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Faith and Fathers: Obvious, and Documented, Conclusions Chuck Colson

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posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:25 PM
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From Chuck Colson's Breakpoint website:

www.breakpoint.org...


In study after study, the absence of fathers is linked to a host of what social scientists call “adverse outcomes” in the lives of children. These adverse outcomes affect all of society—increased crime, substance abuse, and dropping out of school, . . . increased incidents of mental illness, sexual promiscuity, and an inability to form stable and lasting relationships

. . . Marks and fellow researcher David Dollahite studied 130 families across the country, including Christians, Jews, Mormons and Muslims.


. . . “religious beliefs and practices play a critical role for many men in their involvement with children.” . . . “in an era when many fathers are disconnected from or uninvolved with their children.”

. . . Second, “religious fathers are far less likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs than non-religious fathers, and an estimated 80 percent of child abuse is alcohol related.”



This is a super hot-button issue for me.

The following is my personal commentary on the topic from the standpoint of my PhD in clincal psychology and counseling 1000's of families, couples and indivduals over 30 years individually, as couples, as families, extended families and as groups.

Fathers can be absent from their children, their families in a variety of ways:

I've put this in the RELIGIOUS CONSPIRACY forum because I believe it is a genuine religious related conspiracy of the NWO folks motivated, guided, fueled literally from the pit of hell.

Satan knows destroying the balance, spiritual and emotional connectedness of fathers is one of the most impactful ways he can destroy individuals and society in general that exists, available to him.

He has seduced the NWO puppet masters into thinking that they have come up with clever ideas for society that will replace loving fatherly instruction in the home with forced toddler Federal controled instruction essentially cradle to grave. Billary is a fierce proponent of such--"for the children," of course. What rot. It's for her power mongering control of all the sheeple and serfs of the world--which is to become all those not of the ruling elite.

Anyway--/rant and back to the focus of this thread . . .

Fathers can be absent from familes and their children in several ways:

1. Absent totally--divorced, kicked-out, escapist, run-away fathers.

2. Absent work-aholics. They are primarily never home and when they are home they are absent emotionally because they have no more gas--energy or time to give to anyone--especially kids. Even the wife only gets an occasional slam-bam-thank-you-mam-snore.

3. To be fair . . . some women and even children seem to push their husbands and fathers to achieve ever more to keep up with the neighbors in terms of all the latest gadgets, fashions, etc. And fathers who had inadequate bonding with their fathers feel inadequate to begin with so they strive hard at work fantasizing that THEN someone will respect them, love them, approve of them--FINALLY.

4. Dads can be emotionally absent because their dads did not train them nor model for them what it means to bond emotionally age 0-6 with each unique child.

5. Besides, most men construe emotions to be a female thing. Since emotions can't be controlled, sawn, cut, drilled, nailed nor sorted very tangibly . . . how can a man deal with them successfully, productively? Most men are mystified and give up before they start. Again, a lack of a healthy emotionally gifted, emotional IQ gifted father of teir own . . . they never learned how.

6. And too many are too wimpy or fearful to learn That would mean (A) that they'd have to admit they didn't know everything--tweaking all their chronic insecurity buttons again. Then, they'd (B) have to submit from a position of weakness to a teacher who'd know more than they do--and try and humbly LEARN something applicable. Scary stuff even to humongous football players.

7. Fathers can be absent in the listening department. They just never learned to listen well. No one taught them. They didn't seek out anyone who could and would teach them. They have no idea what reflective listening, active listening is. They could paraphrase someone else's words effectively if their lives epended on it and they'd feel stupid trying. But they can learn IF they will humble themselves and DETERMINE to do so.

8. Fathers can be absent in the persistence department. Lots of children like most humans can be resistent to overtures at first--ESPECIALLY IF A BOND HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED THE FIRST WEEKS AND MONTHS OF LIFE AND MAINTAINED 0-8 YEARS OR SO. The child may tend to feel that an overture from Dad is too good to be true and won't be a reliable thing anyway--so why risk it emotionally--it'll just be pulled out from under them when they most need it anyway--so why be vulnerable yet again.

