Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Family values

In recent posts I have mentioned Family Values, but I don’t think I’ve explained my views on dynamics behind this issue. Family is not just a bunch of people who live together, but a support system to develop productive and resourceful future generations.

Now I’m going to step out of the generally accepted “politically correct” view, and tell you how I think a family should be run. The “PC” view has the man and woman as equals, (for that matter the current trend is to even treat the children as equals) but I see this as way to appease the militant feminist instead of strengthening the family as a whole.

Whether you believe that the traditional view of men as the head of the house or not, the truth is that this is how it was meant to be. Current trends have the children dictating their desires to the parents (with fear of outbursts as a motivation); this is a warped family unit that is not functioning for the benefit of those children, but to create as little friction as possible for the parents. I call this “namby pamby” parenting, as it is usually done by weak parents with lowered self esteem, those that cannot handle confrontation, those lacking parenting skills, and/or those with a worldly set of values.

Look at the family as a ship, there is only one captain (the father) and his is the final say. This captain is responsible for EVERYONE on his ship; his duty is to see that the ship runs smoothly and that all of his crew is safe. I see the wife as an XO (this is the executive officer, next in command on the ship). But even though the XO answers to the captain, they still have a set of experiences and skills that the captain draws on to make the best decision making the XO invaluable to the captain. The children are the crew, anywhere from raw recruits with no knowledge or experience (babies) to junior officers such as Lieutenants (teenagers) with much more knowledge, experience and responsibility. You could never run a ship with two captains; just like you could never run a ship with a raw recruit as the captain. When everyone in the family lives up to their responsibility that is when the ship will run smoothly.

This is not a direct parallel, but an analogy as an example of the way I see a strong family structure to be. It is our job as parents to raise our children in such a way as to prepare them for life on their own, and be able to properly take care of their own children. This means teaching them morals and values which society scoffs at (love, integrity, righteousness, compassion, and the importance of traditional family), and not accepting the eroded values of the world we live in.

This means men have to be men and women have to be women, and you can’t let the lines of these roles become unclear or you end up with a weak family which in the long run will cause the children suffer the consequences. Men have to stand up and accept their familial responsibilities in a respectful way, and women have to let men lead without feelings of inferiority (because they are not). Men and women were created for different roles, that much is apparent by physiology, but this in no way goes to say that one is inferior to the other.

Whether you like what you’ve read or not, you should think about what and why you believe what you do with an open mind to what I’ve said. There are a million ways to disagree with what I’ve said, and there just as many justifications. But in all honesty if you are not treating your spouse and children with the appropriate respect (and respect is everyone’s responsibility), those relationships will fail no matter how you run your family.

(This was written at my wife’s prompting, after a discussion on the relevance of youth pastors in the church.)


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