“The family is the only social institution that is present in every single village, tribe, or nation we know through history. It has a genetic base and is the rearing device for our species.” Phon Hudkins
The family as God planned it has always been centered on raising children to become competent and capable of raising their own children. This creates the generations of faith that we have discussed before. But what happens when this cycle is interrupted. What happens when a man leaves his wife and children to fend for themselves? How is a boy to learn how to be a man when there is not a father figure in the picture to learn from?
Dave Simmons, who conducts training for fathers through “Dad, the Family Shepherd” seminars, describes God’s plan for raising children like this, “Plan A for training family shepherds is the original, God-designed plan that calls for on-site, hands-on training in a master/apprentice relationship. It is a decentralized program with an instructor/student ratio of 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4 and takes anywhere from 16 to 22 years to complete. It is the father/son training program. Fathers are supposed to equip boys to become effective family shepherds. The task of a father is not to raise children: it is to equip child raisers.”
Satan has shrewdly figured out that without the man in the home, the training system does not work. So he works to tempt the man away from his God-appointed role. He lures many to have relations with many different women and create kids he will have no influence on. An even more current push is to tempt the man into totally debasing the family role and form unions with other men. There are many kids today that have never known what it is to have a father or even know a family that resembles God’s plan for families.
In Jesus’ time, a mother would raise the kids up until they were 5-7 years old. After that the boys would be brought up by their fathers, living by his father’s side each day and learning his father’s trade. As the son got older, his father would form him into a man. A father was expected to equip their son to be an adult male. This is how men functioned for thousands of years. There was great stability in the family structure. Men did not have identity crises. The boys knew who they were and what they were to do because they had their father’s model. They were specifically trained to take their father’s place.
What if this was a requirement of father’s today? Wouldn’t it absolutely change the way we operate as a society? Imagine how we would raise up a generation of savvy kids that had direction in their lives and knew how to be real men. Additionally, imagine the impact that the boys might have on the men. It would be pretty hard for the men to neglect their responsibilities with their boys present all of the time. There would be a huge decline in men getting involved with other women at the office. The addition of the boys would create an atmosphere of accountability that we have not seen in this society.
So, what happened to this family approach? Back in 1750, there was a change in the way men began to conduct trade and business that is called the Industrial Revolution. Up until this time, 80% of men were farmers and the remainder carried on trades such as silversmiths, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, and other “smiths”. Typically, even the “smiths” would work out of their homes and have their front rooms dedicated as their workshop or salesroom. So, as the Industrial Revolution began to start, factories began to spring up in the cities where coal was in good supply. The factories changed the employment landscape by moving the men from their homes to the factory. An ordinary worker had now lost his role as an independent producer and had become a factory hand. Towns with factories grew rapidly and “serious social evils developed.”
So, what changed in the Industrial Revolution? Men had to leave their home for employment and their ability to influence their sons was greatly diminished. In the matter of a few years, it had just become harder to save the boys. Men had stopped doing what they had done for generation after generation. Factory work had separated fathers from sons and the master/apprentice relationship model was broken. As we have progressed in the last 250 years, man’s God-appointed role of raising his kids has eroded much further.
We fell for the myth of success and wealth that has forever hindered our role to raise Godly kids by accepting an application of Industrial Grade Roundup. The Seeds for each successive generation have been neutered to a point where families are struggling to grow at all.