"Love and marriage, Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage...." These were the words that introduced the film that made Fox famous in the late 80's. You saw Al Bundy with his hands in his pants and ignoring his family for the joy of TV. Everytime this introduction appeared on TV, my parents made me change the channel. But like any good young boy, I still found a way to watch it!
We will evaluate the great, Al Bundy. The man who had a bright future to play college football, but impregnated his girlfriend (Peg Bundy), married her, and ended up working at Gary's shoe store selling women's shoes.
Now would Al Bundy be consider a "manly man?" Well, you might think he is a good 21st century male. He watches football, loves beer, and complains about women. It is the standard joke about men in our culture. What' wrong? a young boy might ask these days.
First off, he is constantly ripping into his wife (even though she has her own problems). He definately doesn't treat her like Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5) and also downgrades his own daughter as stupid and a ditz.
Secondly, he has no responsibility as a leader of the home. He works a dead beat job, has no money, and doesn't seem to want anything more but to complain, scratch, and drink.
What implications does this have? In all honesty, it was funny. It brought to light some struggles we all have in marriage and raising children. Brought some reality to people who had dreams, but were shattered. Yet, it basically gave no hope for men stepping up in trial. It presented troubled teens as a glorious way of life. And the idea of discipline was nowhere to be seen.
I would argue that Married with children started a horrible trend of the downgrading of men. Men as the "village idiot" and taking no responsibility for his family. Especially, uplifting his wife and children. The Al Bundy affect will be with us for some time, but by God's grace, things will improve.
Lord have mercy