God’s design for the family, including what’s best for children, will never change.
The different yet complementary nature of the male-female dynamic of the family unit provides children with the right balance to give them the best chance in life. The absence of one or the other means the children lack an important component in their development.
Growing up under the same roof as their married biological mother and father doesn’t immune children against problems, but studies and our own perceptions reveal that children are better off physically, emotionally, and economically when raised in such households — stable households.
But sometimes the adults have different ideas. They want what they want and talk themselves into believing their desires won’t negatively impact their children. Years ago I reviewed a book called Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men, authored by a married research psychologist and mother of two named Peggy Drexler.
Drexler argued that lesbian couples and “single by choice” mothers can do a better job of raising boys than married couples, that these fatherless boys can grow up “emotionally stronger and more well-rounded” than boys with fathers in the home. While the book no doubt made unmarried mothers feel good, it didn’t change the fact that boys not only need fathers, they want their fathers. Even in her own book, Drexler couldn’t ignore the reality that the boys she studied wanted men in their lives — masculine men.
I thought about the book as I read an article written by a woman raised by two lesbians.
Heather Barwick wrote that although she loves her mother and her “partner,” she now opposes homosexual “marriage.”
“But it might not be for the reasons that you think…I grew up surrounded by women who said they didn’t need or want a man. Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary. There were times I felt so angry with my dad for not being there for me, and then times I felt angry with myself for even wanting a father to begin with. There are parts of me that still grieve over that loss today.
“Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.”
Heather, you’re normal. I hope you’re not feeling guilty or ashamed about wanting your father. You have a chance to give your children what was sorely missing from your life: a father to love, provide for, and protect them. Your own children are blessed to have a father — married to their mother.