A Switch in Time

Who gets to define what's proper fatherhood? A church leadership composed of people who are horrified by any sign of male domineering, and always on the lookout for it, always demanding more and more "servant leadership"? That is the practical condition in many churches today. But they won't last long, for they don't like men and won't raise them up. I suggest that "leading through sacrifice" is, in many modern conservative churches, a poisonous idea. The only place it is not is where men are encouraged to exercise their God-given authority in their families while avoiding cruelty and injustice.

In general, to hell with this notion of servant leadership as I've most frequently heard it used—its cash value is "wimp." And you can't make applying the biblical rod to the breech of your son anything other than pain by inserting the equally damnable adjective "loving." Just make sure the kid deserves what he is getting, completely forget the offense once it's paid for, and you've done your duty.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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more on fatherhood from the online archives

21.4—May 2008

Attention Deficit

on the Absence That Ritalin Can’t Cure by Bruce D. Woodall

22.2—March 2009

The Good Father

on the Manly Character of St. Joseph by Joseph R. Fornieri

14.1—January/February 2001

Fatherhood Uprooted

A Sociologist Looks at Fatherlessness & Its Causes by David Blankenhorn


more from the online archives

33.4—July/August 2020

Dwelling in Unity

Our Views on the President Are Not Crucial by S. M. Hutchens

28.5—Sept/Oct 2015

Who's Your Teacher?

on Our Sacred Duty to Teach the Devil to Death by Marcus Johnson

24.1—January/February 2011

The Romance of Domesticity

Marriage Thrives in Reality, Not in Our Dreams by Nathan Schlueter

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