Saturday, July 11, 2009 did we get HERE?

Good seminar today for jail volunteers, and the topic was on Fatherhood, generally...and the tragedy that is our prison society today, who had no fathers at home, and whose own kids are following in dad's footsteps by going to prison themselves. How to break that cycle? How to get the generally irresponsible behind bars to desire responsibility? The only motivation that seems to work is to appeal to them about their kids.
How did we get here? Absent fathers, even in Christian homes? Everything points to the beginning as the Industrial Revolution, where instead of fathers and sons working together side by side each day, whether on the farm, or in the shop...dads suddenly left each day to go to work, leaving sons at home, wondering where dad goes each day. And dad then comes home at night, beat, disconnected from his home and family, seeking rest to prepare for the next day.
Fast forward...suddenly, men slots are empty. They're not around for gov't meetings, church meetings, community activities, etc. so someone has to fill the role. And women, God bless them, do...but they're not the ones Father called to lead, generally. So our institutions become feminized. And what happened to Mom? When dad left for work, ALL the responsibility for the home and family life fell on her, instead of being shared. Mom and dad got isolated, separated, lonely.
Fast forward...we become more productive, so men don't have to spend so many hours working. But entertainment options skyrocket. There are pro sports to follow, tv's to watch, on and on until today where some screen vies for our attention most of the time. We long ago set the kids aside since we're too tired, don't know how to carry out our father roles, let mom have them, and wallow in our self centeredness with our excuses of being tired, needing time for us, etc.
And we don't father our kids. At least I don't. I'm shocked at how I care, but not enough to do something, to change, to die to self so that I can give more freely to them. It's more like management...trying to help them get along and get along with them! until they're out. Instead of leading them...
None of this is news to most. Just trying to digest it all, waiting for that motivation to come, where I'll actually change.
It isn't just the prisoners who've lost track of how to father.

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