Friday, August 17, 2012
Biblical Faith and Fathering
“Too little attention has been paid in recent critiques of biblical patriarchy to the fact that the father-involved family is a fragile cultural achievement that cannot be taken for granted. When this and other still neglected matters are taken in to consideration, the precise nature of the contribution of biblical faith to a high culture of fathering can better be appreciated.” (page 5)
Miller argues that the model of God as loving father in the Old and New Testaments helped create a cultural ideal of fatherhood in Christianity and Judaism that was profoundly beneficial to mothers and children when lived out.
“Due to the marginality of males in the reproductive process, fathering is a cultural acquisition to an extent that mothering is not. Hence, when a culture ceases to support a father’s involvement with his own children (through its laws, mores, symbols, models, rituals) powerful natural forces take over in favor of the mother-alone family.” (page 13)
This is the general trend in America, where out-of-wedlock births and female-headed households steadily increase year after year. If trends continue, the intact, father-lead nuclear family will be an anomaly within twenty-five years.