Author Topic: The Authority of the Husband and Father  (Read 1385 times)

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Offline Kephapaulos

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The Authority of the Husband and Father
« on: October 05, 2011, 12:23:11 AM »
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  • Quote from: Stephen Francis
    @Kephapaulos:

    How do we do it? The grace of God, number one. I was NOBODY'S faithful Christian as a child and younger man; there are still family members of mine who are waiting for the 'other shoe' to drop, meaning that they just cannot believe that I have reformed my life at all, let alone to a degree where I influence my children for good, rather than for compromise and sin.

    Honestly, though, in a day-to-day sense, how do we accomplish the raising of girls in this society? The following are a few BASIC, and by no means comprehensive, concepts that drive what we do as parents:

    1) I am the FATHER, and therefore the Scriptural authority, of our home. Period. My role as the leader and director of our family's life is, of course, limited by the degree to which I strive to be faithful to the teachings of Our Lord, but there IS a hierarchy nonetheless. My wife, as submitted to me, is also a definite authority over our children, and they are EXPECTED (asked, yes, but asked with a definite goal in mind) to obey her as they obey me.

    2) I am a very plain-spoken person, and when I have a conviction about the rightness or wrongness of an idea, a life choice, a TV program or whatever, I make a decision about it and that decision is FINAL. That said, however, as the primary teacher and caregiver of my children, I make sure to EXPLAIN and CONTEXTUALIZE the decisions I make. For instance, let's say there's a TV program (we watch only about THREE programs on TV, and we have no cable, but let's just say) that I think is dangerous morally. I tell the children that the program is not fit for their viewing, I give an example of the behaviors and/or attitudes prevalent in the program, and I ask them to imagine if their parents behaved in such a way. Bringing the examples 'home' often increases their shock and repulsion at the idea that people could be depicted as behaving in such sinful ways. I ALWAYS make it clear to our children that while TV is 'make-believe', it IS written by people who want to influence and define culture, and therefore, we must avoid those things which encourage disobedience to the Faith.

    3) We INSIST upon proper speech, proper dress (within reason) and a proper 'chain of command' in our home and when among others. Our children are expected to say 'please' and 'thank you', they are expected to answer 'yes, Daddy' and 'yes, Mommy', instead of 'uh-huh' and 'yup' and 'okay'. They dress in colorful and store-bought clothing, but they do not wear anything shorter than knees, do not wear any sort of trousers when a skirt will do (when they are playing running games or climbing things, they are in leggings UNDER a skirt or jumper) and NEVER wear anything sleeveless. They understand the cultural attitudes behind such clothing, and they know that they are the targets of the 'social engineers' who design and promote 'fashions' that are intended to sexualize children and conform them to an indecent anonymous sameness.

    4) Finally (for the sake of this post), I PERSONALLY must pursue obedience to the Faith and my own personal sanctity, regardless of the conditions around me (I live in a situation where adherence to the Catholic Faith borders on dangerous for me). I must behave and sincerely strive for Christian virtue in the ways I wish my children to also behave.

    I hope even a word or two of this has been helpful to anyone raising children.

    St. Anne, mother of Our Lady, pray for us.

    Holy Mary, Mother of God the Son, pray for us.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.


    Thank you very much, Stephen Francis, for this most sound advice from the Raising a Good Girl thread.

    I bolded the part you mentioned about having authority over your family.

    Now I ask: How does a husband assume the proper authority over his wife? I find it still somewhat hard to understand how it is done because of what we have to see in the modern world today. Sadly, a lot of women do not want to submit, and if more husband did try to take on their proper role as the head of the household they may end up risking getting in this kind of situation ----> :fryingpan: :laugh1: .
    "Non nobis, Domine, non nobis; sed nomini tuo da gloriam..." (Ps. 113:9)

    Offline Telesphorus

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    The Authority of the Husband and Father
    « Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 02:52:43 AM »
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  • Ultimately in a world gone mad because of feminism there are only two choices - to flee the world, or to refuse to compromise and make sure that those who behave immorally cannot act with impunity.


