As of 2019, there were about 73 million children (under the age of 18) in the United States. Of that 73 million, 23% of them lived in a one-parent household. That’s around 16 million children growing up without the benefit of having both a father and mother in their lives. And according to the latest census data, 80% of all single parents are single mothers. That’s a significant portion of America’s youth that is growing up without a father. Not to mention, millions more live with fathers who are emotionally absent, detached, or worse of all, abusive.
The relationship between one and their father is sacred. When that relationship is broken or taken away prematurely, it opens the door to all sorts of problems for that son or daughter.
Timmerie welcomed Hugh Brown of the American Life League onto Trending to discuss ways that we can empower fathers in this day and age, and foster the return of fathers who protect, support, provide, and discipline their children to provide good and hard-working members of society.
Hugh began by saying that the biggest misconception for men these days is that you can do it all on your own. But in reality, you need a spiritual life if you want even a chance of wholly fulfilling your duties as a husband and father.
“The very first thing that [men] have to yield to is that [they] cannot do it alone. There is no secular solution,” said Hugh. “For thousands of years, it has tried and failed. You have to have faith in the Lord, and the best thing to do is to lay out your day with purpose.” Putting your responsibilities as a man, father, and husband into God’s hands is a great way to ensure that you’re doing God’s will. Just as a father is the head of his family, Christ is the head of us first. A man’s family doesn’t carry out his will; A man guides his family to do God’s will.
Now, more than ever, fathers and husbands need spiritual guidance as they face new challenges like dealing with the gender ideology crisis, as well as old ones like promiscuity, abortion, and pornography. Hugh says he tells parents, especially fathers, that they’ve got to start their day before the Lord in a structured way. That’s how they’re going to help their family navigate the treacherous waters of today’s culture. Often, Hugh will speak to parents who are thinking of moving their kids from a public school to a private school, and their main apprehension is the cost of tuition.
“With what the public schools are doing to children today, I tell parents you’ve got to be insane if you’re going to trust your children to the public school system. And fathers lead that charge,” said Hugh.
So often, Hugh said that he sees mothers going to Mass without the father or attending school meetings without the father. He said that fathers have got to wake up and realize that fatherhood or being a husband is not just about bringing in money, maintaining the house, and making car payments. It’s about backing up your wife, being there for the important moments and to help make important decisions, being available for your children when times are good and when times are tough, helping your family nurture Christ-centered relationships, and emphasizing the importance of keeping an active prayer life. It’s about protecting your home against the world, the flesh, and the devil, guarding your sons and daughters against the wolves in sheep’s clothing, reinforcing their natural standards for virtue, and alerting them to the dangers of vice.
“Fatherhood is a vocation. It’s a holy order, so to speak. And we’ve got to treat it that way,” said Hugh. “If you try to do it just based on the whims of the world, it’s going to be an unmitigated failure. You’ve got to begin each day and end each day with Our Lord, and He will order your steps. Anything other than that leads to chaos.”
Men are married to their wives, but their primary purpose is to serve the Lord. And to that end, men should aim to help their spouses get to heaven and give their children the tools to do the same. To believe that we can do that without supernatural assistance is a treacherous fallacy. In this world that seems to be decaying morally, good men, good fathers, and good husbands need to step up and become great men, great fathers, and great husbands. No exceptions.
Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6pm CT