9. Fathers can be absent in the courage department--the courage to be human, vulnerable--admitting their own flaws and showing that flaws can be learned from and overcome instead of the end of the story. Again, the fathers' insecure childhood is a major cause of such failings. They hurt too much as children and ever since. So the pain of being vulnerable and embarrassed over not being perfect is a seriously huge one.

10. Fathers can be absent in the fun department. Insecurely raised fathers tend to focus too much on the rat race . . . or on the hole instead of on the doughnut. Children learn massively in a context of fun. But many fathers never had fathers who were fun so they didn't learn how to have fun--to be silly, serentipitous, spontaneous--regardless of what onlookers or passers by might think. Kids are priceless--THEIR OPINIONS should be the MOST important after God's and wife's.

If you are a pretty decent father--look around--see if there's a young father you can take under your wing and mentor, coach, befriend, encourage.

If you are a pretty p*ss poor father . . . read . . . it's cheaper than a counselor. Talk to excellent fathers. Get some videos from Amazon.com or Focus on the Family.

www.focusonthefamily.com...

Take an excellent father to breakfast once a week for 6 months. Pick his brain and learn from his habits, values, priorities.

WARNING FATHERS--you will either pay your children their due

in terms of . . .

--continued next post-- fixd spell n title

[edit on 27/7/2007 by BO XIAN]




posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:44 PM
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WARNING FATHERS . . .

You will EITHER

pay your children their due

in terms of time, energy, healthy love and affection, emotional vulnerability on your part, resources . . .

OR

you WILL PAY IT in terms of lawyer's fees; sleepless nights; pain in the gut; social embarrassment; ulcers; heart attacks; outrageous car insurance fees; self-condemnation . . .

You may as well get your act together and learn to do it right or learn to suffer as never before in your life.

And trying to play catch-up when they are teens is virtual stupidity to the max. Some things can be improved vs continuing to do thing horribly when kids are teens--but it is MOSTLY too late by then.

The time to prevent teen problems is age 0-8 . . . especially 0-5 . . . and then maintain the bonding and increase the connectedness ever after.

The "teen rebellion" problem is largely a fallacy. It seems TRUE because there are so few who do childrearing right that everyone thinks it's the NATURAL NORM.

It's not.

I have seen enough do it right and who had NO teen rebellion problem to know it's possible.

Sure, teens separate and individuate--that's normal and healthy. But it does NOT have to involve horribly painful rebellion in attitudes and deeds.

At the proper times and in the proper ways--parents deliberately give teens more and more freedoms and more and more control WITH the accompanying consequences for their behavior felt and shouldered FIRST by the teens. Having done a good job up until then--MOST well reared teens minimize the traumas as well as the expenses of such traumas.

Of course teens do not make 30 year or 50 year old mature decisions. But well reared teens would put to shame many 50 year old men poorly reared in terms of mature decisions and behaviors.

Trouble is, many poorly reared parents of teens are such perfectionistic control freaks out of their own poor childhood insecurities and fears--their children don't have a chance to breathe and grow healthily.

REMEMBER . . .

DISCIPLINE WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP RESULTS IN REBELLION.

And the relationship must be EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED at deep vulnerable levels or it's a farce or too largely a farce to begin with.

I'd be happy to dialogue meaningfully about any of the above.

I'm not overly eager to debate folks who are ignorant, uninformed, rabid toward and hostile to the values and priorities presented above.

The above original material is copyrighted by me hereby 2007. All rights reserved. Free non-commercial use is allowed provided it is kept intact and unaltered. Credit should be given including to this initial host-site--ATS.

I will also be posting this narrative on the Colson thread at FR:

www.freerepublic.com...

Blessings.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:31 PM
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My father was not absent in my life in the traditional sense of the word, absent. But in many ways, I grew up without a father... its hard to explain but I'll try.


