Virtual Voices

In defense of the father

Family

Men are taking it from all sides these days. The Super Bowl commercials this year were particularly noteworthy for their shots at the lack of masculinity of men. I recently read two articles written by women in two different publications in which their premise was that men (to be specific, fathers) are dispensable and non-essential.

While I found the Super Bowl commercials to be humorous, there was some truth the advertising companies were hitting on: Over the course of time, our culture has been stripping away the manliness from men, and given enough time, we might reject the need for men altogether.

One of the articles I read ended with this straw man argument: "The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there's nothing objectively essential about his contribution. The good news is, we've gotten used to him." So familiarity is the only reason we keep men around?

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I started to take the bait, listing out all the reasons my dad (as well as my own husband) provide "objectively essential" contributions . . . that is, until my husband mentioned that the author's argument is absurdly modern: Humanity (male or female) cannot "objectively" be qualified or quantified; we're not math problems.

Blogger and married mother of five Sarah Joy Albrecht agrees: "To say that Dad's contribution is non-essential is to say a person's contribution is non-essential. Are children essential? Is a mom's contribution essential if there is a dad? People are essential. People make up the family dynamic."

Men, I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I will say this: As a woman, I'm sorry that the feminist pockets of our culture would just as soon shoot you as keep you around. Your role is not non-essential. You provide so much more than a paycheck; you provide stability and support and love and direction and a whole host of other things. Yes, a woman can also provide those things, but you are uniquely created by God to do so in a way a woman never can. The bottom line is that, though there are examples in which the exceptions to the design works, those exceptions don't negate the original plan and design God put in place for families: One man and one woman, united together, working toward the common goal.

Ms. Paul, author of the aforementioned anti-dad worldview, does not speak for everyone. Men, look at your wife and your children and believe the truth. You are necessary. Your role in the home and in society is essential. Your influence on your kids as well as their fatherless friends can't be quantified. You are needed.

Happy Father's Day.

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