Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Failing Fathers...the hope of the future

"I remember that I was 50 years old at least before I could talk to men in a way they felt was a true way. When I was 35, it didn't matter what I said. They didn't trust me. There was a certain moment when I realized men, and to a certain extent women, trusted me when I talked." -Robert Bly

I'm formulating the path of my Father's Day message and its been deep work. I am working with the title "A Failing Father: the only hope for the future" based out of the story of Manoah, the father of Samson. I am meandering through various fields of thought on the subject of fathers, parenting, initiation and the mythopoetic idea present in greek mythology of the father eating the son. It's been a decent into places of the soul where caged demons and angels dwell.

Here is one of Robert Bly's poem's to stir the emotional waters: My Father's Wedding

Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you and scatter all your remnant to every wind. -Ezekiel 5:10

The Father/Son relationship can be a volatile one, as the biblical stories honestly reveal and the tales of mythology or literature expound. The outworking of independence, ascension of youth and descending of age, the discovery of sexual fire and the attempts to learn the art of carrying the sacred ember in the rites of marriage are all woven together in this drama of parenting, family and fathering.

Reducing Father's Day to a nice little moment to celebrate the dads...is a horrid truncation of all that this epic journey thrusts upon manhood. The true life realities found in most homes are far more explosive than most preachers dare to share...we've not been wide-eyed oracles of apocalyptic dawns...but sentimental story tellers of dusk like sleepiness.

Becoming a father should scare the hell out of you...and awaken in your breast, the dreams of God.


FCB said...

I can't in recent memory recall a more truthful post. Fatherhood, you spelled it out.
Great post,
Love Dad

Julie M said...

I don't know if this fits with where you are, but I hope that you can help men realize how important fathers are in a child's life. I grew up mostly without a father and the ones I had were abusive and hateful. I thought, therefore, that fathers weren't necessary and started out thinking a single mother could do it all. I was SO wrong! I don't know how to express to my sons how important I think they are in marriage and fatherhood. Thank you for listening to God and giving it so much thought, and demonstrating and sharing regarding this topic.

Unknown said...


I agree...your words are true:

"But the ideal is often merely the cocoon left behind from what God releases to fly."

But be encouraged and remember Jesus appeared to be raised by a widowed, single, struggling mom...and He turned out pretty good.

You are in good company....