    Offline Stephen Francis

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    The Authority of the Husband and Father
    « Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 09:52:26 AM »
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  • Kephapaulos (and everyone),

    First, I must understand my authority over my wife and children as God-given; I have no fewer strictures on MY authority than any Church leader does. If I abdicate my position through pertinaciously sinful/rebellious behavior, I lose the right to be able to define what constitutes Christian morals in my home.

    Conversely, when my life is brought under subjection to the Scriptures and the Church, the issue of authority is clearly a non-controversial one, because there exists a hierarchy in the home that anyone professing to be a Christian can see, understand and embrace:

    Christ, the Head of our (and every Christian) home,

    then

    the husband, who is head of the home after the example of Jesus Christ,

    then

    the same man as father (one must lead his wife in faithfulness to Scripture before one can presume to be able to instruct anyone else. St. Paul tells us that if a person cannot manage his own household (which by default included his wife BEFORE his children, as in Eden), then he cannot manage the things of the Kingdom of God (which, again by default, includes instructing others in God's ways; that charge OBVIOUSLY extends to our children).

    This hierarchy ONLY THEN extends to the wife, who, if the couple has no children, is called by the Church to be an example to her larger family and to the larger community by working diligently in the home. The same would apply if she HAD children, but her role as teacher of the larger family/society is then secondary to her role as teacher/caregiver to her children.

    Children, too, have responsibilities as members of a Christian family; they, of course, do not have CHARGE over anyone (except that older siblings should definitely be given age-appropriate care of their younger siblings), but they DO and should be expected to have the TASK of representing their parents' authority to others (i.e. 'my mother and father taught me not to use such language', or, 'my parents taught me not to watch such videos; this program shows and says things that displease God').

    After all that reading, please take note of the very short phrase I highlighted; my (any husband's) authority over his wife IS DIRECTLY and INEXTRICABLY linked to the EXAMPLE of Christ Our Lord. ONLY when I am DAILY submitting myself to the will of God may I profess to even HAVE any role of rule in my home.

    That said, remember that Jesus Christ told everyone what God had declared, and was completely submitted to the Will of His Father, yet was often mocked, insulted and threatened. A Christian husband will face times when the sinful attitudes of this world, and of our selfish flesh, will rise up in his wife and cause her to react wrongly to even his most Christlike endeavors. When that happens, we must take refuge in the knowledge that we are serving our wives the way Christ served the world in His Divine Humanity, by laying His prerogatives down and not responding maliciously even to the most hateful actions and words.

    We must further go on, in the case of our WIVES, NOT the world in general, to LOVE our wives the way Christ LOVES the Church, which is to lay down our LIVES to the very end in order to secure and promote our wives' well-being and spiritual lives.

    The short version: PRAY every day. GO TO CONFESSION as often as possible, even if it is to confess minor things that your confessor might just call 'scruples'. Transparency and honesty are going to serve you far better than pride and presumption. READ the Bible with your wife (and children, if there be any). ENCOURAGE spiritual disciplines; a Christian wife is going to be led into a good, faithful role as wife and mother MUCH more easily if she sees a 'track record' in your life of continued reliance upon and encouragement in the things of God.

    Telesphorus said it VERY, VERY well... when one cannot FLEE the world, which, according to St. Paul, is not very often possible for the average citizen, one must steadfastly refuse to compromise and endeavor to live IN the world, but contrary TO its attitudes and choices, thus, in fact, creating a NEW SET of choices for the ever-observing world to witness, investigate and, Deo volente, embrace as their own.

    I think, too often, Christians (and especially Prot heretics of the modern fundamentalist type) live as though:

    1) they are different from the world, when often they are not

    and

    2) that Christian behavior is confined to their beliefs, their political votes and PERHAPS their style of dress, but that the larger world will not understand their ways, as if the public, exterior lives were some mystical, hidden thing.