When I was around 12 years old, my father contracted a disease called Cerebral Atrophy. This means that he gradually went from an incredibly fit, healthy guy that ran a mile every morning to.... walking with a cane.... walking with a walker... walking with a walker while a person supports him.... barely walking while using a walker and 2 or more people supporting him...


Growing up as a teen, I never had any strong male-figures in my life. I have 2 older sisters, one of whom was very abusive and the other just slightly abusive/indifferent to me. And my mother, for the most part, never payed me any real attention, other than the occasional arguments. I have no brothers, and my next door neighbours are my cousins, all of which are female and older than me. So yeah, my cousins were pretty nice to me but for the most part, indifferent to me too.


I never had the chance to just throw a ball around with my dad, or play basketball with him, or even go jogging with the guy. And in many ways, that killed me a bit on the inside since everyone in my life was a domineering woman who would be more likely tell me to piss off than throw the old pigskin around....


*continued*



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:41 PM
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I kind of virtually physically hurt as I read your narrative.

I had a step-dad by age 5. He and my virtually entirely absent blood dad were . . . hostile to most aspects of my personality and certainly did not have the skills or knowledge to know how to bond with me had they wanted to or seen it as that important. So, they gave up on me and I gave up on them. Mother was crazy in a list of ways though she had a good heart and wanted to do good--she was crazy--and set up an usafe damned if one did and damned if one didn't environement. She did not have a clue about me either.

All that to say--I can understand something about what you experienced.

NO FUN. HORRID, actually.

By God's grace, I've overcome most of it. But even at 60 years of age with tons of counsel and prayer and group work . . . it's incredible that some buttons are still sensitive after all those years.

How have you managed? What have you learned? How have you overcome?

What are you still trying to overcome from all that?

Thanks enormously for the honor of your post and for sharing your life experiences. I'm sure many millions of people can identify.

Please do continue with your story. It is compelling.

Blessings,



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:48 PM
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*continuance*


The only real exposure to the.... how should i put this.... manly side of life was my neighbourhood friends. We were a tight pack of 6 guys who's idea of a good time was to fight and beat each other till only one of us could stand. We could spend hours sparring and talking about our grievances... mine would usually take center stage. When we weren't beating the hell out of each other, we would sit around my friend Mike's basement and play the same damn video game for hours, again airing out our grievances about failing grades, girlfriends, and each one of our own unique family situations.


So this was my life for a while. Going from a strong, matriarchal household which had a vice grip on the male ego, to coming home late at night with bruises, cuts, and loose teeth, all of which came from fighting the hell out of my friends till neither of us could stand. So, Bo Xian, what the hell is wrong with me? Or should I say, what will be wrong with me in the future, since I'm sure that I must have developed at least SOME sort of mental trauma from my adolescence. I've just graduated from High School this June, and will be off to Manhattan for art school. It seems as if I'm running away from my problems by moving to a different state for college, but I just can't take it anymore. I can't take my life at home, I mean... I love my family and friends to death but I just can't keep living a self-destructive lifestyle....


*continued*



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 12:24 AM
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Welll, Dear heart . . .

It's hard to say from this distance and lack of info.

You may find it wise to take all my pontifications with a grain of salt.

And, certianly there would be merit in finding

1. a GOOD COUNSELOR--be it a grandfatherly sort of someone more professional--and to persevere until you found a good match--in values as well as personality and a great skill set.

2. a GOOD MENTOR --as a person--as a man--as an artist--could be challenging to find.

3. a GOOD SURROGATE DAD FIGURE/GRANDFATHER FIGURE

4. a Good Big Brother

all, of course, in your new locale.

There are some good books that can be of help. I'll ponder and try to get back on that for you.

But there's no substitute for RELATIONSHIPS WITH FOLKS WHO HAVE LEARNED TO DO IT BETTER than we have . . . learning from their doing it right is even more important at times, from learning from our own mistakes.

You are right in your hunch . . . that we take our crud with us until we overcome it.

