Role of the Husband/Father

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
Watcher
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by Watcher »

It is my observation that when ever we talk about gender roles that we attempt to try to solve everybody’s issues based on our own ideas. Let me explain. I believe that genders are intended to be complementary, especially in procreation of human life. But procreation of human life and family relationships are not the end of how roles require the genders to figure out how to work together.

Obviously, there are some contributions that cannot yield to social norms and a great many others that can. It is my personal belief that it is (or should be) up to a husband and wife to figure out this together. I believe that the worse problems arise when outside influences determine how any particular husband and wife ought to divide their talents – especially when individual talents are not being considered. If a husband and wife are happy and satisfied with their individual contributions to each other and their children; it is not (in my mind) a great idea for anyone else to find it necessary to change it or give any advice to change it. Why should anyone else (other than a husband and wife) be dictating who or if one is more responsible than the other concerning the changing of diapers?

If this problem cannot be resolved by parents with the children that need such assistance it will become much worse when parents age and become in need of such assistance. Sometimes necessity teaches us more than we want to learn.
AmyJ
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by AmyJ »

Watcher wrote: 22 Jul 2022, 08:04 It is my observation that when ever we talk about gender roles that we attempt to try to solve everybody’s issues based on our own ideas. Let me explain. I believe that genders are intended to be complementary, especially in procreation of human life. But procreation of human life and family relationships are not the end of how roles require the genders to figure out how to work together.
I understand this point of view and I agree with it (in that partnerships should be complementary how they get basic social/adulting tasks done).
Watcher wrote: 22 Jul 2022, 08:04 Obviously, there are some contributions that cannot yield to social norms and a great many others that can. It is my personal belief that it is (or should be) up to a husband and wife to figure out this together.

I believe that the worse problems arise when outside influences determine how any particular husband and wife ought to divide their talents – especially when individual talents are not being considered. If a husband and wife are happy and satisfied with their individual contributions to each other and their children; it is not (in my mind) a great idea for anyone else to find it necessary to change it or give any advice to change it. Why should anyone else (other than a husband and wife) be dictating who or if one is more responsible than the other concerning the changing of diapers?
In theory, this works. Some adulting tasks can be shifted, some can't. Some adulting tasks should be shifted, some shouldn't be.
The problem starts when partners don't/can't/won't "figure it out together" and/or don't follow through with their assignment(s). This usually happens due to illness/disability, trauma, family culture, extreme self-reliance, control issues, or just not motivated to show up due to human nature. There are entire library sections of books/media about this topic (and related topics) - from self-help,how-to's, psychology, philosophy, etc.

I think that the default expectation should be that partners will not always been happy and satisfied with the arrangements for talent/resource allocation throughout the entire course of their relationship. I think the default expectation should include mentoring and other resources from 3rd parties. Whether it's the medical systems, the judicial systems, the educational systems, counselors, pastors/ministers, parental figures/mentors or a combination of the above - 3rd parties get involved and have default expectations (mostly from their roles). The mileage on proposed changes and advice given by 3rd parties varies drastically and depends on a variety of factors both inside and outside the relationship - including the culture it operates in that defines the degree of intrusion, general expectations, and degree of adaptability. Quality important is the level of trust placed in the 3rd party from BOTH partners - and that is a new wrinkle too.

The biggest problem that the gender roles is trying to solve is minimizing when partners don't show up by teaching them and enforcing the teaching of gender and tying it to personal identity. By saying a "good father" or a "good mother" does this task, a drive to be that "good father" or that "good mother" is created that does get things done.

It also functions as throwing the baby out with the bath water as there is a shift to "a good person" does this (and thus decreases the personal gender tie-in). And identity matters. Entire cultural, familial and individual concepts of "self" depend on identity. The transfer of power between individuals was created around "gender" and rights/responsibilities/rules/privileges and traditions assigned to either 1 gender or the other. Not everyone is in favor of decoupling gender from all that - and there cannot be an absolute decoupling of gender and responsibility until internal uteruses are no longer needed to populate the human species.
Watcher wrote: 22 Jul 2022, 08:04 If [When] this problem [defining and assigning household responsibilities] cannot be resolved by parents with the children that need such assistance, it [the process of defining and assigning household responsibilities] will become much worse when parents age and become in need of such assistance. Sometimes necessity teaches us more than we want to learn.
If I updated the sentence above correctly, I more cynically think that when the problem cannot be resolved by parents [in which children is optional], it does get solved by 1 partner emotionally checking out and/or an actual divorce (or more than 1 divorce) before the parents age enough to require the level of assistance that a child does.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by DarkJedi »

