Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tears for Our Children

This video montage, mostly of dad's coming home from service in Iraq and surprising their children (warning: you will cry), testifies to the depth of what children lose when divorce takes their fathers away or when they simply never know their fathers. It is a huge hole that nothing can fill. The Lord, our heavenly father, made us to have earthly fathers who love us and serve us with pure and manly love and whom we can love in turn with trust and devotion. Yes, Hanna Rosin, we will always need men, and we (I mean women and children) need them to be MEN.

Leon Kass, in his sad but marvelously illuminating 2002 essay, "The End of Courtship," evokes tears of a different sort with this description of what David L. Tubbs calls freedom's orphans:

The ubiquitous experience of divorce is also deadly for courtship and marriage. Some people try to argue, wishfully against the empirical evidence, that children of divorce will marry better than their parents because they know how important it is to choose well. But the deck is stacked against them. Not only are many of them frightened of marriage, in whose likely permanence they simply do not believe, but they are often maimed for love and intimacy.

They have had no successful models to imitate; worse, their capacity for trust and love has been severely crippled by the betrayal of the primal trust all children naturally repose in their parents, to provide that durable, reliable, and absolutely trustworthy haven of permanent and unconditional love in an otherwise often unloving and undependable world.

But we are too self-absorbed and pleasure saturated to care. We learn those pathologies as children, and perfect them as sexual consumers in the dollar store of young adulthood...or what Kay Hymowitz more accurately says has become "postmodern postadolescence."

For a challenging sermon on manhood, go to Rev. Benjamin Miller's sermons on, and look for "A Jesus Kind of Guy" (August 8, 2010). For many, regardless of your age, the road to manhood will lie on the other side of hearing this. The preacher is kind, but he is not gentle. Ben Miller pastors Franklin Square Orthodox Presbyterian Church on Long Island with Bill Shishko.

As a footnote, if anyone knows anything about the song on the video, please pass along the name of the artist and title.

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