Left Menu
Life News
Are we using our memory for the glory of God? by Timothy Raymond
Can we in good conscience vote for Labor? by Andrew Lansdown and Dwight A. Randall
National MP slams perversity of Safe Schools program
Adult children of gay parents testify against same-sex marriage by Kirsten Andersen
Domestic Violence: Women can be as abusive as men by Dr Augusto Zimmerman
With the Lord: Wilma Drew
18th Annual Walk and Rally for Life
Former senator speaks up for the unborn by Joe Bullock
Qurans deadly role in inspiring Belgian slaughter by Nabeel Qureshi
Germany:Christian refugees persecuted by Muslims by Soeren Kern
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
Pamphlets
by Andrew Lansdown
One for All
A Son to the war
Becoming a Christian
Train home
Sons Laid Down Their Lives
An Accurate Diagnosis
Starting again
Following hard after God
Starving our children
The first duty of fatherhood
The origin of fatherhood
An Easter Song
A Christmas carol
For This Purpose
In royal David's city
God's Placard
Believing the Bible: the issue of inerrancy
Marriage according to scripture
A biblical perspective on prostitution
Prostitution and social justice
Abortion: A biblical perspective
If people were dogs & other false arguments for euthanasia
How porn harms us
How Green is God?
Evolution?
Christians and Politics
When Christians Take Their Lives
The High Kings Watchmen

Rebuilding the foundations: Of beauty and a father's love

 

by Charles Colson

Why has fatherhood fallen into such low esteem? It’s almost fashionable to see fathers as buffoons. Take The Simpsons or Malcolm in the Middle or any other sitcom. Is this a passing fad, or something deeper?

Did our rejection of God the Father in the twentieth century change people’s impressions of fathers? And when we belittle our human fathers, do we end up belittling God?

One person who believes this is David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University. Dr. Jeffrey gave a thought-provoking lecture at a conference where I spoke, hosted in Oxford, England, by the C. S. Lewis Foundation. Jeffrey argues that the downgrading of fatherhood is not just a product of a handful of mediocre sitcoms; it is a significant cultural pattern that can be traced back many years to serious literature.

Samuel Butler’s famous novel The Way of All Flesh, published in 1903, is a good example. In the novel, Butler savagely satirized his own father, portraying him as a pompous fool—a portrayal that made a deep impression on Butler’s audience.

It was another well-known novelist, James Joyce, who later took the same kind of father hatred and extended it toward the Catholic faith in which he had been raised. These cultural signposts pointed to something deeper going on. It was made explicit in the writings of Freud, with his theories on the rejection of the father, and Nietzsche, who famously wrote about the death of God. It was no accident that a widespread rebellion against faith was going on at the same time as this rejection of fatherhood. Somewhere in all of this, the idea of the beauty of a father’s strong, self-sacrificial love—an idea expressed by religious poets and thinkers, like Gerard Manley Hopkins and St. Augustine—was lost.

As Jeffrey explained, we see fathers as symbols of responsibility and authority—much the same way that we see God. The rebellion against fatherhood is part of a general rebellion against authority and God, and a step toward narcissism: the desire to stay permanently young, self-absorbed, and carefree. Look at our contemporary society, and you’ll see the mess that kind of narcissism has made.

Well, the good news is that there’s a counterculture struggling to find a voice today—a longing for fathers. We saw it in the response of young people around the world toward the fatherly figure of Pope John Paul II, a man who effectively combined compassion with authority. We see it in the success of recent novels like Gilead and Peace Like a River, novels with loving fathers at their core. And through that longing, we’re rediscovering our desire for God, the great Father of all of us.

Jeffrey argues that to rebuild our culture in the twenty-first century, we must recognize and respect the role of fathers. He reminds us of the truth of Augustine’s words about fatherhood and the beauty of God: “All things are beautiful because you made them, but you who made all things are inexpressibly more beautiful.”

The more we respect our earthly father, the more we recognize the majesty of our heavenly Father. And as we submit to the authority of one, we learn to believe in the authority of the other. The decline of faith and fatherhood went hand-in-hand. To restore one will help restore the other.

 

From BreakPoint, copyright 2005, reprinted with permission of Prison Fellowship, PO Box 17500, Washington, DC, 20041-0500, USA. Web site - www.breakpoint.org.
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
Web Design and Development - abcplus Publishing Australia
LIFE NEWS ARCHIVES
2015 Vol 3 Jul - Sep
2015 Vol 2 Apr - Jun
2015 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2014 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2014 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2014 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2014 Vol 2 Apr - May
2014 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2013 Vol 5 Dec - Jan
2013 Vol 4 Sep - Nov
2013 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2013 Vol 2 Apr - May
2013 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2012 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2012 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2012 Vol 3 May - Jul
2012 Vol 2 Mar - Apr
2012 Vol 1 Jan - Feb
2011 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2011 Vol 2 Apr - May
2011 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2010 Vol 5 Nov - Dec
2010 Vol 4 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 3 Jun - Aug
2010 Vol 2 Sep - Oct
2010 Vol 2 Apr - May
2010 Vol 1 Jan - Mar
2009 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2009 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2009 Vol 2 Apr - May
2009 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2008 Vol 5 Oct - Dec
2008 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2008 Vol 3 Jun - July
2008 Vol 2 Apr - May
2008 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2007 Vol 5 Nov - Jan
2007 Vol 4 Aug - Oct
2007 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2007 Vol 2 Apr - May
2007 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2006 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2006 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2006 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2006 Vol 2 Apr - May
2006 Vol 1 Feb - Mar
2005 Vol 6 Dec - Jan
2005 Vol 5 Oct - Nov
2005 Vol 4 Aug - Sep
2005 Vol 3 Jun - Jul
2005 Vol 2 Apr - May
2005 Vol 1 Feb - Mar