    We as husbands, must live so as to present NOT the ONLY choice our wife has, which would be tyranny, given the fact that we are not perfect, but so as to present the choice of Christian obedience as a RADIANT and BEAUTIFUL alternative and antidote to the wickedness of so-called 'feminism' and so-called 'modernity'. Christ Himself did not TEAR DOWN the religions or the temples of the world in His day; He announced the TRUE religion, He lived so as to embody its perfections in every way and He declared that nothing evil or wicked could COME to the Light, which is Christ and His Church, without being exposed for what it is.

    I encourage you all, then, husbands, to pursue sanctity and simply allow your life of faith to shine and make the failings and shortcomings of the world's philosophies self-evident when they are compared to 'Christ in you, the hope of glory'.

    St. Joseph, model of husbands, pray for us.

    St. Anne, virtuous mother of Our Lady, pray for us.

    Holy Mary, Mother of all mothers, pray for us.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar

    Offline Kephapaulos

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    The Authority of the Husband and Father
    « Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 09:53:48 PM »
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  • Thank you for the great advice, Stephen Francis. :)
    "Non nobis, Domine, non nobis; sed nomini tuo da gloriam..." (Ps. 113:9)

    Offline Waskiewicz

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    The Authority of the Husband and Father
    « Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 03:18:55 PM »
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  • Quote from: Stephen Francis
    We as husbands, must live so as to present NOT the ONLY choice our wife has, which would be tyranny, given the fact that we are not perfect, but so as to present the choice of Christian obedience as a RADIANT and BEAUTIFUL alternative and antidote to the wickedness of so-called 'feminism' and so-called 'modernity'.


    Highly commendable is the man who can do this.  I’m curious though if you think it's possible for a man to make his wife love Christian obedience or if what I quoted above is simply great advice for keeping your wife happily obedient.

    From my myopic view it seems that advice for a successful marriage boils down to the advice given to any vocation: all that is necessary is that you love God. In everything, strive to love Him with your whole heart, and all your strength. If a woman knows that it is Him Who you love and Him Who you are serving by ruling over her, then familial happiness is sure to follow.

    As a woman I can safely say, we need men to lead us whether we admit it or not! Our perfection exists in a submissive role. Love of God compels us to obedience, to meekness and humility. It is that beautiful grace which makes a woman desire a man who will lead her. As tragic as it is that feminism is urging women against their nature, greater yet is the fact that it’s pushing men to fear and neglect their duties. I’m convinced that if your woman is trying to grow in sanctity, she will at least do her very best to submit to you.

    P.S. That was a great post Stephen Francis! I hope all the future husbands here take it to heart and lead their wives in holiness!
    There is only one thing to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved.
    The Little Flower

    I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices which cost me nothing. I will pay the full price.
    cf. 2 Kings 24:24


    Offline Stephen Francis

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    « Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 04:43:31 PM »
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  • @Waskiewicz:

    What you quoted is actually advice for, as you surmised, keeping one's wife 'happily obedient', but it is ALSO the ONLY way that a man can ever EXPECT his wife to even CONSIDER obedience.

    The problem is that the Protestant attitude of individualism has taken root in the modern world, especially here in the US. Basically, the obedience of a wife in the home is secondary to her 'own walk with the Lord', whatever that means. Women get the idea that their own personal spiritual cafeteria-style feeding is what really sustains them, even to the point of disagreeing with their husband's so-called 'theology'! Of course, when private interpretation of Scripture and rejection of any authority except one's own 'leadings' is the norm, one cannot expect women in the modern world to even IMAGINE obeying their husbands.

    We, as men called to imitate Christ in humility and serve the Church in our domestic leadership, should always remember the example of the Roman official who approached Our Lord with a request to pray for his sick and dying servant. The Roman soldier said:

    "I am a man under authority, but I, too, have authority over 100 soldiers, and if I tell one, 'do this', I know that he will do it; if I say to another 'go there', I know that he will go."

    Christian men must foster FAITH in their hearts by receiving the Sacraments worthily, making daily prayer and meditation a part of their necessary routine (as much as eating or sleeping) and continuing to grow in knowledge of Scripture and of the history and teachings of the Church.

