Mature Husbands and Fathers

Mark Bryan / Margaret Irons


The Prodigal Father: Reuniting Fathers and Their Children, by Mark Bryan, is about the problem of fathers who have abandoned their families in one way or another--by actually leaving, or by absence due to overwork, or emotionally through addictions, etc. On the first page of the book is this quote, "The most urgent domestic challenge facing the United States at the close of the twentieth century is the re-creation of fatherhood as a vital social role for men." I think maybe the same can be said about post-Assembly families. 

Assembly families were for the most part physically intact, partly due to the extreme sanctions on divorce. But the non-involvement of fathers due to Assembly obligations, plus the extreme teaching on the authoritarian role of the husband, often resulted in alienation within the family. This, along with the enforced dependency and immaturity, and the terrible example set by George Geftakys and other leaders, damaged a lot of men in the Assembly.

This book provides a good list of characteristics of male maturity. The author doesn't put a burden of guilt on fathers. He encourages change in the right direction. He says, "We are meant to develop into more mature adults. Nobody is perfect....here is where we are headed."

Relationship Checklist and Dave Sable's article, Who Is Your Daddy on this website, provide additional insight on domestic violence. 



Read more on marriage:

• Amazon.com Comments on The Other Side of the Garden »
• Susan M's Experience of Domestic Violence in the Assembly »
• Examples of Domestic Abuse in the Assembly »
• A Real Marriage: Excerpt from Families Where Grace Is In Place by Jeff Van Vonderen »

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