Radical Parenting, Just in Time for Father’s Day

This month, in the news, the Kansas City Cheifs kicker, Harrison Butker, delivered a commencement speech.  As a Facebook user, I couldn’t escape the headlines featuring his name so of course I chased him down on google and got to know him and his speech.  The chatter that I found myself scrolling through inspired the title of this blog and I believe it now more than ever.

Butker stated, “As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos set in.”

This statement created quite the reaction from the public. One commenter clearly stated that she felt like this was a sexist statement aimed at taking control away from women. Pages and pages of comments echoed similar thoughts.

So, what do I mean by “radical parenting?” As a Mom to a home full of boys, I teach them that their role is crucial. Contrary to the belief set forth above, I am convinced through research and the study of culture that the presence of men in the home changes families and absence does create disorder and dysfunction. We know that the absence of Dads in the home is directly related to incarceration, abuse of alcohol, drugs, teen pregnancy, gang affiliation, and behavioral problems. Fatherhood.org

As Christians, the Lord speaks directly to families in Deuteronomy 6: 4-8. “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them to your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

This verse describes parents who create and sustain an atmosphere for the whole home. The love of God permeates the heart, soul and will of the person. In turn, this love becomes the instructive theme of the family and it is an active role in and out of the home from sun up to sun down. Parenting is not passive, and neither parent is ever dismissed from an active role in the home.

As Butker implies, Christian parents today have an opportunity to raise boys who understand the value and importance of their role of Christ-like leadership. This teaching is challenged by a sensitivity in the culture of women who fear an abuse of power and the controlling presence of men. Radical parenting today may look like instilling a love and appreciation for the vital role that both men and women play in the lives of their families. Young women should feel empowered to patiently seek men who are ready to stand beside them, united by a profound understanding and respect for the unique gifts they each bring to a marriage and family. As scripture tells us, our legacy is to leave children whose lives are marked by the fact that they love the Lord with their whole selves, and it will be this love that will drive out fear and create unity for generations to come.

Catharine Griffin was born and raised in Covington, Georgia. She earned an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2012. She enjoys mentoring and discipling college women and is currently doing so at East Texas Baptist University. She is passionate about hearing people's stories and helping people see their potential in Christ and serves this calling out as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. She has also been coordinating ministry to women for several years in various churches and longs to equip women to serve the church with biblically sound teaching. She is a mother to three boys, wife to a Baptist Student Minister, and enjoys teaching, writing, cooking and all things outside.

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