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Phase 5 of the Father Son Relationship: Growing in manly sexuality from the beginning.

Tags: , , , , , , , , adolescent sexuality, chastity, culture, Dating, family, fathers, love, MARRI, marriage, men, men's health, Pat Fagan, sex, sexuality, Uncategorized No comments

You may remember my promises to you when you were a baby. Among them were:

I will teach you how to spot and win the sexual battles that will take place inside your head and your heart.

I will teach you why you should not masturbate. (Your wife will thank me — without ever telling me).

I will teach you how to have the sexual control you will need for your marriage bed.

The most strategic battles on matters sexual take place in your mind, heart and imagination,  just as they do still for me, and did for your grandfathers and all men who have ever lived. This is a battleground littered with fallen soldiers. Many men get wounded and pay a heavy price before recovering. Some men never recover. Some men cease to be soldiers and become “sexual terrorists”.

The sexual energy within us is much like the energy of the atom: it can be harnessed for great good. From it came you, your sisters and your brothers and all your cousins and all the friends you love to be with. However, like the atomic bomb, sexual energy can be massively destructive, when children are aborted, spouses are unfaithful and marriages break up, when sexual abuse or deep marital conflict distorts the sexuality of children, who, when they become adults, in turn often damage others.

The prefrontal cortex in the two lobes of your brain do two different types of tasks: one side is oriented to being creative in the discovery of new things and in exploring the world; while it is doing that, the other side spots and avoids dangers. As you drive a car, you need both sides working well: the side that gets you to your destination and the side that avoids the accidents you or others could cause along the way if you did not brake, or turn, or signal at the right moment. You could say one side is liberal and creative, moving on to new goals while the other side is conservative: preserving the good you already have by keeping it safe. Every issue in life needs both these capacities. 

In matters sexual there is the creative dimension (union with an attractive spouse and the generation of children) and a protective dimension: avoiding traps and dangers. The dangers are not always on the outside. Many of them pop up from inside: the images that jump, unbidden, into your imagination, or when a beautiful woman passes do you “look” at her (as opposed to seeing her), i.e. assess her physical beauty and even begin to daydream about her. You cannot avoid developing habits in this domain; the issue is which habits you choose to develop. This is a big fork in the road in the life you will choose for yourself (and for your future spouse and children): letting “sex go wild” in your imagination or controlling it for its true purpose. Bad habits can grow from seemingly small habits: looking at an attractive woman a second time or, on the other hand, deliberately looking away and entertaining other thoughts and images. You will be tempted in many other ways in the years to come: watching movies that arouse you sexually (the directors know what they are doing — as do the actors and actresses); going to places or bars you know will lead to similar temptations; going to parties that lean that way.  The list will grow as you grow older.  

That you feel these attractions and sexual desires is natural – you are a man and your hormones are sending you all sorts of mating messages. But you have to decide — and decide early — you are going to enjoy these sexual pleasures only with the one person who will be yours for life, after you both have pledged yourselves to each other in matrimony.  

To so decide, and to keep your promise, will take training. But the benefits are great — and will spill over into many other areas in your life:

  • You will become prudent as you develop a sixth sense of when events are likely to lead in the wrong direction.
  • You  will develop the virtue of temperance as you deliberately grow the habit of not enjoying an innocent pleasure (like a good ice cream) so that you will have at your disposal the capacity to resist forbidden pleasures when you need to. 
  • You will gain wisdom as you talk these things out with someone you trust – me your father, or a good teacher, or a priest— someone you admire and can trust as you learn how to battle and learn how to heal the wounds from battles lost. These are people who love you and also understand this war (they have to fight it too) and will teach you how to move forward. 
  • You will grow in courage and humility as you talk about battles lost.  Catholic Christians have the added benefit of Confession – for this and other wounds in the battle for virtue.
  • You will grow in piety: having regular quiet time with God as you talk it all through with Him also.  For Catholic Christians it makes sense to talk it through with the Mother of God. Everyone who does reports great help in this area. 
  • You will grow as a friend – as you help your friends avoid situations before they develop and as you call on your friends when you need support for a battle that looms.