    Failing that, there is no way for a man to combat the spirit of modernist feminism that has overtaken the Western world.

    I think the best analogy I can give is this: If I am standing outside, watching a gorgeous sunset, I can do three things: I can go inside and try and explain it to you, I can stand outside and have you join me and get lost in the wonder and beauty together, or I can do BOTH. I can invite you to join me in what has already overwhelmed me with beauty, transcendence and love, and THEN we can go inside and I can lead you and instruct you in the things God has revealed to me.

    Obviously, there's a lot more concrete study and prayer involved, and not just emotional trips and spiritual 'highs', but certainly a dedicated man of God is going to transmit not only the FACTS of faith, but a soul-satisfied love for Our Lord, devotion to Our Lady and friendship with the saints.

    I hope that helped explain my thoughts on these matters; God has certainly graced me with a loving, obedient wife, so I am sure that some of this will sound 'easy for ME to say'.

    **Please pray for us; she was baptized Novus, raised in a once-a-week, mom-only kind of 'faith', we have spent years in the Prot errors, but little by little, step by tiny little step, I am doing my best to lead our family into the arms of Tradition once and for all.

    Holy Virgin, Mother of mothers, pray for us.

    St. Joseph, model of fathers, pray for us.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar

    Offline Waskiewicz

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    The Authority of the Husband and Father
    « Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 08:04:36 PM »
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  • Stephen, thank you for such a detailed response! It is always helpful to see a person’s thought pattern, so I am grateful for you sharing it.

    I understand the necessity of detailing the specific marks of what a good husband does (especially when one asks for advice!), but would you beg to differ that all these things are not rooted in love? And only properly reach their perfection when they stem from love? I know the word “love” gets a bad rap these days for being overly sissified and no more than emotional response to feel good hormones, but I don’t believe that’s the true meaning of it. (Though I wouldn’t blame you for thinking such emotions are what I run on.)

    I was under the impression that it is Love that truly moves the soul, or is at least the most efficient of means. Since as St. Thomas says, Love draws in its train all other virtues, and directs them all to unite us more closely to God: I see daily prayer (erring towards constant) and meditation as the supernatural responses of a soul in love, mortification and sacrifice as a nothing more than the motions of a soul so in love that it wishes to suffer to be united to the Crucified Beloved. What are prayer, meditation, mortification, frequenting the Sacraments, studying Holy Writ, reading the lives of the Saints and great Catholic books, and fulfilling the duties of our state in life but responses of a soul that loves God? And for what purpose are all these responses if not to unite ourselves more closely to God?

    True love, supernatural charity, is strong. It is courageous and patient, and what’s more is it lifts us above what we can do by nature. Following the commandments, precepts, and duties of a Catholic to perfection is a hard task for the great many of us and certainly impossible without the grace of God. But the Love of God sweetens things most bitter (St. Bonaventure) and like holy desires it lightens the labor of walking in the ways of God. (St. Lawrence Justinian) Oh, the miraculous effects God’s grace has on us little clumps of dirt! Worldlings see the life of a Trad as unbearable, full of self-imposed misery and sacrifices for no apparent reason. I’m sure they’d have some serious trouble finding a saint who looked at his crosses with anything but joyous resignation, and I’m willing to bet no saint was able to do this without the grace of merciful love.

    Like your wife, I am a convert from the Novus Ordo. Rooting out all the mush I was force-fed for 13 years of “Catholic” schooling is a work in progress; in your mercy please correct errors in my opinions.

    Also, you can be assured of my prayers! The only thing more joyous than souls truly converting to Christ, is them persevering unswervingly in His ways.
    May we all save our souls in the Precious Blood of our most loving Jesus!
    There is only one thing to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved.
    The Little Flower

    I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices which cost me nothing. I will pay the full price.
    cf. 2 Kings 24:24

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    « Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 08:10:48 PM »
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  • Stephen Francis said it better than I could have. Well said, Stephen.

