Friday, June 02, 2006

Pioneers Of A New Social Movement?

As usual, Albert Mohler comes through with another great article. This time, he critiques a new book written by author (and obvious feminist) Peggy Drexler called, "Raising Boys Without Men."

Mohler writes:

Drexler begins by noting and celebrating the modern assumption that "the mom-dad-and-kids version of family is now less than definitive." She gets right to the trend that has caught her interest: "More and more children in the Western world are being raised not in the traditional nuclear family but by single or divorced parents, stepparents in 'blended families,' adoptive parents, and grandparents. An increasingly large number are being raised by mothers who are single and who have not divorced a husband or been abandoned by a man; these mothers are single by choice and have made a conscious decision to have a baby and find a sperm donor to do it. Lesbian couples and single mothers by choice are pioneering new ways of getting pregnant via donor insemination."

Following the familiar feminist line of argument, Drexler charges that, in the aftermath of Freud, "mothers have been inculcated with the idea that we need to cut our sons' cords to make them men ready to take on masculine roles in the world, from working towards worldly success to making war." She notes that the traditional understandings "contended that mothers who reared sons without the presence of an active father--or who were married but 'overbearing' or raising 'mama's boys'--instill lifelong psychic disability, schizophrenia, or, worst, homosexuality in their sons."

Later in his article, we find an obvious inconsistency in Drexler's arguments and views:

The social status of her research subjects is not without importance. "The lesbians I studied were mostly white-collar workers who have succeeded as business people or in their professions," Drexler acknowledged. She identified these women as "social saboteurs," who have "exhibited the will and temperament to buck prevailing notions and create their own family structures, with very few models from which to work." They see themselves as pioneers of a new social movement.

Now, let me get this straight. Traditional moms who are married to men but are labeled as 'overbearing,' or the type that would be guilty of raising 'mama's boys' and further, would also be most likely to instill "lifelong psychic disability, schizophrenia, or, worst, homosexuality in their sons?"

Does anyone else see the inconsistency, hypocrisy, and perhaps what male gay activists might see as blatant 'bigotry' in these last two statements?

Mohler writes:

So, how does Drexler explain the fact that boys without fathers want a dad? "It's only natural to long for what you don't have," she claims.

But Drexler doesn't end with this dismissive (if utterly unconvincing) assertion. She goes on to argue that boys raised by moms alone are likely to develop a superior masculinity to that of boys with fathers. "Sons have a hard time accepting those characteristics in their fathers that cannot be changed, and even into adult life spend enormous amounts of energy wishing, hoping, fantasizing, and trying to transform their fathers into the loving models they never were and most likely can't be," she insists. Once again, Drexler's logic crosses into absurdity. She focuses on the virtues of highly motivated "maverick moms" and on the liabilities of dead-beat dads and simply chooses not to acknowledge the obvious benefit boys receive by the presence of loving, masculine, supportive, normal fathers.

Loving, masculine, supportive, normal fathers! Are they truly a dying breed or what? My husband is all four! Thank the Lord!! Both of my children needed their father and mother growing up! And now that they are in college, they see the negative "issues" that some of their friends and aquaintances have to deal with that they have personally escaped from! Of course they are not perfect. NO one is! No one's life is perfect either. And, some pitfalls in this life can turn out to be unavoidable. But our kids have avoided many of the enormously hurtful pitfalls in this life because of the guidance they have received from us, the church and most of all, having Jesus Christ in their lives.

I have deep respect for women who are able to raise their sons without the presence of a father in the home. It must be very difficult! Those single moms whose sons turn out well should be applauded! (I happen to know a few and they are wonderful young men!) Those single moms whose sons have problems should seek out help and/or a male authoritative figure to help them in the raising of their sons.

But even in the case of sons raised by single moms (for whatever reason), I have seen gaps and/or anomalies in their personalities that, perhaps, I don't see in my own son, and other males (who have been raised with both a mom and dad).

There can be problems in any household. That's a part of life. But most research (not the kind of skewed and biased research done by Drexler) has shown that children do best in a home with both a mother and a father present. I wonder. Did Drexler include any research material in her book on families with both a mother and a father? If she did, I wonder if she only included dysfunctional and/or abusive home situations in order to make her point(s)? Hmmm....

Of course, any abusive home (no matter what the parental arrangement) can produce negative effects upon children. No one should put up with an abusive spouse or parent. Abusive parents (or one parent) often, unfortunately, ends up passing on similar abusive tendencies to the child.
In a former blogpost, I shared the fact that raising children in a God-focused home can make all the difference in the world. It is entitled,
Seven Gifts to Give Our Children. At our Women of Faith Bible study, Pastor Larry Osborn visited us and taught on the subject of Passing the Spiritual Torch on to our children. Within this topic, he shared seven gifts that last a lifetime.

If you are a parent of older children (ages 18 and 21), reading that post will probably show where you were weak in the upbringing of your children. It will also show where you have been strong in your parenting skills. If your kids are still young, I guarantee that applying those seven gifts towards your own children will make a tremendous positive difference in your life and in your family.

I shared that post with everyone in our family. We are (and always have been) a very close-knit, loving, and secure family. We are each individual, solid followers of Jesus Christ. But of course that doesn't mean that we are perfect. What following Christ has done for my kids is that they already know and "get" the true meaning of why we are here on this earth. They have that solid foundation that so many kids their ages are still desperately seeking to find.

Yes. They have made mistakes and so have their parents! But through the good, bad and ugly trials in this life, we each know the power of forgiveness. Jesus taught us that. He also taught that mercy, faith, hope and unconditional love, are the most important things in life.

I have two ceramic plaques on the wall of my kitchen. One has a picture of a quaint and colorful cottage on it. The caption reads, "Home is where you're loved the most." The other one has a list of "House Rules" on it.

If it's open ~ close it
If it rings ~ answer it
If it's on the floor ~ pick it up
If it's dirty ~ clean it
If it's hungry ~ feed it
If it's sad ~ love it

My kids have probably ignored the first 5 listed many times (grrr! heh heh). But we never ignore the last one! They know that no matter what happens in life...they are loved by their parents! It is the kind of agape love that comes forth through Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to God for His Word which has guided my husband and I in the raising of our two beloved children. I am so thankful for the Person of Jesus Christ in each of our lives; His sacrifice for our sin burden, and resurrection to life. God's promises will never fail us! On that we can rely.

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