The wonderful thing about this battle is the joy and happiness it brings; losing the battle always brings sadness and a big letdown.  Beforehand, the temptation promises a false happiness that looks fantastic but afterwards leaves a bad taste.  It is a fool’s gold.  Did you know that the data show that those who are virginal when they marry, and who worship God weekly, have the best and most frequent sexual pleasure!! This is one of life’s biggest secrets. Virtually no one knows this.

These battles will come your way in your teen years, starting with puberty. Twenty and thirty years from now you will still have to fight them —when you travel alone or when you are in business situations that could cause you temptations.  To be faithful to your wife and your children decades into the future, you need to start now.  It is wise to learn to battle from the beginning, and it is much easier. 

One area of battle for every male is the temptation to masturbate. Many moderns believe it is all right, but they are fooling themselves and ignoring ancient wisdom and modern research.  Pornography addiction happens only through masturbation. 

Masturbation, when practiced frequently, changes the mind, the imagination and the heart: the object of pleasure becomes an internal image, not a real person.  When this becomes habitual — as happens with frequent use of pornography — it can lead to a sexual disability — erectile dysfunction (ED) — which means that a man cannot fully satisfy his wife because he has lost his capacity to be aroused except by pornographic images. ED used to be an old man’s debility.  Now, because pornography is so widespread Viagra and other pharmacological props have a huge market among young men who suffer from this psychosexual disease. 

Pornography is so destructive that boys and men can lose their natural interest in women — in Japan, which has a long tradition of pornography, a significant portion of single 30-year-olds have lost interest in the opposite sex. Married men can lose interest in their wives — and instead become obsessed with print and digital pictures, or only be able to make love to her by having these images in his mind.  By this stage they are in deep trouble in all the areas related to their sexuality: their intimate family relations, their friendships and their readiness to relate with God. The good news is it is possible to overcome this addiction, but it is better by far to take the path to becoming a chaste young man. 

There is another practical reason to live purity: to gain that control of one’s sexuality that a married man needs so as to be able to do without sex for a while, for his wife’s sake: A wife, who for whatever reason shouldn’t get pregnant, has to be able to rely on her husband’s self-control during her peak fertility days. Many women do not have such husbands and as a result use contraceptives[1].  Thus, a husband who lacks self-control becomes a grave danger to his wife and his marriage. 

Purity of mind, heart and imagination results in a cheerful happiness that makes life worth living, a cheerfulness that is very attractive, and that good women spot quickly. Purity is a great ringer of wedding bells and a great aphrodisiac.

I hope you will come to me when you have questions.  And I hope you begin to pray to your future wife’s guardian angel, too.  By the way, belief in guardian angels is universal.  It cuts across all levels of religious practice (including those who never worship), all cultures, and all religions. 

On every level there are very strong reasons for deciding to be pure and wholesome. Your happiness, your future wife’s happiness and your children’s happiness depend on it.


[1] Within the year we will have a series of synthesis papers on the psychological, sociological, demographic, biological and neurologica effects of contraception. They are myriad.

Phase 4 of The Father-Son Relationship: Early Adolescence (Assessing the Beauty of Young Women).

Tags: , , , , , , adolescent sexuality, culture, fathers, love, men, Pat Fagan, sexuality, Uncategorized No comments

When you were born, I held you in my arms and made these promises to you:

I will teach you how to regard the bodies of women.

I will teach you how to listen carefully to women and hear what they mean .

I will teach you how  to treat all women, so they will know you are a man of good intentions.

Now, that you are becoming a young man your body can generate new life. Yes! You can now be a father. So, it is time for me to teach you all you want to know and all you need to know about this powerful new dimension of being alive.

Over the next few years we will talk about these issues at different times.  But the next lesson I want you to learn is that the world of women is both wonderful and dangerous and that you need to learn how to live in that world and assess these women. They — like men — can be angels or devils (most are somewhere in between). However, in our times, the number of dangerous women has grown, so you have to be wise or you will suffer much if you make the wrong choice.

