Honoring and Encouraging Dads (Transcript)

Dr. Dobson: Remember when "pot" was something you cooked in and when "bad", really meant "bad", not "good?"

Roger Marsh: For Family Talk, here's Dr. James Dobson.

Dr. Dobson: It's funny how some words pass in and out of common usage. I was thinking the other day, for example, about the phrase "good family man." David Blankenhorn, the head of an organization that studies cultural values, points out that this compliment, good family man, was once widely used in our culture. Bestowed as a true badge of honor, the rough translation would be, "he puts his family first."

Look at those three words that make up the phrase. Good, referring to widely accepted moral values. Family, which points to purposes larger than the self. And man, which says there's a norm of masculinity. It seems that contemporary culture no longer celebrates a widely shared ideal of such a man who puts his family first. Now we're more likely to hear about superstar athletes or the ladies' man, or the entrepreneur who sacrificed all, including his wife and children, to make his startup company a success. Fortunately, it's not too late to bring this simple phrase back into vogue: a "good family man." It is indeed one of the highest callings to which a man can aspire.

Roger Marsh: To get involved, go to drjamesdobson.org.

Dr. Dobson: Well, welcome to Family Talk everyone. I'm Dr. James Dobson and let me tell you what we have for you today. As regular listeners know, I rarely read to you for fear of boring you, but I'm going to make an exception today and I think you'll understand why. As many of our friends know, I write a monthly newsletter that goes to several hundred thousand people. And my June letter has just arrived in homes, but I want to read it to you because I feel very strongly about this content. And this is what I said:

"As you know, June 21st has been designated as Father's Day, which is a celebration of fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society.

I thank God for this annual tribute to dads and their families. Men need all the support they can get today. Politically correct voices throughout the culture vehemently ridicule everything that is traditionally masculine. Since the 1960s, when the women's liberation movement declared war between the sexes, the very meaning of a good and decent man has been held up to scorn. It's now called "toxic masculinity" by the leftist media, the entertainment industry, and by most of those who claim to be social scientists.

Take note: in August 2018, the American Psychological Association, known as APA, published an outrageous and widely read report entitled APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men. It echoed not only feminist hatred of traditional men, but identified itself entirely with the LGBT agenda. The APA writers were asserting that traditional fathers pose grave danger to their boys, and they must be stopped. You, dad, are in their crosshairs. Psychologist Jordan Peterson wrote this about the APA: "The boys and men document is propagandistic to a degree that is almost incomprehensible." He continued, "the authors are claiming that men who socialize their boys in a traditional manner, that is teaching them to be strong, competitive, self-reliant, and God-fearing, destroy their mental health. It is nonsense masquerading as science."

John Stonestreet, the author and president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, was also outraged by the APA report. He said, "LGBT ideology is taken by the authors of this report as gospel. 'It is no longer just a male female binary', says one." The report criticizes individuals with religious affiliations and conservative social and political views who may equate masculinity and heterosexuality. These folks, hence the APA, need to be cured of their errant views." There it is in black and white, the report and the majority of today's secular writers are 180 degrees off the mark. The Bible is clear about God's intention when he created man and woman. We see his plan revealed in Genesis 1:27, where it is recorded. "God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them." And in verse 31 of that chapter, "God saw everything that he had made and pronounced it very good."

Today's activists have the temerity to contradict the creator of the universe. Indeed, the nation is running away from biblical truth at warp speed. Even some Christian seminaries are blurring gender distinctions and teaching that and other heresies to their ministerial students. Some of those institutions and churches are embracing the entire LGBT ideology. May I remind my readers that the B in LGBT represents bisexuality, meaning many sexual experiences with both sexes. It is shocking that any Bible believing teacher or pastor would endorse that movement. We know from scripture that God sees such behavior as debauchery, and has promised to punish blatant sin. My heart is grieved by even thinking about it.

I wrote the following comment in my book Straight Talk To Men in 1980. It is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. I wrote, "My purpose in writing is to redefine the meaning of manhood in a world gone crazy. Traditional concepts of masculinity and femininity have been battered and ridiculed incessantly for 20 years" - and it's now more than 60 — "creating chaos in marriages. We are, after all, sexual beings, everything we do is influenced by our gender assignment. The first element of self-awareness as toddlers comes from our identification as boys and girls. Any confusion at that point, or in the relationship between the sexes, must be seen as threatening to the stability of the family, and society itself. History reveals that to be true.

Dr. Charles Winick at City University of New York studied more than 2000 cultures that have existed in world history. He found only 55 where masculinity and femininity were blurred. Not one of those unisexual societies survived for more than a few decades. Why not? Because a society can be no stronger than the vitality of its families. And its families are a function of the way the sexes relate to each other. Maleness and femaleness are not merely social niceties that have evolved through time, while customs vary from one culture to another. The linkage between the sexes is a function of powerful forces deep within the human spirit. That attraction must not be tampered with by social engineers with an agenda of their own."

