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Topic: Eikon

Esteeming Fatherhood

November 21, 2023
By Calvin Robinson

Editor’s note: The following essay appears in the Fall 2023 issue of Eikon.

Jesus Christ uses intimate language to communicate with his Father. In his grace, he shares that intimacy with us, and invites us to call him our Father. When Christ taught his apostles the Lord’s Prayer, he taught all Christians how to pray and relate to God the Father.

God is the ultimate patriarch. He is the head of the heavenly family — the angels in heaven worship and glorify him ceaselessly. He is also Father of the earthly family — he created man in his image and calls us his sons and daughters in redemption. By becoming Christians, born again through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, through our faith in him, we become children of God. He adopts us as his own.

As our great Father, God protects and provides for his children. Just as our biological father provides for us by putting food on the table to sustain our bodies, God provides for us through the Eucharist, sustaining our souls. It could be said we have a temporal father to take care of our physical needs, and a spiritual Father to look after our spiritual wellbeing. But God is greater than that; he has a hand in both. Through his omnipotence, God is with us in everything, even our suffering. Jesus Christ — fully man and fully God — died on the cross for us. He suffered for our sake. Therefore, we can be reminded that when we are suffering, Christ is with us in our suffering. It is a sign of how much our Father loves us. God loves us so much, that he gave us his only begotten son.

All of this goes to show how deeply benevolent fatherhood is ingrained within the fabric of creation. Remove fatherhood, and things come undone.

The Goods of Fatherhood

This is why the enemy is focused on defeating “The Patriarchy.” The only time we hear that word these days is in a derogatory fashion, “down with The Patriarchy.” The enemy lies through omission and a twisting of the truth, and therefore will paint this as a good thing — usually with lines of equity: “There are more men in senior positions, therefore the natural conclusion is that men are oppressing women, destroy The Patriarchy!” Or, “The gender pay gap is a form of oppression, smash The Patriarchy!” We know these to be fabrications. They are untrue for many reasons. The statistics show that there is no gender pay gap — men and women in the same role get paid the same amount; that is the law. One of the reasons there are more men in leadership positions than women is because women take time off to have babies — an incredibly good thing. Motherhood is the most important vocation in the world, after all. But the stats are manipulated by some because they want to paint women as victims at the hand of men.

The enemy’s response would be that men and women should be equal in everything. That is not possible. Men and women are not equal, in that we are not the same. We are equal in the eyes of God, in terms of our dignity and our worth, but in lots of other ways we are different. Men are physically stronger, faster, and more powerful. Women are more nurturing, more emotionally intelligent, and fairer than men. This isn’t a bad thing. But the enemy would say a woman is only successful if she acts in the place of a man, if she competes with men in men’s fields, if there are just as many female leaders as men. This is a falsehood. Women are successful when they have contributed to God’s kingdom in the ways that only a woman can — and that includes, but is not exclusive to, bearing children. Just as men are successful when they contribute to God’s kingdom in the ways that only a man can — and that usually includes providing for and protecting his wife and his offspring.

Men are ten times more likely to die at work than women. And rightly so. We would expect men to do the more dangerous jobs. Even the feminists aren’t arguing for more women to be in the sewers, on the front lines, or down the mines. That is the role of fathers, whether fathers of biological children or father figures in the community. All men are called to a father-like role in society. Not everyone is blessed with children of their own, but all men are called to act responsibly, with a kindly strength, to be gentlemanly toward and provide firm love, guidance, and protection toward children. In times gone by, we’d call it chivalry — to operate with a religious, moral, and social code.

The Ills of Fatherlessness

Fatherlessness is rampant in our society. The enemy has been gaining ground in this area for decades now. We know that when a family breaks down, the children are twice as likely to end up failing in school, twice as likely to end up getting in trouble with the police, and more than twice as likely to end up homeless on the streets.[1]

Pair these statistics with the fact that marriages are down to just over 200,000 a year in the United Kingdom, and abortions are up to over 200,000. We are ending as many families as we are starting. This is an issue with male responsibility. It is time for boys to become men, and men to become fathers. If a woman is put in a position where she sees abortion as her only option — which it never is — then somewhere along the way she has been let down by a man. That man should have stepped up and become the leader of the family. Sadly, that’s not always possible, which is why sometimes abortion is seen as a convenient contraceptive for worldly women. This is wrong. But a man should not be fornicating with a woman who is not his wife in the first place. And if a woman is getting an abortion within a marriage, her husband has failed in his role. The leader of the family is the father. Therefore, the buck stops with him.

We need to restore the goodness and primacy of fatherhood, return to chivalry, and encourage boys to become men and men to become fathers. We need to teach our young men to take responsibility: that the conjugal act is to be performed within the bounds of marriage, and it is for the greater glory of God, to be open to be blessed by him with children, for his worship and for the good of the community.

It is time we brought God back into the picture, particularly when it comes to fatherhood. For so long the enemy has been convincing young men that sex is an act of personal pleasure, and that lustful desire is to be met whenever one feels the urge, either through fornication, adultery, sodomy, or pornography. We live in a world where sin is encouraged. Our role as Christians is to lead people back onto the straight and narrow. And it is, indeed, a narrow path, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13–14). But this is the path back to our Father.

Deacon Calvin Robinson is an Anglican minister, currently serving as Deacon-in-Charge of Christ Church Harlesden, in the London borough of Brent. Dcn Calvin is also a TV anchor and radio presenter, with previous shows on TalkRadio and GB News. Dcn Calvin has bylines in many broadsheets and tabloid newspapers, including The Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail, and Express, to name but a few.

[1] “Why Family Matters: Comprehensive Analysis of the Consequences of Family Breakdown,” The Centre for Social Justice.

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