When you consider where weâ€™re headed in the area of Fatherhood in this country, the average Abba (Hebrew for Daddy) ends up looking like â€œFather of the Year.â€ Today, after the worthy efforts of groups like â€œPromise Keepersâ€, books like Steve Fararrâ€™s â€œPoint Man,â€ and John Eldridgeâ€™s â€œWild at heart,â€—many men (and fathers) seem to be waking up to the fact that they have shirked their responsibility and completely missed the mark. And that they (men) must bear a huge responsibility for what has become of the last couple generations of boys.
In the book about Peter Pan, is found one of the most accurate descriptions of what I see today in our generation of young men. They are â€œThe Lost Boys.â€
So, on the one hand, I am so thankful for the beginning of the great awakening of the masculine mind. On the other hand, Iâ€™m concerned when I hear some of the stated causes and resulting conclusions.
Promise keepers began the push for accountability, but we men are ingenious when it comes to our desire to not be held accountable. The effectiveness of the sissy six questions long ago ran their course. They worked for a while because, when the whole idea of accountability was first presented and the need developed, it was, obviously, NEW. We were caught flat-footed. We devious and tricky creatures didnâ€™t know quite what to do with friends that actually asked real questions of concern. But we werenâ€™t left at a disadvantage for long. Almost immediately, men figured out all they had to do was lie. I mean, if youâ€™re up to the level of no good addressed by those questions, whatâ€™s a few lies to boot? Hundreds of men who had been meeting for a few months to a couple of years at the most were seeing members of the group drop like flies.
What went wrong? We were asking the tough questions but we werenâ€™t getting honest answers.
What about the more recent, Wild at Heart? by John Eldridge. I have to compliment the author on his ability to stir the passion within men and awaken them to their plight—the fact that they are hardly being men at all. However, I can hardly believe so great a case can be made in the preliminary test of menâ€™s manhood, only to revert back to the O.J. Simpson fiasco when it comes to the real deal. Wild at heart is wildly (I know, I know) popular for one reason only. It expertly and effectively exposes the dangerous, epidemic plight of men today. All men (honest men) know things are not quite right today in our culture. We were made for more than this. Wild at Heart makes you want to jump out of your seat and scream, Yes, Yes, youâ€™re right! I know Iâ€™m meant for more than this! I know I can be more of a man! Finally, someone is saying it!
Unfortunately, when the book turns to the cause of all our woes one is left bewildered and more than a little skeptical with Johnâ€™s conclusion that we owe all of our afflictions and short-comings to the infamous, â€œFather Wound.â€
Is he serious?
When he first draws this conclusion in the book one can accept its culpability in a fraction of the dysfunctions we see in men today, but all of it? As the book continues, the case builds for the father wound as the ultimate (and, one often gets the feeling—only—tool of Satan). Because our father may have imperfectly delivered the â€œinitiationâ€ into manhood we are left to believe that we are doomed to failure unless we complete this initiation process somehow, some way, somewhereâ€¦
But is it really that simple?
Stay tuned and Iâ€™ll tell you.
No, itâ€™s not.