The Family Way

What is FEC?

Family-hearth-geoffroyIn the past few years, we have witnessed a groundswell of people wishing to work on their fathering, mothering, manliness and femininity.

The conveyor belt has stripped our society of clear understandings of our basic roles as men and women, and it is exciting to see this rapidly growing interest among those striving to revive a considered family culture in their homes.

As students of society, history and family culture, one thing we would like to see as part of this trend is for the various groups, writers and promoters of true manhood and womanhood to keep the family central. This may seem obvious to many, but perhaps it isn’t as obvious as it should be.

Modern Feminism has been very successful at attacking the family, even among those who disagree with its basic tenets.

Whether the forum be political, entertainment or media, it seems that we have become acclimatized to women’s voices being the ones which define societal norms and standards.

The problem with this is obvious to those who share a traditional point of view: the standards proclaimed by the Feminists conflict with our values and bode ill for our children’s children.

Perhaps it is less obvious when such viewpoints are seemingly more harmonious with our values; yet the unseen danger still lurks.

Here is the question we would pose: shouldn’t major decisions about such core issues as childbearing, childrearing, nutrition, education, and whether a woman works outside the home be made by wife and husband sitting down together and prayerfully deciding what’s right for the family?

That’s The Family Way!

The Feminist and Anti-Feminist viewpoint both seem to have a problem with this.

For example, if a couple decides for the woman to stay home, the Feminists label the men chauvinistic and the women as victims or “doormats”.

If the couple makes a carefully and prayerfully deliberated decision for the woman to be in the workforce, the Anti-Feminists call her a Feminist, or at least misguided.

They shake their heads, wag their tongues and fear for the children and the marriage.

It is true many Feminists argue that women should never be homemakers.

According to them, it’s degrading to the woman and she is a drain on a society.

They say she should be a producer, or in some way add value to the economy outside of the home. With the same dogmatic zeal, the Anti-Feminist declares that a godly woman will never work outside of the home.

You could substitute a host of other issues with similar results: conflicting points of view, both dictating to the family a strict behavior with a normative value. Granted that the progress of humanity cannot be made only by contributors of the masculine gender.

In fact, we have written strongly in favor of feminine ambition here.

Also granted that it is good and right to promote motherhood, femininity and homemaking; that there should be an acknowledged standard that mother and father magnify their roles in nurturing and providing for a happy home, with priorities in line with godly ideals.

Does it necessarily follow that there is a checklist that such families will adhere to inflexibly?

Will such an inspired couple never decide that Mother accepts employment outside of the home?

Or:

  • Will such a couple always homeschool every child?
  • Will their children necessarily be delivered by a lay midwife at home?
  • Never be immunized?
  • Will antibiotics never be administered?
  • Shall such parents never take steps to limit the size of their families?
  • Must they always grind their own wheat?
  • Will every aluminum can be recycled?
  • Will they never eat packaged macaroni and cheese?

We know of many situations where families we respect and admire have not followed the checklist. We have no reason to doubt that their choices are honored by God; we even like their children. We hope that the Feminist “thesis” and Anti-Feminist “anti-thesis” will give rise to the dialectical “synthesis”: The Family Way.

It is our belief that the basis of our society is the marriage relationship—specifically the sovereignty given to married couples to prayerfully determine what is best for their family.

We call this process, and the body that carries it out, the Family Executive Council, or F-E-C. The FEC consists of the husband, wife, and divine inspiration as an executive triune; each is a voting partner and all decisions are based on consensus of the three.

We purposely carried the above illustrations to the extreme (and we dearly hope that these examples seem absurd to the thoughtful reader!), to demonstrate that many well-intentioned women, and men, are recommending a standard to families over whom they have no stewardship, when they could be recommending a process, or a form, which answers any and all questions of family government.

This knee-jerk advice endangers noble parenthood as surely as those who would confuse the roles of men and women beyond recognition.

The danger is not because the recommendations are ill-considered, but because they threaten to unseat the Family Executive Council, and thus endanger all decisions and roles.

In our opinion, this is among the greatest dangers facing our families today.

It is more subtle and insidious than some of the great evils we vigorously guard against: addiction, infidelity, debt, etc. And yet, a family where the core unit—the married couple—is not regarded as sovereign has little defense against the things that threaten it, no matter what their source or intention.

Women in particular benefit greatly from supportive friendships where they can help and lift each other.

But when the confidence and intimacy of these friendships supplant or threaten the communication between spouses, or between the couple and inspiration, these friendships can be a poor substitute at best—and potentially much worse.

Wise women can enjoy healthy friendships that actually strengthen them in the roles as spouse and mother. They can encourage youth in honoring their roles as men and women.

Along with teaching our young men and women the arts of manhood and femininity:

Shouldn’t we teach them The Family Way—married couples prayerfully finding out and implementing what’s best for their family?

And trusting instead of worrying what society thinks?

And not second guessing the sovereignty of someone else’s Family Executive Council?

If so, maybe we can all be sure to continually promote The Family Way whenever family topics come up.

About the Author:

Rachel is the co-author of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and the audio series Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success, and the author of the award-winning educational resource, This Week in History. She is an accomplished musician, writer, literary editor, public speaker, consultant and momschool organizer.

3 Comments

  1. Colleen April 12, 2012 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this article. I appreciate having a name put to the process. And its a name that might remind those of us programmed to think of business as the highest arena of success, that the family unit is at least as valuable.

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