It sounds like it is a wise and good time for you to distance yourself from the history, geography, associations . . . crud.

A new start in a new place can be powerful.

I'm not so fond of New York. I hope you're going elsewhere but there are wonderful people there, too. It may take some persistence in seeking them out--and IN AVOIDING THE DECOYS of folks who would be "naturally-supernaturally" attracted to you of the same ilk as the folks who used to abuse you in your family.

You do NOT need to pick up in your new place where you left off in the old. A clean break means a clean break with ALL SUCH SORTS OF SOURCES OF CRUD.

You will know who such are IF YOU WILL TUNE IN AT THE TIME. But the challenge will be to avoid giving into the familiar--and the comfort of the familiar--even though you know that the familiar also has a lot of pain. Sometimes the pain is so familiar as to be comforting--if you can get my paradoxical drift.

I hesitate to offer this suggestion as it may not be at all where you are--if you are not so inclined--certainly feel free to forget it--but Times Square Church pastored by David Wilkerson likely has some folks worth latching onto as mentors etc. But you'd likely still have to screen them carefully and ask a lot of questions up front. Narrow rigid firebrands you don't need.

You need . . . well . . . remember the TV show THE WALTONS? It was sometimes overly idyllic. But there really are such people around. Finding them is the challenge.

Certainly no one is going to be perfect. But to find folks who excel in areas you need such mentors and companions in--that's the key, I think.

##############

I would also encourage you to use your art to work some of this stuff out. But use it to WORK IT OUT--NOT GET STUCK in a reverberating viscious circle with it. Not sure how to explain that.

I guess to do art pieces which express the angst; the yearning; the confusion; but also pieces which express what you hope for.

You might also do pieces which describe/depict the protagonists, the destructive forces and individuals in your life. And what you learned from them and what forgiving them means in terms of the great release it brings you.

##########

Journaling is also a wise tool. A workable goal can be to write ONE SENTENCE nightly before sleep. You can write more. But one sentence faithfully is a good policy. Over time, themes surface which you can put more in perspective at arm's length--and learn more from them--at arm's length.

Such themes can give you areas to explore more as well as areas to forgive more; work more on your own development; forgive yourself more; let some trauma, flaw, mistake, horror go more fully etc.

############

Give yourself some reinforcers frequently even if it's just a walk in the park; a museum; a longed for book; a flower just for you; an ice cream. You are a treasured individual. No need to put yourself down out of reflex of your history nor to allow others to fill the put down roles in your new location.

Of course, it's wise and horse sense to be quick to say--yeah, that was me--I did that stupid thing. I made that mistake. I was horrid in that way. I'm sorry. How can I make whatever restitution is possible?

THEN TO LET IT GO. Forgive yourself and go ong.

Humility; kindness, love, patience--treasured skills and ways of being in the world that have no downside. They only bring you profit.

Wellllllllll, I've rattled on long enough. PLEASE TOSS OUT WHAT DOESN'T FIT FOR YOU.

And if you think something fits--then take it as your own--own it and wrestle with it; run with it; try it for however long; however partially or fully--and live with the results as your own, as well.

I'm just a voice crying in the wilderness. If anything is useful, I'm humbled and honored. You owe me nothing.

And Feel free to ask more specific questions if they come to mind. I can only do what I can. But I'm willing to do that.

Blessings,



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 12:56 AM
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*continuance*


My father is the most complicated, unpredictable, determined guy I know. The only reason why my mother and father, who are polar opposites of each other, are still together is because when they first met each other, they were truly in love. And I do mean love in every Victorian, Shakespearean, sense of the word. Love poems, love letters, serenades abound. They loved each other more than they could ever possibly love themselves. In a sense, they each hated themselves and loved each other....


My father hated himself because of his crippling disease and sense of loss and inability to do what made him the man of the household. My mother hated herself because of her inability to heal or slow down this God forsaken disease. The only reason that they're both alive, and yeah they've talked about suicide before, is because of their unconditional love for each other.


