July 25, 2016
Some psychologists have identified two styles they observe in fathers. These two styles are called “Authoritarian” and “Authoritative.”
Authoritarian fathers can be characterized by command and control. They tend to give orders and punish when their orders are not carried out. The role of the father, from all appearances, is to establish and enforce rules. Authoritarian fathers attempt to “exercise authority over” the house.
Authoritarian leadership in the home most usually results in rebellion. Children feel unloved and find ways to circumvent rules that they view as arbitrary. Sons are often left feeling that they don’t measure up and may either simply withdraw and underachieve or spend their entire life attempting to prove themselves but never actually reaching the mark. They spend their lives feeling “less than” other men. Daughters find it more difficult to bond with a husband since they rarely bond with their authoritarian dad.
Authoritative fathers begin with warmth and then add structure. They start with a relationship of love and acceptance. The father is viewed as a protector, provider, and encourager of every member of the family. The father attempts to meet the needs of his family, placing those needs ahead of his own.
Authoritative fathers never declare that they are the “head of house,” but may often hear their spouse and children tell others that Dad is the head of their family. This style of leadership has been demonstrated to provide the best opportunity to produce healthy, happy children and a happy spouse. Sons are more likely to believe that they measure up while daughters find healthy relationships with men easier to obtain.
Once again we see that Jesus’ model of leadership is servant leadership. And servant leadership provides the best chances of a happy and harmonious home.
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