Support of FATHERS. Mothers … you are incredible. NO DOUBT. But, when I did a search on “fathers,” I was taken aback by what I saw / read.
October 1, 2017, Las Vegas, Nevada
The son of a father who — “…robbed a string of banks in Arizona, escaped prison in Texas and tried to start a new life as the manager of a bingo parlor in Oregon. The father tried to resist arrest and attempted to run down an FBI agent with his car. He escaped federal prison and was “diagnosed as a psychopathic” and “reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and dangerous.” This father’s son? Stephen Paddock. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/02/las-vegas-shooters-father-bingo-bruce-lived-colorful-life-crime-and-deception.html
June 12, 2016; Orlando, Florida
From the Orlando Sentinel: Neumann, a veteran who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1999, had a “troubled” home life when he was a child, childhood friend Jayson Savage said. Who had the “troubled” home life? John Robert Neumann, Jr. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orlando-workplace-shooting/os-john-robert-neumann-shooting-suspect-20170605-story.html
December 2, 2015 – San Bernardino, California
Rafia Farook first filed for divorce in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences and accusing her husband of being an abusive alcoholic. She said he attacked her in front of their children, dropped a TV on her and pushed her toward a car, according to divorce records. She said a daughter intervened to save her. The case was eventually dissolved and she filed for divorce again in 2008 and again in 2012. She also filed for restraining orders several times. In her final divorce filing, she listed Valentine’s Day last year as the date of separation. A judge approved the split this year. A neighbor of Raheel Farook said that Syed Farook, the father, is talkative and often visits him as he works on classic cars in the garage. Dane Adams said the father said he was divorced and discussed his family. Who saw this troubled marriage? Syed Rizwan Farook http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/12/11/56203/things-to-know-about-family-of-san-bernardino-shoo/
Just how important is a father? Being the father of two beautiful children, I have biases towards how important / essential the role of the father is for his children. BEING A COMPETENT / LOVING / CARING / WILLING TO SACRIFICE / STUDY THE “ROLE” OF FATHER is too important for words. And, when I see these three examples of murderers and look at the LACK of their father’s POSITIVE / ACTIVE roles in their young lives, why do we (many of us) turn to a blind’s eye? These three MEN had negative / weak fathers in their lives. They had TROUBLED HOMES!!
We are seeing more and more fathers who are falling into the “Overall, findings from the three studies do not support the notion of a ‘new dad’ who spends more time with his children,” said the institute’s Jessica Henniker-Major. “In fact, they seem to suggest fathers today are actually taking a slightly smaller role in childcare.” https://www.upi.com/Study-New-dads-are-overrated/41271133411823/ You(father) are taking a “slightly smaller role in childcare?” WHY? Why be a father? Hey! Ridiculous. How is taking a “slightly smaller role in childcare” better fathering? IT’S NOT.
When in fact, we need the opposite. We need to have fathers get back in line and be right there … holding themselves as great fathers as they hold their children to being great children / “adults-in-training.” Too many fathers are allowing others to raise their children without speaking up. Sure. I love having help from others in raising PJ and Katy and in the end… I accepted the responsibility for being their father.
Please do read the entire The Atlantic article “Are Fathers Necessary? A paternal contribution may not be as essential as we think.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Look at these three men. When looking at these three men, I do not see them having a father who is what we would consider to be a constant / positive / active father helping them stay away from what they did as grown men. Bad seeds equal bad fruit! Going back to The Atlantic article. Check out the final sentence: The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution. The good news is, we’ve gotten used to him. What a condescending piece of garbage that sentence is! Seriously.
Having been raised by an alcoholic mother supported by her sister (our aunt), without a doubt many of my shortcomings of being a better man are due to not having the father that I am today. I look at PJ & Katy and see how wonderful they are. How did the two of them become who they are today? I had no dad per se to train me raise them. I had no one to show me how to be, at least, a “good” father. (DISCLAIMER: yes, they are not perfect, but both of them are SUPER BETTER than I was at their age (23 and 21 years-old). One of the reasons PJ & Katy are so good is their mother / my wife, Diana. One of the reasons I am a better father than my dad is Diana cheered me on to be a better father.