I realized all of this on a frosty winter night. It was one of those days, where it felt seconds away from snowing... and there was this presence in the air that made everything feel magnified and alive. It was already dark outside, and the only visible light was coming from a small, white lamp which sate beside my father. My mother and I were about to help him upstairs to sleep, when he gave a deep sigh. For some reason, he couldn't look at our faces. He then muttered something that felt more painful than any kick to the chest or fist to the face could feel..... nursing home. After seven long years... the only thing he now wanted was to be sent to a nursing home for the rest of his days. I cannot possibly explain what happened next. My mother was on the floor crying, and my father, unable to look at either of us, just stared ahead with quiet determination... straight out the window and out into the blackness of the winter night. I was just standing there with my fists balled up, shaking. The only things I remember from that night... was standing outside as it snowed on my shoulders, punching a large tree until my knuckles bled and bare flesh scraped bark. I also remember embracing my mother, and letting go with the the front of my shirt soaked in tears and snow. That night, I learned that my father was willing to give up his freedom and happiness in order to set his wife free. She spends every single day making medicine and taking care of him, and my father just couldn't take that anymore. He knew that if he went into a nursing home, he would stay sick and continue to deteriorate, but he embraced that future so that his wife could continue on without him. My mother, who stays up late each night looking at her wedding album and re-reading love letters of days past, cannot accept the possibility of letting go. My father is not the same man he was 20 years ago, but she still clings to the past when they would go camping under the stars, so much in love. They were each wholeheartedly willing to give up their happiness for the freedom of the other.


Since then, I've become a much stronger person in more ways than one. I can deal with difficulties with a clear and resolute mind, and I never buckle under pressure. The torch has been passed onto me and I don't feel like an alien in my family any longer. Furthermore... my father is on the uphill battle to recovery, and he can now walk without a walker, although he's excruciatingly slow and needs a person behind him in case he falls. All is well, and hopefully life will continue to get better as I take the next step into college.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 01:59 AM
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WONDERFUL!

CONGRATULATIONS!

WHAT A HERITAGE.

I'm quite relieved to learn that there was such an intense, even fierce example of love in your home. For all it's complications in your home--it's still priceless . . . sacrificial love is not overly common in this era.

And, it's fascinating that you have acquired such intense strength.

Very impressive. Congratulations. I'm very pleased to get to know you.

What a triumph.

It sounds like you acquired some of your parents best strengths in spite of everything else. What a treasure.

Do you feel that you lack anything significant from all your mix of history?

If so, what would be the 3 most important things that you feel you lack or would like a lot more of?

By the way, I don't know of any of that great strength you've acquired ever coming out of anything less than intense fiery furnaces.

I think it's conceivable that a very powerful impactful parent or parents could transmit it more or less directly . . . but I've just never observed it except as a result of intense prolonged horrific trauma of one sort or another.

I'm curious if you think the qualities you've acquired were worth the terrible tuition?



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by BO XIAN
... 1. a GOOD COUNSELOR--be it a grandfatherly sort of someone more professional--and to persevere until you found a good match--in values as well as personality and a great skill set.

2. a GOOD MENTOR --as a person--as a man--as an artist--could be challenging to find...

Well, umm... I'm not sure if I need a mentor per say... My life really isn't all bad, and when I take a step back to look at it, I really am very lucky. My dad's a real inspiration for me, before he got the disease, he used to be a supervisor at NBC, and in many ways my mother's determination is also uplifting. But when it comes to my sisters, they could move to Antarctica and I wouldn't think much of it.



Originally posted by BO XIAN
A new start in a new place can be powerful.

I'm not so fond of New York. I hope you're going elsewhere but there are wonderful people there, too. It may take some persistence in seeking them out--and IN AVOIDING THE DECOYS of folks who would be "naturally-supernaturally" attracted to you of the same ilk as the folks who used to abuse you in your family.

