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Calling All Men - A New Christian Patriarchy

Men, it is time to establish a new Christian patriarchy.  It is time to wake up from the muck and mire of the rigors of daily life and fight for a worthwhile cause.  It is time to reclaim the ground that has been lost to cultural decline. It is time for us to grow up and start behaving like real men instead of adolescents.   The battle is raging and the enemies are fierce. Our woman are waiting. Our country is waiting. Our Church is waiting. We need soldiers. We need good Christian soldiers.  We need Christian patriarchs.

So what is a Christian patriarch?

The best way to define Christian patriarchy is to first look at St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians where he writes,

"Wives be subject to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself Savior. As the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5: 21-25)
This type of patriarchy is very different from the way contemporary culture views marriage. Unfortunately this particular scripture  passage is often misinterpreted. Ephesians 5 is not a license for men to control women.  St. Paul is NOT telling the men of Ephesus that they need to dominate their wives.   In fact,  St. Paul is calling men to be sacrificial, to place the needs of their wives ahead of their own. This is the heart of Christian patriarch; to be a servant leader. A true Christian patriarch is called to lay down his own life for his wife.

Sadly, the word patriarch can be pejorative. This negative mindset stems from a notion that men have enslaved women throughout history. Any mention of a "patriarchal" society sends off alert bells and riles people up.  But to the contrary, true Christian patriarchy never takes away the dignity of a woman, it rather fulfills it through the mutual compatibility of the sexes.  God created men to be the leaders of their families. Women were created to be co creators of the masculine journey.  This delicate, ingenious balance between the sexes allows both male and female to fulfill their God given vocations.

G.C. Dilsilver author of the book, "The Three Marks of Manhood"  explains Christian patriarchy in the following  three ways:

1) The scepter of self discipline and authority. In order for a man to be a Christian patriarch he must first be disciplined himself. A man achieves this through forging strong relationships with other men,  through carefully choosing his career, through study, through focusing on God given priorities, and  through growing in sexual purity. A man must be ready to order his life around the will of God. 

Once a man has become disciplined then the next step is to wield the proper authority over his family.  This is achieved through living a life of sacrifice, being open to the possibility of life, protecting the household from outside influences.

2)The Crosier of spiritual stewardship.  This is where the man creates a unique Catholic culture in the home.  Just as a bishop uses his crosier (his staff) to signify his authority over the church the same is expected of the man. A man achieves this through being faithful to his marital vows, through speaking the truth as it relates to the times, and through educating his family on key church teachings.

3) The Cross of redemptive suffering. Keeping in line with the sacrificial nature of a man's call, a man must be willing to suffer for the good of his family. A man must be willing to "take up his own cross" and to follow Christ in his life. This is achieved through routine self sacrifice, through following the classic religious vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty in a way that is complimentary to the vocation of marriage.

I leave you with this:   God did not structure the family in this way for no reason.  God is a God of order.  The rules that He set in motion are set to benefit His children (us).  Forgive this over used example, but the car manufacturer doesn't suggest using unleaded fuel and getting regular oil changes just so he can sit back and control the way you drive.  The car manufacturer made that car. He knows how he made it, how it works,  how long its supposed to last, and how it will run the most efficiently.

A Godly man being the head of the family - works.  It works for the children as it instills discipline and stability.  It works for the man himself as it fulfills his innate sense of leadership. It works for the wife as it instills a sense of assurance and security.  And it works for society as a whole as it produces level headed, well rounded children that become good and Godly adults that become our future leaders.

Now is the time.


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