Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Shrinking In the Mists of Modern Time

The Disappearance of Husbands and Fathers

Exhibit 1:  

Hardly a day goes by in New Zealand (and we suspect in many Western countries) without a lamentation being raised by someone in authority about drunkenness, drug dependence, poverty, homelessness, violence, and despair in the "homes" of the underclass.  Few things seem work.  The problems and destructive patterns of behaviour are now multi-generational and deeply ingrained.  There are many who have never known any other life, apart from living from dole payment to dole payment, and splurging each dole day upon alcohol and drugs to get through the week.  

The only response or solution is to look to the State to act more and more as the de facto husband and father to these households.

Exhibit II: 

The human experience seems to be that where husbands exercise much authority, they bear correspondingly great responsibility, and vice versa.  Christianity is as clear as Judaism and Islam: the man is the head of the household.  The English common-law principle that "a man's home is his castle" once applied just as much to his authority over wife and children as it did to his property.  As a consequence, Anglo-Saxon courts traditionally refused to entertain suits by wives who challenged the husband's authority over domestic matters.  For example, the decision about whether the household should move was deemed the husband's prerogative; the wife must follow.  The maximum link between lost authority and shed responsibility is found in the case of slave husbands who could hardly be authoritative with their families while their masters showed them no respect, and who orders regarding their own family they [the fathers] could not gainsay.

Likewise, the decrease in the status of husbands in China, which resulted from two decades of life under the Communist agricultural commune system and from the state's one-child policy, also shows the corrosive effects of powerlessness.  Early in the twentieth century, Western states began to superintend the family lives of industrial workers on the assumption that minimal standards had to be imposed for the sake of the children.  Today, from Helsinki to Perth, women and children have only to wave a hand, and the state, in effect will take over the husband's role as provider and as a source of authority.  It is therefore not surprising that throughout the Western world, especially in those sectors of the population who are the biggest consumers of state services, married men are working less and are abandoning their families at unprecedented rates.  [Angelo Codevilla, The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility (New York: Basic Books, 1997), p.161.]
Exhibit III:

When it comes to marriage and family formation, one dogma insisted upon by the State is that the man is not the head of the household.  Rather the State insists that no-one must be regarded as the head of the household.  Consequently, we no longer have households--just living arrangements of temporary convenience.

Exhibit IV:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.  [Ephesians 5: 22-33]
Without Christ as the Husband to His bride, the Church, human society can neither comprehend nor maintain, the family in general and the headship of the husband, in particular.

No comments: