My eldest sister, Joanne, wrote these worthwhile notes to our family email list. I thought I'd post them here.
Just recently I read an article in Christian Renewal about the very important role fathers have in their children's lives. A very extensive survey was done in Switzerland (by a non-Christian organization, I think) and showed that is is a father's, not a mother's, faith that is crucial in determining the faith and practice of his children. The article gave various statistics but it came down to this--"If children grow up with a father who does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife is, only one child in fifty will become a regular church attender. With a faithful father, however, the rate of his children's faithfulness, regardless of what his wife does, rises to between one-half and two-thirds." Continuing to quote: "What is the created order? Only this: mother provides irreplaceable care and nurture in a child's early years while father interprets the outside world and their place in it for his children. If children see the church world as a "women and children" and not a "grown-up" manly" thing, they apparently act accordingly." ...... "Priestesses and female pastors, gender free Bibles and Hymnals, and emasculated liturgies have been the priority for all but the most orthodox churchs. According to this study, the feminization of the Church is its death knell." If you want to read the entire article, it's in CR of Sept.30, 2002.
So all of you dads, be encouraged that your role in the family is vital, no matter what the world says or how it's portrayed in our culture via TV especially, and via other media. I sometimes think that the TV show popular in the days when we were teen-agers--Dick Van Dyke--was the first show to start that trend of dad's being goofy and rather useless, just someone who is a buffoon and good for a laugh. God created a patriarchy. That is the order He set. So continue to be a Prophet, Priest and King in your families. And mothers, continue to be faithful in your households and assist your husbands in their role. A dad's role is not easy. It comes with great responsiblity.
One very beautiful sight is when you see dads and moms with their offspring, walking into church together, walking together into the workshop of the Holy Spirit.