The Importance of the Father

Author: Mike Sonneveldt

Statistics are both beneficial and destructive.  They are the siren song and the call of an angel.  They are also an extremely deadly weapon in the hands of a master.  Our statistics are brought out to present our case, however our case is created in presupposition.  Despite the claims of many, there is no man who can guide without presupposition.  It is inherent.  In other words, y'all have your biases. Even us.

But sometimes, the statistics are just so blatant that we cannot help but look in awe of the truth they uncover.


Fatherly Stats

The statistics showing the effect of lacking a father in the home are such a set of stats.  No one can argue against the conclusion.  So let's look at some of the data:

As from the National Center for Fathering:

-families without a father are 44% more likely to raise children in poverty

-71% of all adolescent substance abusers come from fatherless homes

-twice as likely to commit suicide

-80% in psych hospitals are from fatherless homes

-9x more likely to drop out of school

-70% in juvenile correctional facilities come from fatherless homes

-60% of rapists come from fatherless homes

-20x more likely to be incarcerated

-70% of teen pregnancies come from fatherless homes

-85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes, which is 20x the average


The importance of a mother in a child's life and to society at large is not up for debate.  But, the role of a father has been obscured in a fit of social sciences and deconstructionist motivations.  The remedy for the present cultural disintegration is not to press forward in hopes of the new Utopia.  The phoenix rising from the ashes will not resemble the Utopia certain groups would wish to have.  It will resemble a return to those standards which made all previous civilizations great. 


It's a cultural thing


Most cultures are what we would consider “patriarchies.”  The role of the man was that of protector, provider, counsel and leader.  Until recently, rites of manhood were present across the globe, ushering a boy into the fraternity of men, most often through difficult or painful trials. 

In the jungles, boys had to fend for themselves overnight, or endure the pain of swarms of ants biting them without uttering any sounds or showing signs of pain.  The Spartans sent their boys into the wilderness, and at times required them to commit a murder without being caught.  Other cultures required psychedelic trips or feats of daring.  The process varied greatly, but the message remained the same.

You are now going to prove yourself to be what we need in order to ensure the survival of the tribe or culture.  We need a certain set of skills and traits in order to protect and provide for our families and ensure our continued existence. Either you will carry these, or you will not be considered a man in our tribe.

The role of the rite is to provide a doorway for the boy, as well as a beacon with which to set their focus on as they near the age of manhood.  For women, that rite of passage is well defined.  It is a natural function of the body that signals to the community that she is now a woman, and should be treated and trained as such.

But for the boy, the rite of passage has always been an action.  It is a trial which will determine whether they have the heart, perseverance, courage and faith to be regarded as a man in the group.

When boys pass into men, they are then afforded the opportunity to become a father.  Some cultures treat the community differently, but it remains that the men in the community become “fathers” to the boys.


In the West


The rite of passage lost its importance in the west over the centuries, and now we are faced with a deeper issue than just proving our boys can handle pain like a man.  They are not afforded that clearly defined signal that it is time to put off the things of adolescence.  They mill about, wondering if manhood will just thrust itself upon them at an opportune moment.  It is sadly the opposite.  Because there is no communal ritual of rites, the boy is left to flounder and discover his manhood through influences surrounding him and those people he knows.

Couple this with such high percentages of boys who grow up without a father in the home, and it is no wonder our boys are truly “lost boys”.  Without fathers as guides, our boys are looking to the most exciting examples they can, trying to satisfy a longing for a hero in their life.  Without fathers, they are not redirected with the steadied, wise hands of a male who has traveled the same roads and found the same road blocks.

The “roles” of the sexes are not just a shallow social invention that is nestled into our current culture.  Those roles are bedrock to the existence of the culture!  Without a mother's nourishment and emotional love, a child can have a host of issues.  Without a father's guidance, discipline and leading...well, we see through the statistics what happens. 


Where are the fathers?


A massive culture shift toward how we view our fathers took off during the 1960's.  In 1965, LBJ's Great Society movement took root, changing every facet of life.  It shifted the people's perspective of the government, moving back from JFK's “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” into “What would you like your government do for you?”

In the 1930's, about 17% of births were of premarital status (and 56% of women were married within 5 years of their first birth).  By the 1990's, 1 in 2 births were premarital (and by 1989, only 40% were married within 5 years.)

With the development of the feminist movement, birth control, the expanded welfare state, no-fault divorce and inflation raises with wage stagnation, America hit a perfect recipe of forces combining against the family unit.  This does not even begin to scratch the surface of the ideological warfare brought about by the Marxist and progressive movement.

Coming out of the 50's, the generation coming of age in the 60's had been protected and held tightly by their parents; parents who had seen what real war and tragedy looked like.  This generation pushed away from establishment culture through a natural shaping of independence and the onslaught of corporatism, rebelled hard and sought out counter-cultural thought. This counter-cultural rebellion of course included the concept of “free love.”  The sexual revolution tore the primary uniting force of sex away from the family, and placed it squarely into nomadic, wandering hands.

As a generation of men realized that the social stigma and sexual consequences were fading, they were encouraged away from the responsibilities of fatherhood and family by the welfare support given to the mother, no-default divorce, and rising pressures of inflation which made providing for a child all the more difficult.

They were waved away like travelers on a cruise-line by the growing feminist movement, who got their roots in the universities.  All of a sudden, the male provider was losing his position and his dignity, being told through the following decades that all of the strength, power and energy was in womanhood.  

Normally, a person might respond, “Well, suck it up buttercup,” however, institutions and establishment figures found a passion in lifting up women who were seen to be suffering a severe educational and career disadvantage.  Coupled with a feminist movement that deepened its roots in the various authority structures, and the opportunities for women grew, while education steered its focus more and more to how to raise women.  Men attain 40% of higher education degrees, and are more likely to drop-out. Initial earnings after graduating show women earn 120% of what men earn in professional fields. And these numbers are getting worse.

As men run from society, they search out that which helps alleviate the pain and lack of purpose. Without purpose and meaning, and without greater goals, men revert to boyhood and seek out the immediate gratifications which help blunt the pain of an existential crisis and suffering.  This is found in the extremely addicting facets of our culture, which provide exponentially more amounts of dopamine as compared to normal, long-term goal achievement. It's no wonder they're attracted to video games, pornography, drugs and alcohol. These are like massive hits of Tylenol to a headache, introducing floods of dopamine when the depression, futility and frustration hit. The loop is strengthened, and soon the addictions become habits.

We now have several generations that are more interested in staying boys than becoming men, and are grasping wildly at purpose in their lives.  These are the lost boys that Peter Pan leads, and as they crumble and fade, so does our civilization. 


So What Now?


It is time to train up the next generation, and repair some of the damage done to the generations that are coming of age. This can be done through a three-fold approach: Body, Soul and Spirit.

Our body is the physical interaction with the world. Our health matters, and so does our ability to interact with what the world throws at us. Nature is not compliant, and our bodies must be well disciplined to handle the rigors and extremes that a long life can produce. We must prevent and maintain, not be forced to rebuild and repair.

Our soul is our personality, our will and our consciousness. Without it's expressed consent and control, the body and the spirit will leave untapped potential behind. The building of the soul means the healing of emotional scars, improving and disciplining the will and personality, providing frameworks which help propel the achievement of purpose, and the rigorous training of the soul in order to build a strong, durable personality.

Without cultivating the spirit, the man loses his engagement with the metaphysical and the transcendent. There are many who believe these are worthless, however, man for all time has had a natural predisposition to the spiritual; just like food, water and sex. The presence of the deep desire is a sign post of its existence. To cultivate this, we must develop Godly men who seek the presence of Christ. Jesus described himself as the way, the truth and the life. He said that no one may come to the Father, except through Him. But, Jesus was not just the truth in terms of being the pathway, He described Himself as “the Word.” This means He is the embodiment and fulfillment of the foundational truth of existence. He was not just describing Himself as the reason for the prophecies and the Judeo-Christian tradition; He was pointing to Himself as the culmination of all truth found throughout ALL of creation and human existence.

Our spirit is the open door to that truth; through which communication and completeness are communicated to the soul and body.  You may develop your soul and body without the spirit at your peril, however you will only be treading on ground that has already been tilled and developed by those more willing to listen to their spirit.

In order to take our boys who sit trapped in men's bodies, we must no longer accept the dangerous path upon which we've placed our next generations. Our boys do not deserve to be sat in front of screens all day, fed medication to keep them from having boyhood energy, growing without fathers, and teaching them that the deeper traits of being a man are somehow wrong. We must actively train our boys to be men, and that means we as men must shed off the last vestiges of boyhood, and accept our calling and responsibility with passion and grace. We have been given an opportunity, and every man must rise to the challenge.

Every man still retains the potential to become a true, masculine man. We can reunite this generation of men with their forefathers and build off of their own discoveries and advances. Every man of every nation has the ability to fulfill his calling and purpose, and we will not rest until every man does.

As the man goes, so goes the culture.

Self-Evident Ministries