The Proverbial Paddle

“The primitive rigour of the Book of Proverbs is repudiated by modern manners. Not only in domestic training, but even in criminal law, people reject the old harsh methods, and endeavor to substitute milder means of correction. No doubt there was much that was more than rough, even brutal, in the discipline of our forefathers. The relation between father and child was too often lacking in sympathy through the undue exercise of parental authority, and society generally was hardened rather than purged by pitiless forms of punishment. But now the question is whether we are not erring towards the opposite extreme in showing more tenderness to the criminal than to his victim, and failing to let our children feel the need of some painful discipline. We idolize comfort, and we are in danger of thinking pain to be worse than sin. It may be well, therefore, to consider some of the disadvantages of neglecting the old-fashioned methods of chastisement.”  - W.F. Adeney

How to Ruin Your Sons

“If you want to ruin your son, never let him know a hardship. When he is a child carry him in your arms, when he becomes a youth still dandle him, and when he becomes a man still dry-nurse him, and you will succeed in producing an arrant fool. If you want to prevent his being made useful in the world, guard him from every kind of toil. Do not suffer him to struggle. Wipe the sweat from his dainty brow and say, “Dear child, thou shalt never have another task so arduous.” Pity him when he ought to be punished; supply all his wishes, avert all disappointments, prevent all troubles, and you will surely tutor him to be a reprobate and to break your heart. But put him where he must work, expose him to difficulties, purposely throw him into peril, and in this way you shall make him a man, and when he comes to do man’s work and to bear man’s trial, he shall be fit for either.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

Blood Offerings for the Cause

MolechAbortion stops a beating heart. You’ve seen the bumper stickers. And you know that it’s true. But then, so do pro-choice feminists (both of the female and male variety). Because, as we know from Romans 1, the unbeliever suppresses the truth, no matter how evident, in his pursuit of unrighteousness. But some unbelievers are more honest than others. Take a fairly recent article by a woman named Antonia Senior’s in The Times [London] entitled, “Yes, Abortion is Killing. But It’s the Lesser Evil.”

Senior admits that a fetus at any stage is a child and, “any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life.” But does this confession make her repudiate the murder of children? No. She insists that “reproduction rights” (i.e. abortion) are central to the feminist cause and “if you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” In other words, sure, abortion is murder. But somebody has to die in the glorious name of feminism.

Don’t be shocked by this. . To be a feminist, you must despise fatherhood (patriarchy) and if you’re going to despise fathers, you must despise the family. And if you’re going to despise the family, you must despise childbearing. For example, in The Dialectic of Sex, radical feminist Shulamith Firestone tells us how we can free ourselves from the patriarchy.

The freeing of women from tyranny of their reproductive biology by every means available, and the diffusion of the childbearing and childrearing role to the society as a whole, men as well as women.

That is feminism in all its cruelty. Forget the liberation of women. Feminism is about rejecting the fatherhood of God. And while belivers in the true gospel cry out, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15), believers in this false gospel climb to a summit of their own success, upon a mountaintop of their own murdered children.

Fathers who Coach

I’m new to Steve Farrar’s ministry and writings. I stumbled across one of his books while researching fatherhood in Puritan New England. The few chapters I read were mostly good.

One chapter that I found particularly helpful was entitled, “Plymouth Rock Coaching Clinic.” Farrar argues, “The Puritans were great coaches. They knew how to teach. And they knew how to motivate.”  Now, I hate his use of the word “coach” here. I’d prefer instruct, train, or father. Fathering defines coaching, not the other way around. Nonetheless, I agree with the underlying point of what he is saying.

Farrar then goes on to state what too many us already know to be true:

“It’s tough to be a good father if you didn’t have a good father. Your ability to father is greatly affected by how you were fathered. If biblical fatherhood was modeled for you, you’ve got a tremendous head start.”

Ain’t that the truth? Continue reading

The End of Down Syndrome

A day is coming when we will eliminate Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and all other forms of birth defects. It won’t happen because we discover some miracle cure in the Amazon. We will just kill them before they are even born.

I got thinking about this a lot last year when I listened to an episode of the Freakonomic’s podcast on “population planning.” The bulk of the podcast was dedicated to explaining the unlikely origins of China’s one child policy. This alone makes the podcast worth a listen but it was a short story tacked on at the end that really disturbed me. Here is its synopsis from Freakonomic dot com:

Finally, we talk to Stanford researcher Stephen Quake about a new blood test that can help pregnant women learn if their babies are likely to be born with Down Syndrome. This leads to yet another moral dilemma in baby-making: as parents can learn more and more about what’s in the womb, what kind of decisions will they make? And what will the consequences be decades later?

