In honor of my Father-in-law, Darrell Johnson Sr. who went home to Heaven October 26th, 2020.
Another necessary chapter.
Now that we have men in dresses gracing the cover of Vogue… (insert deep eye roll here.)
If I hear the word “patriarchy” drip with contempt out of another Christian woman’s mouth, with no qualifiers or conditions… as though the mere word is sufficiently understood to be a smear… I
will be undone.
Patriarchy this, patriarchy that…
Smash the patriarchy.
Subvert the patriarchy.
Ohhhh… Hey Salty Lady… tread so very carefully here. Define your terms. Because in wielding this word the way the world does, you are running entirely contrary to Scripture.
Male leadership or authority is not bad because it is male. It may be bad because a man is sinful or leadership lacking. Okay…? Then, address sin. Address poor leadership. Male is half of the Lord’s design for creation. It’s one of those “on purpose” things He did… as was establishing order.
The idea that patriarchy is inherently bad and must be leveled is a lie from the enemy, intended to destabilize society, deconstruct the family and diminish men.
It is not God’s best for man, OR woman.
And, it is not rooted in Scripture. Period.
The loss our family feels right now is not minor, it’s deep and wide, because we were led, loved and served well by our patriarch.
But, our family will survive this and other hard things… partly BECAUSE we were led, loved and served well by our patriarch.
More importantly, our futures remain bright because he spent a great deal of time teaching his children to do as he did. That is the responsibility that comes with Biblical mantles of leadership… you teach the next generation and you multiply right things.
We are in danger of raising the next generation to reject wearing the proverbial and literal pants, life requires… or, any mantle that may be difficult to bear, including the titles of husband and father… and yes, patriarch. We have grown accustomed to immaturity, delayed responsibility and a shunning in general, of strength.
Instead we embrace weakness, subservience, malleable convictions and apologetic, self-serving courage.
Hold high Biblical masculinity.
Hold high a man who takes seriously the protection, provision, care and leading of his family.
One of my most treasured memories of Andy’s dad goes back to our young married years when we would stay with the Johnsons, or they were with us for any of Andy’s special events. His dad would always come ask Andy, “Can I shine your shoes, Baby?”
As a military man, he knew the value of and had the skill for putting a good shine on good shoes. I always thought it such a loving gesture from a man’s man, to his own man’s man. Pure humble, loving service from Father to child. Such a beautiful picture of both having high standards and delighting in helping others have them, too. Nothing harsh, weak or enabling about it.
I thought of our patriarch when I took Emerson to pick out his attire for his PopPop’s funeral. He wanted a coat and tie, I assured him it wasn’t necessary, but he was determined. Even at 13, he understood the importance of right dress for right days. We picked out good shoes too, and shed a few tears knowing PopPop would have appreciated the effort.
I saw Andy fulfilling that now vacant role beautifully, as he… wearing his own dad’s tie… patiently taught his son to tie his tie, before the funeral.
Fine things do not a fine man make.
But, a fine man makes ALL things fine.
You can quote me on that, it’s good and I said it.
That week Andy took his mom’s car to be detailed because he knew his dad would have wanted it done. And, on the road to LA, I watched from inside while Andy showed Emerson how to clean the windshield just so… just as his dad had showed him.
There are a thousand little things that a father passes on to his children, and especially his son. Details of care, ways of provision, demonstrations of love. Things you don’t even know you know how to do, until it’s needed.
Last week in church, Emerson asked to borrow my pen and as I handed it to him he noticed my cold fingers. He put the pen aside, took my hands in his and squeezed and rubbed them warm.
I didn’t show or teach that. That’s straight Andy Johnson. Melted fingers, melted hearts. It made this mama so proud. And, one day it will be appreciated by a wife, and chilly children.
If we smash the blessed patriarchy, then what? Who keeps those fires burning, for all to be warmed? Who exactly is appropriately neutral enough to fill that void?
There is influence I don’t have. And, I’m okay with it. Because it rests with Andy. As it should. There are certain shades of wisdom and strength, I can’t impart. But, he can. There is a certain comfort and rest, that a father’s very existence provides.
We are living that reality in our house now, with the absence of Darrell.
There is a reason the widow and fatherless are designated special care. COVERING.
The death of the patriarch leaves such loose ends, unsecured doors and tender places that it demanded the attention and organization of the early church to stand in the gap. And, it should be the delight of the modern church to continue to.
If security is related to a Father’s influence and presence, God’s children should be the most loving, generous, and at peace.
If you are fortunate enough to still have the good men around you, be so very grateful. Not everyone does.
Men, see the need that the loss and absence of patriarchs creates and fill it. Mentor, train, and equip the young men around you. Sons or not. Slow down enough and do what you’re doing with enough confidence and excellence, you never have to hesitate to call out to another young man, “Hey, come on… do as I do, you’ll be served well watching me.”
Y’all. That’s not arrogance. That’s walking in the awareness and weight of discipleship. Be confident in your walk… AND THEN INVITE PEOPLE TO FOLLOW. Straight to Jesus.
Young men, know for sure that our fallen world will never present the best picture of masculinity for you to follow. Don’t even look there. And, often times earthly fathers are cut short or fall short, as well. Don’t be discouraged. Creator God has given sufficient guidance in His Word, in the Word made flesh… Jesus, AND given you HIS Spirit to guide. You could have that and nothing else and be so very mighty, so very equipped for marriage, children and all that life will hurl at you.
Women, recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of man. Cultivate and raise good ones. The enemy is trying to rob us the very thing that the coming age requires, men of valor. Stand guard over this generation. Refuse to let young men be emasculated, torn down, and disrespected in your presence.
Young ladies, do not manipulate, seduce or entrap young men. Do not rule with flesh what would have better led you by Spirit. Do not populate the world with broken and bitter men. Conduct yourself in a way that makes their pursuit of Godly leadership worthwhile.
Men that are emotionally healthy, spiritually whole, and Biblically empowered are a devastating threat to darkness.
Men who understand their role as patriarch and carry that burden gently and faithfully? A blessing to age upon age.
I’ll take that.
I’ll take that over men in dresses, men apologizing for being men, over men willing to be dominated by cultural norms and the Jezebels (yes… Biblical Jezebels) that enforce them.
Hey Salty Lady, MAN UP.
We gotta close ranks around our guys.
I don’t know about y’all, but I like my patriarchy with the fear of God, a full beard, good cologne, and appropriate shoes.