In 1952 Albert Einstein was asked by a Princeton doctoral student what was left in the world for original dissertation on research? Einstein replied, “Find out about prayer!” I certainly agree with Einstein, but I would also say, “Do some research and find out about the ‘power of love’.”
In our modern society we know so much about so many things, but very little about the things that really matter. Let me say this at the outset: Love matters most of all.
As Al Stewart wrote in an article, “We live in a society that talks about peace and contentment, and yet we seem to grow further and further from both. We get richer but relationally poorer. Our weddings get bigger and our marriages get shorter. Our houses get bigger and our families get smaller. We communicate across the world without difficulty and can’t talk across the dinner table.”
We are certainly facing a growing love deficit in our culture.
What has this got to do with being a father? If the truth be told, it has a great deal to do with us as fathers. As Mother Teresa said, “World peace begins in the home”. Let me adapt her saying for our present conversation: “Reversing the love deficit starts with Dad”.
We know a mother’s love is strong. ‘Mother’ is the most popular word in the English language whilst the word ‘father’ is not even in the top one hundred. In spite of the wonderful power of a mother’s love, the love deficit is still growing. The love deficit is growing because fatherlessness is growing. The only answer is to have a fatherhood love revolution.
In February 2003, Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation gathered fatherhood and family groups from all over Australia for the first ever Fatherhood Forum held in Parliament House, Canberra. The principal reason for the gathering was to find a way to turn the tide of fatherlessness. Chris Miles, a former member of parliament said something very profound at the forum, “Fathers need to become the source of life for their families”. His comment is reflected in the preamble to The 12pt Plan released in June 2003 by Mark Latham, former leader of the Labor Party. The ability of a conglomerate of over 25 disparate groups, Christians and atheists alike, to produce The 12pt Plan was extraordinary.
“The greatest resource this country possesses lies in the families of our nation. At the same time, the strength of our families depends on the quality of the relationships between its mothers and fathers. The quality of the relationships between mothers and fathers and their children will determine the destiny of Australia. . . .
The overwhelming conclusion of current social science research has shown that the best environment for children is a two heterosexual-parent household. The best way to ensure strong families is to support strong marriages. This traditional family unit – a loving father, mother and their children – is the best way to nurture, educate and protect children. This is the best social security system the world has ever known.”
So, what is the key to successful families? Mothers and fathers who operate their families with a love surplus. Children live in the overflow of that love and flourish. Steve Biddulph says, “Love grows the brain”. Science has proved this to be a fact. The question is, ‘Who will be the love leader in the family?’ Families function best when the competition is strong for this title within the family unit. When families operate in a love surplus they experience the transformative effect of the power of love. I agree with Dr Dobson who says, “While I don’t minimise the vital role played by a mother, I believe a successful family begins with her husband”.
Dads4Kids exists for this very reason – to reverse the love deficit and help fathers become the source of life and love that their families so desperately need. Dr Stephen G. Post, founder of the ‘Institute for Research on Unlimited Love’ puts it this way:
“The Institute asserts that love is the crowning glory of every life, for it is the ultimate source of the meaning, dignity, and deep happiness that we mortal and frail creatures seek… All the goodness of life is nurtured in the soil of love, for love comforts, heals, creates, liberates, and elevates our lives in a way that nothing else can. We either love or suffer. We either love or destroy. We must each make a choice for love if we are to prosper, and we must make this choice deeply each and every day. This is where spiritual practice and belief in an Unlimited Love that surpasses all merely human love can be so valuable. All the seeds of human growth are planted in love. With it we feel blessed, without it we feel cursed. And words alone are not enough, for love is an activity.”
We agree with Professor Post. Love is something you do and more specifically, something fathers must do for their families. When fathers “make the choice to love” as Stephen Post says, “families feel the power of love”.
Yours for more love