In recent years, as The New York Times has glorified the sexual revolution’s redefinition of the family, the paper has vigorously argued that children are not really disadvantaged by having no father.1 The Times’ blaring message has been that it makes no difference whether a child has one parent, two parents of the same gender, or whatever. And yet in October 2015, after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across America, the newspaper has gone against its own grain by admitting that children, and especially boys, need fathers. Last week, The Times published an article by Claire Cain Miller titled “A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls.” She wrote:
As society becomes more unequal, it seems, it hurts boys more. New research from social scientists offers one explanation: Boys are more sensitive than girls to disadvantage. Any disadvantage, like growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father, takes more of a toll on boys than on their sisters. . . . Boys suffer from a lack of male role models (emp. added).
Researchers are quoted in the article:
Boys particularly seem to benefit more from being in a married household or committed household—with the time, attention, and income that brings. . . . Mothers, especially single mothers, tend to spend more time with daughters than sons. Boys, meanwhile, might need more oversight and discipline than girls to learn things like controlling their emotions and focusing on school.
As it turns out, fathers matter greatly in the welfare of children. Bible students did not need a newspaper to inform them of this truth. Just think of the many passages in the Proverbs’ where the writer calls his “son” to listen to fatherly wisdom, and consider the following passages.
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
- Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness (Hebrews 12:9-10).
- Discipline your son, for there is hope … (Proverbs 19:18).
- Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
We are thankful for godly fathers who provide many blessings to their sons.
See Albert Mohler, “The Briefing 10-28-15,” http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/10/28/the-briefing-10-28-15/. ↩