The answer to those last two questions should be obvious to anyone. What kind of decisions will they make if they find out their baby has down syndrome? They will abort their child. And what will the consequences be decades later? We will eliminate the world of down syndrome and all other birth defects. The West hates the weak, sick, and elderly. Quake’s test will help us move a little closer to ridding us of these troublesome barriers to pleasure.

Do you doubt it? Continue reading

Protecting Daughters from Lust

Fathers must always remember that a struggle with lust isn’t limited to our sons alone but also our daughters. This is especially true when it comes to pornography. Most of us would immediately think of a boy if a parent said their child had a porn problem. However, a survey by Internet Filter Review shows that we need to rethink that assumption. Boys are still the main consumers of porn but girls are quickly catching up.

Here are few of the stats:

  • Breakdown of male/female visitors to pornography sites: 72% male & 28% female.
  • 1 of 3 visitors to all adult web sites are women.
  • 9.4 million women access adult web sites each month.
  • 17% of all women struggle with pornography addiction.

Keep in mind that these numbers are already several years old. I have read other recent reports that claim female porn users will soon surpass male users. I doubt that to be true but one thing to take away from such predictions is that this problem isn’t going away.

So, what is a father to do? How do we protect our daughters from the dangers of pornography? Here are a few places to start… Continue reading

Why We Hate Fertility

baby“Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: ‘Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.’ But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.” Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther

Surviving the Death of a Daughter (pt. 3): A Painful Blessing

(Read pt. 1 here & pt. 2 here)

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

That sounded pretty good, right? I couldn’t imagine what it was like to lose a child. I wasn’t about to say something stupid. Peter’s son, Nicholas, had died in his sleep for no discernible reason. What else could I say to a father that just unexpectedly lost a 4 month old boy? I want to communicate so much more to him. But everything else that popped into my head seemed over the top. So I went with the first and simplest option. He firmly shook my hand as I expressed my condolences. I remember his eyes. They were wet with sadness. Poor guy.

I walked my two oldest boys across the sanctuary towards the miniature casket. I wanted them to see little Nicholas. They needed to understand what is at stake in this fallen world. The writer of Hebrew warns that, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Everyone needs to be ready to stand before God. Even children. Shielding my boys from this reality would do them no favors. So I made it a practice to bring them with us to any funeral we attended. This was already the second one they had been to in 2012. I didn’t want it to be a weird morbid thing.  I just wanted them to understand the wonderfulness of Jesus’ resurrection. Death has been conquered. We have a blessed hope.

On the way out to the minivan my oldest son, Hudson, said, “I don’t want Nicaea to die.”

Athanasius, the middle child, quickly chimed in too. “Nicaea gonna die?”

“No, no. Nicaea is doing just fine. Boys, don’t worry. You’ll be hugging her before you know it! She isn’t going to die.”

Hudson smiled. He had been looking forward to a little sister.

Eleven days later, that exchange kept playing over in my mind as we tumbled down State Route 45 in our minivan. How wrong I had been! Nicaea, like Nicholas, was with her Heavenly Father. There wouldn’t be any hugs from her big brothers. Not in this life. And I’d have to explain this to them in just a few minutes.  Continue reading

Training Your Toddler to Battle Porn

The battle against porn starts while your son is still in diapers…

My youngest son, Caedmon, has developed a habit of requesting his dessert before he finishes his meal. This request always meets with a firm denial from me. And so my sweet little boy decides he will not eat at all. I am careful to inform him that this decision is okay, but that he will not be eating his dessert either until he clears his plate. Often, he will then attempt to persuade me to reconsider my position with an oh-so-polite, “Please, daddy!” But his manipulation only results in a much sterner reiteration of my earlier declaration. I do add a few qualifiers this time around. I tell him that I want him to enjoy his dessert. Desserts are gifts from God meant for our enjoyment, but they only come after meals and not before them. Sometimes my son listens to reason; sometimes he goes to bed with an empty stomach.

Regardless, this post is only kind of about desserts… Continue reading

Fathers, train your children to be worshipers

This following quote from Matthew Henry serves as a check to our fatherly ambitions. Fathers will go to great lengths to see their children succeed in sports. Sadly, that same vigor is rarely matched in a father’s spiritual discipleship of his children. We fathers must remember that God has given us children for his glory. He desires each child to be a worshiper of him alone. Our job is to train them towards this goal.

Here are Henry’s words…

Consider what your children are now capable of, even in the days of their childhood. They are capable of receiving impressions now which may abide upon them while they live. They are capable of honoring God now, if they be well taught; and by their joining, as they can, in religious services with so much reverence and application as their age will admit, God is honored. Continue reading