My guess in how PJ and Katy had the father I am? GOD. It is a MIRACLE! When Diana was pregnant, I recognized that I was super ill-equipped to be a dad. I didn’t have a dad. My dad was out of my life at the age of seven; never to be part of my life again. Except… for an occasional picture he would send me of him. Or… the time he wrote a letter to me telling me how awful my mom and aunt are and … yes, how awful I am. I think I got that last letter around the Summer of 2007. I will admit that last letter telling me how awful I was hurt a lot!
So, what I decided to do is to study HOW TO BE A FATHER! I mean… Really STUDY!! I started to read my Bible. Go to church. Find books about being a father. I studied. I asked other men, “What do you do as a dad?” I read. A LOT!
Here is a brief bibliography of my collection:
- John C. Maxwell – BREAKTHROUGH PARENTING
- David Z. Nowell – A MAN’S WORK IS NEVER DONE
- Stephen Arterburn – MIDLIFE MANUAL FOR MEN
- Wellington Boone — YOUR WIFE IS NOT YOUR MOMMA
- Steve Farrar – FINISHING STRONG
- Michael Farris — WHAT A DAUGHTER NEEDS FROM HER DAD
- John Ashcroft — LESSONS FROM A FATHER TO HIS SON
When I see the role of the father being dismissed, it hurts me. Many of us are being led astray of “the child doesn’t ‘need’ a dad” and continue to ignore the problem. There are parts of “why the mass killing.” Yet, one of the answers / the parts is again: BAD SEEDS EQUAL BAD FRUIT. Why do we not look at how to help support families to stay together? Make the raising of children the priority.
We need to bring back the importance of fathers. We need men who are ready to study / sacrifice. Show love. Connect with other COMPETENT fathers. Encourage one another to be better fathers (husbands). I am not looking for some “right-wing-fundamental-PROMISE-KEEPERS” movement. Even though, that movement was WONDERFUL for me and PJ. I cherish the times he and I went to PROMISE KEEPERS events. There we were – with other men and their children – singing songs / listening to inspirational messages in Arco Arena or the old football stadium at the University of the Pacific. I do believe Promise Keepers was / is a great movement. Yet, it is not for everyone.
Find a group of men who enjoy being husbands and fathers. Breakdown the “religious” barriers – if that bothers you. For me, the “religious” connection is important. But, I want men to be with men who thrive being great husbands and fathers. There are plenty of “religious” men who are weak husbands and / or fathers. Let’s get men to thrive in those super important roles! For me, I have weaknesses. I need my CHRISTIAN faith to be that strong husband and father.
We need the Hollywood Elite to recognize the message they send regarding fathers. From the TV show “FATHER KNOWS BEST” to whatever TV show you want to give from today’s TV shows that shows the role of fatherhood, there is a different message being sent about fathers and it is not one of reverence or respect. No. The message is one of “we can accept mediocre dads or even be without dads.” See how that has helped us in the last ten-to-twenty years (SARCASM).
These men have done what no man should do – take innocent lives! NO MAN SHOULD DO THIS. They were looking to fill some void that may have been filled with a loving / supportive father. I would also say, “AND MOTHER!”
In the end, the most important job in the world is being a parent! There is no substitute for a parent. Yes! There are those who step-in as great step-parents / foster parents / parents who adopt and THANK God FOR THEM. I would rather see a loving step-father / loving foster father / a loving man who adopts children, than no father. The biological father who accepts 100% responsibility for the job he does as the father of his children is THE ANSWER! I appreciate all of the men who do the role of the absent-biological father. SINCERELY. I DO! But, I so much wish my dad was there for me. I wish my dad would have done all he could to have been the father a son needed. I have the same wish / prayer for all of you. I wish / pray for you to have the father you need to be the best person we all need. And, of course, it’s me >>>> If you are looking for the “best” father, He is GOD. There is a reason why we call God “Father.” Do all you can to study Him. He is awesome!
As I say to PJ and Katy… there will be a day when I pass away. In the end, PJ and Katy, who are you two going to answer to? I hope their answer would be: Dad, when you pass away, we will answer to God.