By Dr Pat Fagan.
Fatherhood in our culture is under attack. “Patriarchy” has become almost a “dirty” word. Yet, without the father there can be no true family and, certainly, no true communion of persons. The book, The Holy Family Model Not Exception, presents St Joseph, who only came to the fore in salvation history with St Theresa of Avila in the 16th century, the century of the Protestant revolt, and more prominently in the 19th and 20th centuries in response, particularly to the communist and socialist attack on the family, as a true model for the contemporary husband and father. Besides this resource, today we bring you two reflections of Dr. Patrick Fagan, father of eight children (of which four are sons). Dr. Fagan publishes on his web site, Marripedia, sociological studies on various aspects of marriage and family, with particular focus on the child. He gives his brief articles the overall title of “Rebuilding Our Nation One Son at a Time.” The following is his advice on the way to rebuild. It is “to do what all good men have always done: raise their sons to be great husbands and fathers.” We begin with his advice to a new-born son.
“As his newborn son is placed in his father’s arms for the first time, the young father (even if he cannot formulate the words) says to his son:
I give you my heart always and give you my time early in your life--- to bind you to me with affection (when it is easy to do). On this foundation we will build the rest. Nothing else compares to this, not a successful business, nor great honors ----nothing else --- except loving your mother.
My greatest task is to make a great husband and great father of you.
I will teach you what paths to walk so that you will desire to be good.
In your growing years I will be your guardian and protector.
I will protect you from sexual abuse.
I will teach you how to protect yourself from sexual abuse.
I will protect you from pornography within our home.
I will teach you how to protect yourself from pornography anywhere you come across it.
I will teach you how to treat your own body.
I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.
I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean.
I will teach you how to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.
I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.
I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me --- without ever telling me).
I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.
I will teach you how to date well, and how to select and court a great wife from among all the beautiful women you will meet.
My little one, because of all of this, you are going to make a great man of me.
As men put this into practice, by taking sex-ed out of the schools and back into the home where it belongs, all of society will adapt around this strategic shift. By exercising this basic natural right, every father will cause society to rearrange itself around his actions --- in ways that restore social order.”
Dr. Pat Fagan has been a grade school and college teacher, a therapist specializing in child, family and marital issues, executive director of a small think tank, a Senate staffer, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Social Policy at HHS under President George Herbert Bush, a Senior Fellow of Family and Culture at the Heritage Foundation, and founder and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative ( www.MARRI.us ) first at Family Research Council, now at The Catholic University of America. The thread of continuity has been a pursuit of ways to help the family thrive. He is publisher and editor of Marripedia.org, and the weekly Faith and Family Findings, and has authored over thirty synthesis papers and has commissioned from others dozens of original research projects in marriage, family, child development and religious practice. His work has appeared in or covered by Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, and The Guardian. He and his wife Theresa have eight children and thirteen grandchildren.
Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. Reprinted with permission. This blog first appeared on Marripedia, March, 2019. ©KM Associates.