Most women are attractive, physically.  Furthermore, God also made it part of their nature that they devote time and attention to being so. Finding a physically attractive woman is easy and the woman you will marry will likely be quite beautiful. The much more important form of attractiveness takes real practice to spot, and getting there is not easy for most men.

By contrast, women, starting in their teens, seem to enjoy exchanging their assessment of males and, even though their criteria as teenagers are limited they become more serious as they mature, for they begin to realize that much depends on their ability to assess a man’s capacity to work and provide for them and their future children, and the level of respect he has not only for them, but for other women. Men don’t share comparisons of women this way.  They more easily judge women by their looks.  That takes no training, nor great intelligence.

Because you have to acquire this capacity it is time for you to start, first by assessing the sisters of your friends and the friends of your sisters.  You can begin to spot and appreciate their virtues: who is kind; who is hard working; who is always cheerful; who takes care of her siblings; who honors her father; who is close to her mother;  who is prayerful (though that is hard to observe); who is modest in the way she dresses; who is even-tempered; who is punctual; who is prepared.  As you assess them you will notice weaknesses. However, you have to simultaneously learn to see the good in every young woman. No matter what weaknesses you spot, you realize that every young woman is the apple of her parent’s eye and especially of God’s eye: He has known each intimately even before they came into existence, and continues to hold each one in the palm of His hand.  In other words, even as you develop the capacity to spot their virtues you also develop the capacity to see them as God’s beloved daughters.  This is a sure-fire way to learn to respect every woman.

The effect of developing this capacity to spot the virtues in a girl is that you will become more motivated about developing your own.  The woman you set your heart on will likely have been observing the brothers of her friends and the friends of her brothers.  It would be a pity if you were to lose the girl of your dreams because you failed to turn a significant weakness into a strength.

One man I know was lucky.  In college he fell for a girl and asked her out on a date.  She – remarkably – told him to “Forget it. You arrive late to class, skip some of them, and, I am told, you lie in many mornings. If I were to fall for you and marry you, ten years from now I would be pulling you out of bed to get you to work. No way I’m going out with you.”  He changed quickly and had enough time (he was a sophomore) to convince her. Now they are happily married.  Most men never get such a chance —nor such an informed turn-down. But such turndowns happen all the time, silently.

Developing your capacity to assess the virtues of young women should motivate you to develop those capacities you need to replace the bad habits your brothers and sisters complain about, if you are to become a man pleasant enough to be with —-  for a lifetime.

We will talk about this from time to time.

Rebuilding America One Father and Son at a Time

Tags: , , , adolescent sexuality, child well-being, children, culture, Dating, family, fathers, feminism, men, men, Pat Fagan, sex, sexuality, Uncategorized, young adults, youth No comments

To do a good job in raising their sons, modern fathers have to dig deeper into the nature of fatherhood, deeper than fathers ever had to in all of human history because of the Marxist feminist assault on “patriarchy”,amplified by technological shocks (the pill, internet pornography, etc.). Because the enemy dug deep so as to understand how to deconstruct society and family(see Shulamith Firestone’s seminal influence on 1970’s feminism: The Dialectic of Sex), men today have to dig deeper still. This may well turn out to be a great blessing because here after, men can pass this deeper knowledge on to their sons and in the process become better men themselves while forming their boys to be even better.  While the father will make the boy, the boy will also make the father. As Seneca said: “While we teach, we learn.” Understanding fatherhood better, men will live it better.

What ironic justice if “man, fully alive” develops as an unintended consequence of feminism. 

During the different stages of his son’s growth into manhood, the father will touch on fives themes repeatedly, going deeper each time, as he judges what his son needs to know and what he is ready to absorb:

  • About the physical and biological facts of sexuality (male and female) that his son will need to know during the next phase he is entering. It is best the son get this information from his father first — not on the playground from other boys nor on the screen from strangers.
  • About the differences between men and women. This is remote preparation for understanding and accepting the very different modes of seeing and experiencing things that are the ways of his mother, sisters, and future wife.
  • About how to choose a good wife.  Prudently prepared and lightly delivered, these nuggets of wisdom will affect his choice of a good wife.
  • About the inner moral struggle that all boys and men have to engage in, deep in their own hearts, on their way to manhood. This is a key point of identity between a father and son: That unique male way of battling to live well. This aspect is the core of a father’s formation of his son.
  • Sadly, about the dangers of abuse and pornography, which will have to be introduced early in a boy’s formation because of their pervasiveness. 