Personally, I love New York. Especially the Manhattan/Times Square area. People shouting at you to buy $3 crusty hot dogs, gangs waiting around subways to mug you, taxi cab drivers that wouldn't think twice if they ran you over, jogging through central park while dodging knife stabs from homeless people guarding their benches... what's not to love? But in all seriousness, I truly do love the culture and pace of NYC.



Originally posted by BO XIANI hesitate to offer this suggestion as it may not be at all where you are--if you are not so inclined--certainly feel free to forget it--but Times Square Church pastored by David Wilkerson likely has some folks worth latching onto as mentors etc. But you'd likely still have to screen them carefully and ask a lot of questions up front. Narrow rigid firebrands you don't need.

I appreciate all of the tips and such, but I'm sure I'll be fine without the help of David Wilkerson.



Originally posted by BO XIAN
I would also encourage you to use your art to work some of this stuff out. But use it to WORK IT OUT--NOT GET STUCK in a reverberating viscious circle with it. Not sure how to explain that.

For a while, my artwork was pretty dark. But nowadays its much more religious and spiritual, usually with side themes of nature.



Originally posted by BO XIAN
You might also do pieces which describe/depict the protagonists, the destructive forces and individuals in your life. And what you learned from them and what forgiving them means in terms of the great release it brings you.

That's what video games and sparring are for! You wouldn't believe how much stress can be released with a simple 10 minute sparring session. Plus, its very healthy and increases the speed of your reflexes!



Originally posted by BO XIAN
Journaling is also a wise tool. A workable goal can be to write ONE SENTENCE nightly before sleep.

I enjoy writing, but I hate keeping a journal. Its just too tedious and you can't really be creative with just one sentence. But thanks for the encouragement!


Really, truly, thank you for the encouragement.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:00 AM
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Well, umm... I'm not sure if I need a mentor per say... My life really isn't all bad, and when I take a step back to look at it, I really am very lucky. My dad's a real inspiration for me, before he got the disease, he used to be a supervisor at NBC, and in many ways my mother's determination is also uplifting.


SOUNDS GREAT. CONGRATS.

From your first post, I didn't really understand how strong and how much of an overcomer you already were/are. So I kind of gave a shot-gun generic bunch of stuff for a moderately worst case scenario from what you initially stated about your growing up years.

I can certainly understand about your sisters. I felt similarly about a number of folks in my family for at least a decade or 3.

I understand about NYC, too. I feel similarly about Hong Kong and some other Asian cities. Though Hong Kong can be a bit toooo frenetic at times.

Yeah. Wilkerson is certainly not one size fits all.

What are your 2 favorite artistic media? Three favorite themes? Three favorite symbols?

I like pottery, photography, weaving, landscaping, wood working & jewelry.

Themes for me . . . hmmm . . . trees . . . water . . . mountains. Ditto for symbols. Maybe themes . . . Love, intimacy, challenge, overcoming, kindness, communication..

I can understand about the video games.

And the journaling. The one sentence is just to establish the discipline. Of course one often writes more. But if one doesn't have the discipline then the opportunity to write more tends to not arise, flow.

But I've only journaled maybe 4-7 times in my life.

Much appreciate your kind words and responses. Am so thrilled that you are such an overcoming toughy and have worked through as many things as you seem to have.

If you have any further questions along the way . . . please don't hesitate.

I know for me . . . awash in so much family of origin pain for so long . . . I eventually silently targetted some folks I admired . . . and began to prayerfully copy the things I admired about them. At first there were elements of doggedly role playing. But gradually, such things began to sink in. I began to OWN them, shape them, incorporate them into my being as my own version of kindness; my own version of patience; my own version of letting things fully go; my own version of standing tall regardless of what others thought; my own version of being me with some of the qualities I admired vs the old REFLEX REACTIONS etc.

But gads there were a lot of disasters along the way. That's one reason I'm so quick to pontificate in an effort to suggest things that might spare others such painful disasters. No need to reinvent the wheel when it's not necessary. Seems too often necessary as it is.

Have a blessed weekend,

Am honored to have gotten to know you a bit better.




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