the stability of a good, stable father ( figure ) in their lives, many of them, as they begin to mature physically, if not emotionally, seek for that spiritual leadership & physical companionship in whatever form they can get it! Usually they are seeking that protection that only a good husband can provide, as well, but too often, because of the travesty we've already discussed ( referring to the male species ), neither the spiritual leadership, the physical companionship or the protection turns out for their good!
Now, lest we lose all hope of ever correcting this problem & divesting society of this travesty; there is hope! We've sunk pretty far, for sure, as a society, but this difficulty is not insurmountable! There are plenty of good men in this world who leapt over the difficulties and persevered, showing themselves to be the truest examples of Godly spiritual leadership, offer excellent physical companionship, and offer their wives some of the best protection available! Such men are to be praised, but not only should we exult in their faithfulness, we should also be prepared to follow their example! It is only by following their example & the example set before us in Scripture by the Messiah of Israel that our society will begin, once again, to not a decline in the number of fatherless homes!
May we, as true men of God, lead this charge, and begin to affect such a change in our 'society as our 'world' has never seen! May we truly be the men that God has called us to be as we lead our families through this morass that we call everyday life!
Charles Haddon Shank