Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The father's role in our modern society has dwindled to almost nothing. But as a Christian, the father's role is important in molding and giving example to his children, especially to his sons.
Probably nobody denies that the typical father exercises less authority in his home today than at any time in history. Reasons for this decline probably are of no interest or help in the present discussion; but the effect of it cannot be overlooked. For evidence accumulated by psychiatrists, social workers and similar experts proves unmistakably that when children lack a strong father to guide them, they suffer serious damage in many important ways.
Consider these facts:
There is a startling growth in homosexual tendencies among the young, and most authorities agree that the boy who develops feminine characteristics usually has had unsatisfactory relations with his father in one or several important respects.
Increases in juvenile delinquency — a headlined trend in every part of the country — are also due to the weak position of the father; the lack of an affectionate and understanding relationship between father and son is a prevalent characteristic in the background of boys charged with criminal offenses. Many authorities also blame the shocking rates of divorce and marriage breakdowns to this cause. The fathers of those who cannot succeed in marriage often never gave their children a realistic example of how a man should live with his wife in this relationship.
The importance of the father as an example of manhood to his son and daughter probably cannot be overestimated. For example, one day your son may marry and have a family.
To be a successful father, he should know:
* how to train his children;
* how to treat his wife and their mother in their presence;
* what to discuss with them about his work;
* how to show them manual skills, such as repairing a chair or painting furniture;
* how to perform in countless other important areas.
The best way to learn how to act as a father is to observe one in action.
What ideals will he display as husband and father?
To a large extent, that answer will depend upon those he has learned from you, his father, in your own home.
What part will he play in the religious education of his children?
The answer will largely depend upon whether you:
* have led the family to Mass each Sunday
* say grace before meals in your home
* take an active part in the spiritual life of your parish.
How should he act toward his wife — aloof, affectionate, domineering, docile? Here too the answer will mainly depend upon your example.
The adage, "Like father, like son," is firmly based on fact. No matter how much he may resist your influence, your son will be like you in many different ways.
* If your influence is wholesome, the effect upon him will be wholesome.
* If you are a bad father, you will almost surely corrupt him in some significant way.
Remember also that you represent God before your child because you are — or should be — the figure of authority in your home.
He will be taught that he can always depend upon the mercy and goodness of the eternal Father; but it will be difficult for him to grasp the full importance of that teaching if he cannot rely upon the goodness of his earthly father.
It has been said that, in addition to giving wholesome example, a good father follows four fundamental rules in his dealing with his children.
1) He shows himself to be truly and sincerely interested in their welfare.
2) He accepts each child for what he is, and encourages any special talent which the youngster possesses.
3) He takes an active part in disciplining his children.
4) He keeps lines of communication open with them at all times.
Each of these rules is worth detailed consideration, because the typical father often ignores one or more of them.
For a detailed explaination of the FOUR FUNDAMENTAL RULES a good father should follow in dealing with his children, go HERE.