I won't burden you with more social commentary except to offer this additional comment: My greatest concern is for your children and what they're being taught in public schools. In worst cases, kids are being indoctrinated by radical social agenda that can have horrendous consequences. For example, policies in some states, unbelievably, mandate that kindergarteners and those in primary grades be taught what social engineers call "gender neutrality." Kids are not even called boys and girls. According to this curriculum, wide-eyed kids, just a few years out of babyhood, are being hammered with the idea that they are neither a boy nor a girl. Furthermore, they are led to believe that they can change their gender by surgery and medicine. It sounds easy, doesn't it? It is a lie.

Physicians can make anatomical alterations and load up an individual with sex hormones, but gender assignment is immutable. Inside our bodies, there are multiple billions of cells and every one of them contains a chromosome designating either male or female, this can never be changed. It is unethical to entice children to change their gender. Kids are easily influenced, especially by authoritarian teachers, to do something that is categorically wrong. In some schools, children are also taught homosexual propaganda, sexual liberation, and other unbiblical and revolutionary concepts. While parents think early public education is about reading, writing, math and social studies, many boys and girls are being taught concepts that would have horrified earlier generations.

Of the many dimensions to our culture that alarm me, this is the most troublesome. It is twisting and warping millions of present day children. In addition to what they're being taught in school, their parents are also being indoctrinated with the big lie. It is a multigenerational effort. In some states, such as Colorado and California, moms and dads are not even permitted to opt their children out of this disturbing curriculum. Not all public schools have taken this leftward swing, but those that have will soon own the minds and souls of vulnerable boys and girls. Does that disturb anyone but me? I'll tell you, it keeps me awake at night. Adolf Hitler revealed his intentions when he said in 1939, "Your child belongs to us already. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants however, will stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community." That was Adolf Hitler in 1939.

Well, let's look at the driving force behind these initiatives. In short, it seeks to destroy the family, to brainwash an entire generation and to obliterate the Judeo-Christian ethic. It's also designed to feminize dads and neutralize their influence. The most disturbing truth is that the perpetrators of this revolution are already well on their way to accomplishing these goals. I saw this coming 30 years ago and began earnestly trying to alert parents. Many of them have thanked me since for that early warning. Gary Bauer and I coauthored a book about this danger in 1990 entitled Children at Risk. Neither Gary nor I claim to be prophets, but we were dead right on this one.

Let me return to the theme of this letter, which is to honor and encourage fathers. I'll end by sharing some advice to dads from my book, Bringing Up Boys. What I wrote on that subject is antithetical to everything the APA and a radical feminist and the far left believe. They will hate me for saying it, but who cares? Maybe some of my readers will help stem the tide. This is what I wrote in Bringing Up Boys:

"I want to share something with you now that's related to fatherhood and it concerns one of my heroes, general Douglas MacArthur. He was instrumental in leading our allied army forces to victory over the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. And then, of course, MacArthur commanded the United Nations Forces in Korea.

His surprise landing at Inchon was a brilliant maneuver. These accomplishments on the battlefield explain why MacArthur is revered today, many decades after his death. But there is another reason for my admiration of this man. It can be traced to a speech he gave in 1942 after he had been given the award for being a good father. This is what he said on that day, 'Nothing has touched me more deeply than this honor given to me by the National Father's Day Committee. By profession, I'm a soldier, and take great pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build, the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death, the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I'm gone, will remember me not from the battle but from the home.'"

Isn't that beautiful? This is precisely the way I feel about my own son and daughter.

Going back to the APA report which foolishly warned that traditional fathers are harmful to boys, let's talk about how dads can contribute to their son's masculine development. It begins with modeling. If character training is the primary goal of child rearing, and I believe it is, then perhaps the best way to build it is through the demeanor and behavior of a father. Identification with him is a far more efficient teacher than lecturing, scolding, punishing, bribing and cajoling. Boys and girls watch their dads intently day by day, noting every minor detail of behavior and values. It is probably true in your home, too.

Your sons will imitate much of what you do. If you blow up regularly and scream at your wife, your boys will likely treat their mothers and other females disrespectfully. If you drink to excess, your kids will be at risk for alcohol and chemical substance abuse. If you curse or smoke or fight with your coworkers, your boys will probably follow suit. If you're selfish or mean or angry, you will see those characteristics displayed in the next generation. Fortunately, the converse is also true. If you're honest, trustworthy, caring, loving, self-disciplined and God-fearing, your boys will be influenced by those traits as they age. If you're deeply committed to Jesus Christ and live by biblical teaching, your children will probably follow in your footsteps. So much depends on what they observe in you, for better or worse.

Someone said, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one." There's truth in that statement. Children may not remember what you say, but they are usually impacted for life by what you do. Consider the task of teaching your boys to be honest, for example. Yes, you should teach what scripture says about truthfulness, but you should also look for opportunities to live according to that standard of righteousness. I'm reminded of something that happened years ago in the State of Georgia. When the Bulldogs of Rockdale County High School overcame a big deficit to win a state basketball championship, coach Cleveland Stroud couldn't have been more proud of his team. But then a few days later, while watching the game films of the playoffs, he noticed that there was an ineligible player on the court for 45 seconds during one of the games. He called the Georgia High School Association and reported the violation, costing the school the title and the trophy.