    I'm still looking for a Traditional Catholic girl to marry, no success yet. It's my priority to be a good husband and father and a good family man. None of this "sitting on my butt watching tv and sipping beer all day while my wife does all the work" crap that has gotten to so many men. And while I would be the head of the household as I'm supposed to be, I would certainly refrain from being a controll-freak. I cannot treat my wife that way.


    Offline Stephen Francis

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    « Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 09:30:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: Waskiewicz
    I understand... but would you beg to differ that all these things are not rooted in love? And only properly reach their perfection when they stem from love?


    On the contrary, I would never beg to differ from such a fine summarization of what I attempted to express. Dear sister in Christ, thank you for your insights and those wonderful quotes from the saints that you shared.

    You and S.S. after you each said the same thing, but in different ways. You expressed the need for the man's love toward his wife to be supernaturally engendered by, and a product of, his love for God, and God's love and graces to him.

    Spiritus, on the other hand, expressed the tried-and-true, get-your-hands-dirty kind of love that is most practical and so sorely needed by women. Spiritus, I am going to share with you (and the rest of the board) something I have learned after 17 years together with the woman God has given me; this REALLY IS a key to 'understanding women', as so many modernist books have tried to do...

    WOMEN NEED TO BE CARED FOR, PROVIDED FOR and GIVEN A SENSE OF SECURITY. No matter how smart a man is intellectually, no matter how sincere in his convictions, he will NEVER be able to sustain the proper atmosphere in a Christian home unless he is willing to do whatever it takes to make his wife feel APPRECIATED, DEFENDED AGAINST POTENTIAL CRISES and SURROUNDED BY THE MATERIAL AND EMOTIONAL RESOURCES SHE NEEDS. The last thing that a woman EVER wants to have to do (in her failing humanity) is think about 'what God says' when there's laundry to be done, children to be disciplined and dinner to be made.

    Seriously... those things, those labors, are all part of what happened to man's state when he fell in the Garden. Labor, hard work, toil and exhaustion... and because Eve traded a life centered on God for a life centered on her own selfish desires, that's what mankind GOT... a life where WE are not only given charge over the ground to till it, but now EVERYTHING, the weeds, the droughts, the pests... they're ALL OURS TO HANDLE. And when those struggles in life pile up, they obscure a woman's sense of her duty to God and her husband faster than you can imagine.

    That's why, above all else, a man's heart to GOD must reach as high as it can, striving for the charity and Christian virtue that St. Paul says is the 'mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus'. On the other hand, a man's heart to HIS WIFE must stay rooted in the down-to-earth practicalities of daily needs. St. James tells us that if we offer pious platitudes to those around us, like 'God bless you; be warm and be filled', but we don't actually WORK to meet their needs, then our profession of faith is void, pointless and meaningless to those around us.

    Spiritus, my advice is to keep your eyes on Christ, think often of His Cross and remember that you will only ever be, for any woman, the man that you are when there's no one around. Ask yourself daily what will form your spiritual life and shape your conscience.

    When the time comes, God willing, that you become a husband and perhaps a father someday, the best way for me to sum it all up for you is to quote the great monastic St. Benedict: Ora et labora. Pray, my brother, and work as well.

    St. Joseph, model of fathers, chaste spouse of the Virgin, pray for us.

    Holy Mary, model of faithful womanhood, pray for us and teach our women to be like you.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    « Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 09:11:20 AM »
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  • Thanks for the advice and that great post, Stephen.

    God Bless.

    Offline Stephen Francis

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    « Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 11:22:45 AM »
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  • Quote from: St. Paul the Apostle's First Epistle to the Corinthians
    For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?


    I am no different from anyone else, Spiritus. I have only those graces which I have received; there is nothing worthy in me. I am only grateful for the chance to share God's mercies with others.

    May God bless you in your labors for the glory of His Son and His Church.

    St. Peter, Prince of Apostles, first head of Christ's Church, pray for us.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar


     

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