In churches across the western world Father’s Day has become a day to reflect on the crumbling of the family. Given the mass suffering caused by broken homes, this is a topic worthy of serious reflection. It is in fact worthy of more than mere reflection. I propose that Father’s Day should become a day of repentance for Christians, and you can do your part by sharing this post with your pastor and encouraging him to join what will hopefully become a growing movement.
Before we get to the topic of repentance though, we need to look back on the last few decades and the destruction wrought on the family. While feminism started long before the 60s, modern feminism is often argued to have been sparked in that decade with Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique. In the decades that followed we have radically reshaped our society in an effort to free women from the patriarchal roles defined for women in the Bible. We have freed women from being trapped in marriage by passing no fault divorce law and moving from a marriage based family structure to one based on child support. Christian leaders have done their part by carefully avoiding the parts of the Bible which offend their now feminist congregations, which is nearly everything relating to women and marriage. Pastors across the land demonstrate their extensive feminist sensibilities by avoiding or playing down the repeated instructions to Christian wives to submit to their husbands, to the point where this has now become second nature.
What has followed our radical overhaul of the culture and the churches is euphemistically called progress. No longer constrained by the need to marry and submit to a husband, the modern empowered woman is now almost as likely to decide to have her children out of wedlock as within wedlock.
Add to this the pandemic of wives expelling their children’s father out of the home and we have a sea of human misery.
But sacrificing millions of children on the altar of feminist progress isn’t enough, and pastors across the land have shown that when it comes to feminism their faith knows no bounds. As feminists repeatedly warn us, women who defy God’s plan are forever at risk of feeling guilty. This jeopardizes the entire feminist enterprise, placing decades of progress at risk. Fortunately feminism has no better ally in this regard than conservative Christians. As women in the west en masse have come to fantasize and obsess over the “empowerment” of divorce, Christians blessed this unholy obsession with their own entry into the divorce fantasy genre. Now Christian women don’t have to expose themselves to secular ideas in order to fantasize about the empowerment of divorce, they can do so with their pastor’s blessing. But as we all know feminism is forever at risk of being rolled back, and outdated (biblical) ideas about the family are an ever present threat. Christian movie makers have stepped in once again to offer comfort to single mothers everywhere by pretending that decades of feminist rebellion never happened, and instead blaming men for the choices of women.
High profile Christian leaders now regularly explain that the explosion in women choosing unwed motherhood is not due to a mass feminist rebellion, but due to some inherent defect in the men the modern feminist woman finds herself surrounded by. The Director of Family Formation Studies at Focus On The Family explained in his book on parenting that:
Women want to marry and have daddies for their babies. But if they can’t find good men to commit themselves to, well… Our most pressing social problem today is a man deficit.
But it isn’t just high profile Christian leaders who have done their part in denying the recent and unprecedented (post fall) feminist rebellion while shifting the blame to men. The unsung hero of the feminist movement has been the lowly pastor. Pastors across the western world have quietly done the thankless work of promoting feminism week in and week out, without so much as a pat on the back from feminists. Yet without the continued support of these unsung pastors feminism would be in extreme jeopardy. Modern pastors have given today’s feminist woman the moral blessing of Christianity. Each year pastors take great pains to not only deny the feminist rebellion taking place in their very own congregation, but to heap effusive praise on the women of the congregation on Mother’s Day. Father’s Day on the other hand is mostly considered a special invitation to cut husbands off at the knees.
Not all pastors have supported feminism out of outright hostility to the Bible. Many, perhaps most, have chosen to remain silent on the feminist rebellion while blaming men because it was safe. As I mentioned above, the current rebellion by women is unprecedented historically. Pastors everywhere know that to seriously preach a biblical view of marriage would put their career in immediate jeopardy. There is after all a full fledged rebellion going on. Fighting such a rebellion is dangerous, so concessions must be made in order to be permitted to teach the rest of the Bible. But this just reinforces how craven the modern pastor has become. They deny the outrageous rebellion front and center out of fear of becoming a casualty of that rebellion.
Whatever the reason a pastor has chosen feminism over the Bible, repentance is what is required. While repentance is humbling and painful, it is the necessary first step to healing and redemption. This is true whether the pastor chose feminism over the Bible out of hostility or shame regarding God’s design for the family, or out of simple fear of losing wealth and prestige. Since the problem is nearly universal, what we need is a day of repentance. Given the widespread history of using Father’s Day to denigrate what the Bible tells us is the rightful head of the family, Father’s Day is the logical choice. With this in mind, I offer a list of bullet points which I would encourage pastors across the land to work into their annual Father’s Day sermons until the plague of feminist rebellion and broken families is overcome. This is just a start, and I hope my readers will be willing to help me complete this list.
- I repent for denying the feminist rebellion which was rampant in my congregation, and choosing instead to blame men for the ravages of feminism.
- I repent for cutting husbands and fathers down in an effort to secure my own power as a pastor. For decades I tore down the men I had an obligation to support as God’s designated head of the family, and I humbly beg their and God’s forgiveness for this.
- I repent for the countless times I shied away from teaching the Bible’s clear and repeated instruction to wives to submit to their husbands, and instead focused on the shortfalls of husbands as well as modern “relationship” theory based not in any book of our Bible, but from the Book of Oprah. I repent for my cowardice, and for the hubris of thinking I had found a way to improve on God’s design of marriage and the family.
- I repent for not protecting the children of my congregation by turning a blind eye to the widespread celebration of divorce by women in our culture. When given the choice between defending innocent children and defending my position and prestige, I deeply regret that I chose the latter. I sincerely apologize to each and every child I failed in this way.
- I repent for not speaking out against the accepted view that young women should delay marriage to avoid the risk of being a submissive (and therefore biblical) wife.
- I repent for my personal role in the tragic destruction of biblical marriage as an institution.
- I repent for the deep harm I have caused the women of my congregation and of our culture by encouraging them to the sin and misery of rebellion through both my words and my silence. I now understand that the choice is not between happy rebellion and miserable submission, but quite the opposite.