When asked about it at a press conference, coach Stroud said, "Some people have said that we should have kept quiet about it. It was just 45 seconds and that player wasn't really an impact player, but you got to do what's honest and right. I told my team that people will forget the scores of basketball games. They don't ever forget what you're made out of." You can be certain that every member of the Bulldogs team remembers the character of coach Stroud. A letter to the editor of the local newspapers summed it up well. "We have scandals in Washington and cheating on Wall Street. Thank goodness we live in Rockdale County where honor and integrity are alive and being practiced."

Your boys and girls need to see you doing what is right, even when it is inconvenient to do so. This raises a question about the other characteristics you're trying to model for your sons. Have you thought about that? Do you know exactly what you're trying to accomplish at home? If you're not sure who you are as a man or what you're trying to say with the message of your life, your boys and girls will have no consistent example to follow. Such a plan should begin with a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, who will guide your steps in the days ahead. Unless you know him, your efforts to model righteousness will be inadequate.

Well, I've run out of time and space. Let me say directly to dads: Happy Father's Day. Don't let any high-minded social scientist or some know at all, deter you from your commitment to your family. Never forget that you are a man. Be strong and courageous. God intends for you to lead at home. Your kids will thank you someday for your love and for raising them according to Christian principles, and your wife will be your cheerleader too.

Your friend in Christ, James C. Dobson, Founder and President of the James Dobson Family Institute.

Roger Marsh: I'm Roger Marsh and you've just heard Dr. James Dobson read his June newsletter today here on Family Talk. It is so unfortunate to hear about the obscene adversity facing all of us as men in this culture. We must be sure to take a stand for biblical masculinity, and to be godly fathers in our homes. Request the print or audio version of this latest newsletter by visiting our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. Dr. Dobson pours hours and hours of research and writing into every publication, so don't miss out. Again, visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org to receive the print or audio version of Dr. Dobson's newsletter. And if you'd like to be on our mailing list to receive his newsletter every month, simply call us at (877) 732-6825 that's (877) 732-6825. A member of our staff will be happy to sign you up. Well, that's all the time we have for today, from all of us here at the Dobson Family Institute, be sure to join us again for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

Dr. Dobson: So many men I meet have such good intentions. That's why they say yes to their wives and children so often. Unfortunately, those yeses soon become no's as plans change, and other pressures take priority. And this turns many men into promise breakers.

Roger Marsh: For Family Talk, here's Dr. James Dobson.

Dr. Dobson: Are you a promise breaker or a promise keeper? How would your children answer if we asked them that question? On Monday one son asks his father, "Dad, can we go fishing on Saturday?" The father says, "Yeah, sure." Without really thinking. The days pass and then Friday comes, and the man's boss calls and asks if he can come in for a few hours on Saturday. Or an old Army buddy calls and asks if he wants to go to a ball game with him on Saturday. The man says, "Yes." Saturday morning there's his son waiting for him at the breakfast table with his fishing hat on and his fishing pole and his net ready by the door. "Sorry son," the man says, "I forgot about fishing. Daddy has to work today, maybe next week or the week after that, or the week after that." And another promise has been broken. What the world needs and what your children need are a few more promise keepers and a few less promise breakers. Is there a commitment that you've made recently that you've pushed to the back of your mind? It's not too late to redeem that promise.

Roger Marsh: To find out how you can partner with Family Talk, go to drjamesdobson.org.

Dr. Tim Clinton: This is Dr. Tim Clinton, Executive Director of the James Dobson Family Institute. Thanks for listening today. We hope you found this program helpful and encouraging. Please remember that our ministry is here to serve you and your family. For more information about our programs and resources, or to learn how you can support us, go to drjamesdobson.org. That's drjamesdobson.org, or call us toll-free: (877) 732-6825. I pray that God will bless you in 2020. We're so grateful for your partnership. We ask you to stand with us and to continue to defend the Christian values in an ever-changing culture. Thanks again for joining us. We hope you'll join us again on the next edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Roger Marsh: Hey everyone. Roger Marsh here for Family Talk. Where can you go to receive support and advice for you and your family? Family Talk interacts with millions of people every day with inspiring advice and tips from Dr. James Dobson on what matters to you the most. Whether it's marriage or parenting, you can be sure our Facebook page will keep you updated with how your family can succeed. Join us each day for the latest broadcast resources and inspiration. Nowhere else can you hear a thought of the day from Dr. Dobson, as well as a special message before you say good night. Now you can be sure that every post on our page is created with you and your family in mind. So, please take the time to visit us and become part of our online community at facebook.com/DrJamesDobsonsFamilyTalk, that's facebook.com/DrJamesDobsonsFamilyTalk.
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