Family Confidential returns for its third season with another collection of celebrity stories that demonstrate just how important a parent’s influence can be when it comes to forming your own family.
This six-part ABC series promises an insider’s perspective on what makes the homes of some of Australia’s biggest names work. The results are revealing – possibly more so than the contributors might have intended. The first episode provided viewers with a summary of Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness’ advocacy for easing adoption laws in Australia, which amounts to little more than what might have appeared in Women’s Day. However the most interesting revelation was the history of Hugh Jackman’s father who raised his children as a single parent. The result has been a Wolverine with the firm conviction that “Family is the most important thing,” and a determination to get home on weekends no matter where he is in the world.
The second episode is equally insightful, but in a less positive way. In it we meet John and Therese, the parents of Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr. The series lets us know up front that,
“This episode of Family Confidential has been made without the endorsement or participation of Miranda Kerr.”
– and no wonder. What follows is a civil but barely controlled denunciation of the life Miranda has gone on to live by every family member who appears on screen. Miranda’s father wants a ‘normal girl’; her mother says she’s ‘missed out’ on what the family has to offer. However you can’t help but also observe that Therese is a very strong-minded woman, having regularly reshaped her family life to suit both her and Miranda’s ambitions – and John notes that mother and daughter are very much the same. Again, we see just how significant a parent’s influence can be, though in this case the result is not as flattering. For better or for worse, the examples we set our children will inform their values as adults.
I think about this a lot as a father. I can be something of a work-a-holic (he writes, as he sits at his computer late on a Friday night) and I worry about how this will rub off on my sons. I try to counteract this influence with deliberate family time, school and sport involvement, and one-on-one activities. But I have to admit that I would be very worried if my words and example were the sole guides for the future. That’s why I also work hard to bring them the Bible each night because through it they’re going to meet a much better parent than me.
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Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, those who join God’s family can call the Creator of the universe Father. But that’s not to say that we believe God is ‘like’ the head of a family. No, God is the original Father, and every man is more or less a dad in so far as they resemble Him. He’s where we get the idea of providing for those who belong to us. He is protective, generous, listening, loving … and so it follows that human fathers are too. And it’s not just men. God unites in his perfect parenting every quality we would associate with mothers too.
Family Confidential could leave people wishing they were better parents, or happy they haven’t made some of the mistakes that appear on-screen. But my hope is that it will make them wonder where we’re supposed to draw our model of parenting from. It can’t just be great mums and dads we’ve known, because they won’t be around to bear the load when we fall short. It has to be the best Father of all, who is there for us as well as our children.
Release Date: Tuesdays, 8:00 PM