AmyJ wrote: 22 Jul 2022, 09:48
Watcher wrote: 22 Jul 2022, 08:04 If [When] this problem [defining and assigning household responsibilities] cannot be resolved by parents with the children that need such assistance, it [the process of defining and assigning household responsibilities] will become much worse when parents age and become in need of such assistance. Sometimes necessity teaches us more than we want to learn.
If I updated the sentence above correctly, I more cynically think that when the problem cannot be resolved by parents [in which children is optional], it does get solved by 1 partner emotionally checking out and/or an actual divorce (or more than 1 divorce) before the parents age enough to require the level of assistance that a child does.
I agree with this and I think all of us have observed this in the partner that becomes a workaholic (or an alcoholic or addict - ways some people use to "escape"). Likewise, I think many of us know the parent who is never there even when they physically are present.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Minyan Man
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by Minyan Man »

I thought I would bring this one up again. It's a couple years old.
I found it interesting. Thanks Roy.
Happy Father's Day!
Roy
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by Roy »

Yesterday, our SM meeting program had this ETB quote:
Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth. It is a matter of desire, diligence and determination to see one's family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters.
:o :shock: :wtf: :?

I'm really scratching my head on this one. Worst parenting advice ever!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
AmyJ
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by AmyJ »

So many inaccurate assumptions, so little time...

That being said, that is a lot of resources (diligence, determination, and desire) loaded into the "celestial kingdom" and "family" baskets.

That is setting up all kinds of uncomfortable, potentially traumatizing, potentially abusive situations between parents and children, between spouses as those resources get fed into the "Celestial Kingdom or Bust" bandwagon fuel tank.

The advice is great if you value your own autonomy and decision-making over that of your children's or over D&C 121.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by DarkJedi »

Roy wrote: 17 Jun 2024, 11:32 Yesterday, our SM meeting program had this ETB quote:
Fatherhood is not a matter of station or wealth. It is a matter of desire, diligence and determination to see one's family exalted in the celestial kingdom. If that prize is lost, nothing else really matters.
:o :shock: :wtf: :?

I'm really scratching my head on this one. Worst parenting advice ever!
This sort of reminded me of some thoughts I had about a TV show recently. I am a Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon fan. Young Sheldon had its series finale last month. I don't want to spoil too much, but fans were all aware that it was around this age when Sheldon's father unexpectedly died, and this happened near the end of the series (they did it well and it was actually moving). There is a plot sequence that has Sheldon's fairly religious (Baptist) mother, Mary, worried about their eternal welfare to the point of her not being able to function. She is worried because they are not all baptized. Her mother (Meemaw/Connie) became concerned about her daughter and at one point tells her they don't need her prayers, they need her in their time of grief. FWIW, that advice doesn't work in that case and Mary continues to fret (and Meemaw tries another tactic).

I think sometimes this is a "can't see the forest for the trees" situation for members. I think some members get so caught up in the worry about not having a "celestial" family that they end up making the situation even worse. My own wife went through this with my faith crisis and subsequently when some of our children pushed the church away (none of them are fully active). Fortunately, I think she has recognized that mercy and grace do play a part, and those are often ignored in statements like Benson's (and the current emphasis on the "covenant path"). I think many others (and I know a few) fall into near total despair, like Sheldon's mother. And I think that's not the message of Jesus Christ and it's very sad.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction
Old-Timer
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by Old-Timer »

I love the concept of the Celestial Kingdom, but I can say that solely because I see it so differently than most members.

I like the “Council of the Gods” version, where we all work together to keep the process going, without a clear, limited parent/child relationship from our mortal relationships. That traditional view makes no sense whatsoever to me, so my faith (hope in the unseen) is the broader version of everyone working together, collectively, to help others grow and progress.

If I can be the joker who keeps people relaxed through laughter and the person who steps in and calms things down when stress gets tough, I will be happy leaving the rest of the work to others.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
Minyan Man
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by Minyan Man »

I like what OT said:
Old-Timer wrote: 18 Jun 2024, 05:44 If I can be the joker who keeps people relaxed through laughter and the person who steps in and calms things down when stress gets tough, I will be happy leaving the rest of the work to others.
Even in today's world, we need more OT''s. Don't get me started on politics.
AmyJ
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Re: Role of the Husband/Father

Post by AmyJ »

Old-Timer wrote: 18 Jun 2024, 05:44 I like the “Council of the Gods” version, where we all work together to keep the process going, without a clear, limited parent/child relationship from our mortal relationships. That traditional view makes no sense whatsoever to me, so my faith (hope in the unseen) is the broader version of everyone working together, collectively, to help others grow and progress.

If I can be the joker who keeps people relaxed through laughter and the person who steps in and calms things down when stress gets tough, I will be happy leaving the rest of the work to others.
I find myself as a "midwife of transitions" (my own role description) in moments of creation.
NOTE: This is mostly emotional/conceptual creation because I have absolutely lousy fine motor skills and visual-spatial manipulation limitations.

I sit in company at a specific point in time and space (rather then being a wandering "guide") I try to be fully "there" with the individuals in the tough times, the messy times, providing encouragement/inspiration and information. I prevent many paths that could be taken that would cause disasters. I am a co-creator with a limited, specific role. I have benefitted many times from those who "emotionally labored with me" and helped me create better versions of myself (among other results).
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