Letters

We need fathers

Dear Editor,

Sunday will be celebrated as Father’s Day, but no one really expects a bevy of activity or fanfare.

A few vendors, if any, will be strewn along the roadways selling their wares and traffic will be free flowing. For the paltry few good fathers who may be feted they may even have to foot the bill themselves.

When did we get here? How can this situation be turned around?

Why did you become a father? Was it to show your deadbeat dad that you are better than he is (was) at this fathering thing? To pass your name along? Or was it because you have oftentimes heard that you are not a man until you can impregnate a woman?

Whatever your reason is to become a father or whether you can(not) find a reason, the fact remains that you are a father and there are responsibilities that come with being a father. The very day you became a father, you gave up your individuality. It is no longer me but rather me and my child(ren).

What traits/values are you passing on to your children? Will they remember you as the negative father (the abuser, the ‘cusser’, the womanizer, the absentee parent, the parent who never sacrifices) or the positive father (the listener, the provider, the priest, the protector, man of his word, godly character, firm but loving)?

The Caribbean man is at a grave disadvantage when it comes to fathering because of our colonial history.

During slavery, the man was taken from woman to woman to deposit his seed to produce offspring to continue the work on the plantation. He was never given the chance to be the provider, protector, or the priest. He was simply a seed donor. Now that slavery has been abolished, this behavior has continued. It is even glorified in our musical heritage. “Nuff Gal” by dancehall king Beenie Man comes to mind.

A father is a very noble calling. I urge you fathers who have not signed for your child(ren) to do so. If you have doubts, then do a paternity test but do not allow that child to grow up in a world where they feel unwanted and unloved, which often leads to bitterness and resentment.

No excuse can or must be accepted for your inaction as a father. There are many model fathers around, some of whom never had a father in their lives, who can be observed and emulated. Fathering takes great effort, time, and money. However, when done right, it is a rewarding job.

The Bible refers to God as father. When we as fathers fool around we cause many in the world to not want anything to do with our Father God. They cannot imagine coming to Father God after being mistreated by their earthly father.

A family feels secure when the father is doing his job. A child loves to know that there is safety in daddy’s arms. It is quite disheartening, however, that the devil has crept into the hearts of a few fathers who have abused their children verbally, physically, and sadly, sexually.

God intended for fathers to raise godly offspring who will lead productive lives and make positive and lasting contributions to their communities, country, and the world on a broader spectrum. It is God’s will that fathers instruct their children in the right way and to carry on his legacy. For this to happen the father must be present and there must be a father/child bond.

Since the dawn of the feminist movement, there has been a deliberate attack on masculinity. Masculinity is vilified and femininity continues to be glorified.

Do not get me wrong, I do believe that the woman needs to be heard and given her right place in society. However, we have swung the pendulum too far back and what we are now reaping are terrible rewards of that action.

There are women who just need a child. They are only concerned about getting pregnant and could not care less about the father since they can easily provide financially for the child because of their economic standing.

This ideology is a serious threat to the stability of society and must be halted. A father’s role can never, ever be taken over by a mother.

Mothers must mother and fathers must father, which are completely different roles.

It does not matter how many books the mother has read or how many earned college degrees she has, she can never ever father her own child.

The prevalence of this behavior has only encouraged our men to be careless and the seed donor mentality to persist. It will also increase the number of people who are already on a quest to find out who their father is; a knowledge that they want to possess as this gives them a sense of identity.

If God intended for one of the sexes to play dual roles there would not be any need for the male’s sperm to fertilize the female’s egg. Women are not parthenogenetic (ability to reproduce without the male). We need both sexes to reproduce. That is what God intended. Parenting is so complex that God has assigned it to two people – a mother and a father.

Tons of research have shown the traumatic effects on the society by an absentee father.

A quick search on any web search engine will reveal that a child is five times more likely to commit suicide, to be incarcerated, to experience more social and mental behavioral issues, to divorce and have relationship issues, increased rates of depression and anxiety, decreased education levels and increased drop-out rates, and substantially increased rates of substance abuse.

With this information, I would imagine that those who are tasked with fixing the social ills of our society would be lobbying to save the fathers! Where are the lobbyist groups?

We have been trying to fight crime and fix societal problems, but the answer lies with our fathers.

Once we as fathers step up to the plate and start doing our jobs, then many of the social ills in our society will start to disappear.

Carlyle Peart

Associate pastor of Christian education,

Grace Community Church

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