By Coach Dave Daubenmire
December 19, 2013
“Where have all the fathers gone? Long time passin’.
Where have all the fathers gone? Long time ago.
Where have all the fathers gone? Killed be the culture every one.
When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?”
I hope Pete Seeger will forgive me for taking poetic license with his 60’s folk ballad. It is rhetorical you know?
A rhetorical question is one that doesn’t necessary require an answer. Usually the answer is obvious, but often it is asked merely for affect.
“Where have all the flowers gone…” can be answered many different ways. The question is significant only because of the nature of flowers. They bloom and then die. Flowers have no eternal impact.
But fathers are different. They are not supposed to bloom and die. Fathers are eternal…at least their impact is. Fathers are not designed to merely fade away.
If you ever lost one…you know what I mean. Fathers are much more significant than flowers.
Where HAVE all the fathers gone?
Being a father is tough business in America today. It requires work. It requires nurturing. It requires pruning. Unfortunately, very few men really know how to do it.
My father has been gone for nearly 8 years. I find the strangest things bringing him to my remembrance. Little things. Insignificant things. But Dad is always there. He truly is part of me.
The Scriptures warn us about the power of fatherhood, as well as the long-lasting impact that fatherhood has on us all. Exodus 20:4-6
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Have you ever thought about that? Do you often find yourself reacting to a situation the way your father did? Or scarier yet…do you ever see YOUR mannerisms in your son? The footprint of a father leaves an indelible mark on the soul of a child.
Where have all the fathers gone?
It is fatherhood that is under assault in America today. We hear a lot about the war on women…but it is the war on Dads that is causing the greatest damage to the American psyche. An absent Dad leaves a vast chasm in the life of a child…one the child struggles all his/her life to fill.
Fathers have become the no deposit, no return, throw away pop bottles that I remember as a kid. But the question about fathers is not a rhetorical one. An absent Dad is not a folk song to be sung about. An absent father is a tragedy. Nothing leaves a young child more handicapped than an absent father.
Where have all the fathers gone is a question that deserves an answer. It is an investigation worth having. Permit me to lay out some concerns.
Our courts do not value fatherhood. One of the rotten fruits of the feminist movement is the idea that a women is more responsible as a parent than the father is. As a result of this false narrative, women are almost always granted custody rights in any divorce decree. The man has to fight for the right to parent his own children. Even though the courts will saddle him with “child support” the break-up of the family separates the child from the “support” of a father that a monthly payment cannot replace.
In fact, if the woman makes an accusation of abuse against the father he may be barred from ever seeing his children again. Many of our governmental policies lead to fatherlessness.
I often wonder how our own children would have turned out if Michele and I had divorced. My wife is an awesome, loving, caring, nurturing mother. But she isn’t me. I cannot tell you how many times she was able to gain control of one of our rambunctious children merely by uttering the famous words “You wait until your father gets home.” They all new what that meant.
Sadly, today many Dads never get the chance to come home. Weekend visits does not get the job done. Trips to the zoo or the ball game does not fill that relationship void that only an intact family environment can provide. New boyfriends, or live in partners only contribute to the emptiness the child often feels.
“He is not my Dad…he is just someone you sleep with!” How many mothers have felt the sting of those words. That is why God hates divorce. We should too.
Where have all the fathers gone? They have been expelled from the life of the child by the court system. Uncle Sam is a poor replacement for a father.
A “woman’s right to choose” is another lie that has destroyed fatherhood.
As one who has spent a great deal of time outside of the abortion clinics desperately striving to rescue a child from death I often appeal directly to the father.
“You are not a man because you can make a baby. You are a man when you can raise a baby! It is time to man up and defend your child”
That statement always penetrates the heart of a young man and more often than not the boy will respond that it really isn’t his decision. It is his girlfriends choice. He doesn’t have anything to say about it he tells us as he slinks behind his girlfriends skirt.
Where are you Adam? God asked in Genesis 3. “The woman you gave me…” Adam passed the buck. Man has desired to shirk responsibility ever since. It is a woman’s choice…and women have done it to themselves.
The woman’s movement has produced irresponsible men. The “right to choose” has taken all accountability away from the man. The child becomes the property of the mother…the child is merely something the boy will be forced to pay for. Let me ask you a question.
If the unwed father wants to parent the child can he force the women to give birth so he can raise it? Why not?
Today our schools are staffed by a large majority of women. A male elementary teacher is about as common as a black Republican. Over 70% of the children born to a black mother do not live with their father. The statistics are only slightly better for Hispanic children (55%). And although in 1950 only 5% of Caucasian children were raised in single-parent homes the numbers today are creeping over the 40% mark.
And how do we handle the crisis? We send these fatherless children to government schools where the teachers are women, the principle is a woman, as well as most of the support staff. Nothing against women…I married one. I have two daughters. I love women. But a woman has no business teaching a young man how to be a man any more than a man can teach a young girl how to be a woman.
For the most part women feel, men think. Even Kermit the frog realized that.
You can’t live with them, you can’t live without ’em. There’s something irressistibullish about ’em. They made a monkey out of old King Kong. I hope that something better comes along.”
Nothing better has come along…because it was all God’s idea.
And that is just the “boy” side of the story.
I don’t have time to delve into the damage that an absent Daddy does regarding the virtue of his daughter. A Daddy is the first man that a little girl wants to please. If there is no Daddy around I promise you she will find someone to scratch her itch.
I was partly responsible for the raising of two daughters. Even though I didn’t understand how a girl thought I was a valuable resource in helping them because I understood how teenage boys thought. I took it upon my self to defend their honor, protect their virtue, and build into them a sense of personal value. I was there to guide, guard, and govern them. I lived what I preached. That’s what Daddy’s do.
I remember when our oldest, Abby, asked permission to go go the 8th grade dance. I inquired who the suitor was and told her that I would have to meet him.
“Please Daddy, don’t embarrass me.” She pleaded.
“Abby, I wouldn’t let him borrow my car with out meeting him and you are far more valuable to me than my car.”
“Oh Daddy,” she blushed. The next day he was in our living room.
The real war in America is not a war on women. It is a war on men. A war on manhood. Nothing has had more collateral damage for our children than the destruction of fatherhood.
I remember decades ago watching macho man Burt Reynolds on one of his frequent appearances with Johnny Carson.
“So Burt, tell me, when is a man a man.” Johnny asked playboy Burt.
Expecting a response with off-color overtones Johnny was shocked when Burt slowly, with deep reflection replied; “You aren’t a man until your Daddy says you are a man.”
Is it any wonder that today men are still looking for the answer. There are no Dads to tell them anymore.
Where have all the fathers gone?
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