First Phase: Early Childhood

Well begun is half done.

The relational foundation of a boy’s sexuality is his earliest relationship with his father. If this is warm, affectionate and enjoyable the journey is off to a great start.   The demand on the father is one of time and possibly of temperament. Giving his time to his son is his greatest gift, always.  The more and the earlier the better.  As the child reacts with joy and laughter the father is naturally encouraged and rewarded.  The embrace and horseplay that father and child engage in develops his son’s trust and confidence. 

The task is friendship, the method is play: Anything and all that the son enjoys with his father. It can be tiddlywinks or football, drawing or singing, reading or baseball, fishing or hiking. Whatever brings joy to the child.

Also, this early stage is the time that deep friendship is most easily formed.  It will yield fruit in mid-childhood and adolescence when that friendship will be tested by the strains of that phase. 

With such a friendship in place the later phases will be handled with much great ease.

To be continued next week….

To Re-Build Society One Father at a Time

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Boys becoming good fathers is an unchanging need in every generation, else sexual chaos and violence ensue. It takes cultural deliberation to ensure well-ordered male sexuality.

However, Marxist feminism took deliberate lead in the deconstruction of the family in theUnited States, by severing of the father from his family. (Only 46%of American 15-17-year-olds now live with both biological parents).  This absence of fathers is coming into focus as the strongest long-term cause of the now- frequent eruptions of unpredictable forms of violence.

By contrast, a stable society needs fathers who are bonded with their children and who form the sexuality of their sons, so that they, in their turn, build up their own future families rather than tear them apart through uncontrolled sexuality. Malformed male sexuality leads to chaos and to sexual oppression, as the #me-too movement has made abundantly clear. 

The founders of The National Organization for Women (NOW),understood that to mold America in their Marxist image of a “good” society the two universal obstacles to this goal — the traditional (“patriarchal”) family and religious practice — had to be removed. Their brilliance was in seeing how to achieve both without having to resort to government coercion: Sever the father from the family by removing all constraints on the sexual

However, their brilliant success, though destructive, has by now made clear to all that cultural norms on male sexuality determine the level of chaos or order in any society.

A peaceful society will ensure that male sexuality is well-ordered by being well-channeled into marriage.  The dedicated, involved father, well bonded with his children, is the keystone to such a well-ordered sexuality, while his absence is a major gateway to chaos. However, nature does not help fathers as much as it helps mothers.  Something more is needed.

The contributions of both mother and father to this good order are very different, yet very sex-specific. The unique but complementary contributions are most visible in the DNA of their child, as each sex contributes its half to the double helix. In the relational domain each sex also makes similarly different but complementary contributions. 

Feminist ideas have suppressed the most obvious of differences between a man becoming a father and a woman becoming a mother. She is swept along by her biology: once conception takes place biology takes over (unless a woman overrides biology by having an abortion). In the beginning of the child’s new life this biological control is so small it is imperceptible, but soon makes its power visible in gestation, giving birth, and lactating.  The father who attempts to develop a bond with his child anyway near as close as the mother has nothing like her biological “assists.” For him it takes an act of his will. He has to choose to act and follow through with responsible action. This deliberately-constructed closeness is the foundation of his later ability to channel his son’s adolescent sexual drive into honoring women not exploiting them.

This choice by father to deliberately form an individual relationship with his children puts in place the keystone of the well-ordered family, which in turn is the building block of the well-ordered society. Sound societies have cultural patterns that guide the male to make this choice while shaming those males who do not, because it is an unchanging need in every generation that boys become good fathers, else sexual chaos and violence ensue.

The next two blogs will focus on the steps a father needs to take to form the sexuality of his boy, so that his mature son will honor women, be a faithful husband and a dedicated father.