Fathers Who Are Polar Opposites Of Deadbeat Dads
I am writing this Father’s Day commentary after having a phone conversation with one of my goddaughters who lives in Virginia.
During our conversation, she told me that her children’s fathers are deadbeat dads. Having been married twice, she has three children: one daughter who is going on eighteen years old from her first husband and two sons who are five and two years old from her second husband.
Regrettably, to her and her children, both of these men have proven to be selfish, irresponsible, and very sorry “sperm donors” who have mastered the art of being deadbeat dads.
I could, of course, continue with sharing with you other stories and examples of men who have sired children and are irresponsible and negligent when it comes to being fathers. However, I am going to shift my focus away from these deadbeat dads and devote the remainder of my column today citing and celebrating some men in our locale who are outstanding fathers and who are excelling in the role of fatherhood.
These men are also emblematic of so many others who take their role as fathers seriously and are doing all they humanely can, often under very restrictive and difficult circumstances, to be faithful to their duty as fathers. Before I present these outstanding fathers who live in our locale and are known by many of you, I would like to briefly share with you some of the qualities that a man must possess in order to certify as a good father.
As always with me, my endeavor is to determine and weigh things as to whether they are right or wrong by their agreement or disagreement with Judeo-Christian beliefs and principles.
Certainly, one of the things that certifies any man as a good father is his love for his child or children. This is unquestionably the foundation to being a good father.
Without having this unconditional and sacrificial love for your child, it is impossible to be a good father. The kind of love that I am referring to here is what the Bible calls agape love. It was this type of love that moved the Father to give the Son to be the ransom for our sins and the Son to willingly give His life.
Let me say this to all men and all would be fathers: This kind of love is not based upon emotions and cheap talk. This type of love is based upon devotion and action.
All deadbeat dads, regardless of how they feel and how they brag on their children’s performance academically, athletically, and in other areas, simply do not love their children.
Another characteristic that all good fathers possess is their unwavering loyalty to provide for the general well-being of their children.
Whether it is emotional, financial, or spiritual, it does not matter. Good fathers will shoulder the burden and responsibility of providing for their children, unlike deadbeat dads who will often run-away from their responsibility to pay child’s support and even lie and evade the police.
Good fathers work hard to never get behind on their financial obligations to their children if they are obligated to pay child’s support and will almost always do more than what is required of them.
Good fathers realize how important their presence and spending quality time with their children is.
To the best of their ability, they will do all that they can to be either present or accounted for during special events or occasions.
Good fathers will not have favorites if they have more than one child. They will strive to treat all of their children with equal love and compassion without preferring one over the other.
Howbeit, there may be some special needs children in the sibling clan or a special situation that requires more time, attention, and effort that may seem like showing favoritism, but isn’t since every child is individually unique with different strengths and weaknesses.
Each one must at certain times be dealt with individually. Finally, good fathers will do all they can to influence and bring their children up the right way. They will, to the best of their ability, instill within them the fear of God, the respect of their parents and other elders, the work ethic, the respect of the civil laws, and do all they can to aid them as they go to the next level as adults.
Good fathers realize that sending them out of the nest does not end their fathering responsibilities to their children does not stop when they leave the nest.
Grown children who are young adults desperately need the counsel, encouragement, prayers, and at times, financial support from their fathers who are able to help them.
If a son or daughter cannot turn to their fathers in dire and desperate times, who can they turn to for help (See Luke 11:11-12)? We are going to shift our attention to a few outstanding fathers at this point who through their unwavering commitment to their position as fathers are the polar opposites of deadbeat dads.
Due to our very limited space, we will only give you their name and a little information as to why they were selected to be cited and celebrated in this pre-Father’s Day edition of my column.
I have known Tim perhaps ever since he was born seeing that his father, Mr. James Moultrie, was my history teacher when I was in the eighth grade. His mother, Mrs. Hazel Moultrie, was one of the key participants and actresses in a play I wrote back in 1971.
Tim’s willingness to man up and almost singlehandedly assume the responsibility of parental care for his three daughters is a very heroic story that needs to be told. With his youngest daughter, who is now going to the ninth grade being only three months old, Tim, along with the help of his parents, nurtured and reared some very exceptional girls, each of whom are straight-A students and members of the Beta Club. While raising his girls into model young women, Tim kept them in church and he has played an active role in New Hope Missionary Baptist Church serving faithfully in many important capacities. Congratulations Tim for a job well done, as well as for your recent marriage.
Another man who has proven to be an outstanding father in our locale is Mike McRae. Mike is no stranger to the people of our area, but is well-known through his function as a member of our school board, coordinator and coach of AAU basketball, owner and operator of Mike McRae’s Lawn Care, as well as his other obligations in his church and community. However, what stands out about Mike to me, as well as many others, is his outstanding role as a father. Back in early December of 2004, Mike’s beloved wife, Vanessa, and the mother of his three children, died in an automobile accident leaving him the sole surviving parent of their children. Having a son in college, one in the ninth grade, and a daughter in the first grade (who graduated from high school a few days ago), Mike, through the grace of God, weathered the storm and has done an outstanding job finishing the rearing of his two youngest children by himself. He is certainly a father whose commitment to his children has been exemplary and proof that in spite of the presence of so many deadbeat dads in our culture, there are still some very outstanding men amongst us who are doing a good and commendable job in fulfilling and executing their role as fathers.
The name Stevie Grice is one that is quite well-known or familiar to most people in Dillon County due to the fact that he is one of our County Councilmen. Stevie is also an employee of Dillon County School District Four, as well as a faithful member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church where he has been a member since his childhood. In light of all that he is affiliated or associated with, arguably his most important responsibility and achievement is that of being a father to two daughters who are twelve and ten years old. Stevie has shouldered the responsibility of rearing his daughters, along with the help of his parents, into some very well-mannered and proper young ladies with good attitudes. He is to be commended for doing a great job over six years with his girls and affords us much encouragement that there are some good single fathers out there who have not shunned their responsibilities to their children.
The last man that we are gong to consider, in my estimation, fits into the category of being a good father is Justin Inman, who is an employee of Wal-Mart. Though Justin does not live in the house with his children (three boys and one girl who range in age from three to eleven and who all have the same mother), they know that he loves them and that they can depend on him. He is faithful to his financial support of them going above what he has been legally mandated to do. He has committed himself to picking them up from school, checking on them at school, and spending quality time with them, especially during special occasions. Justin is indeed a rare breed and an exceptional and exemplary single father who has dedicated himself to the well-being of his children. I have only praise for him and those who are like him who through love, selflessness, and often much sacrifices have done valiantly in their duty to their children.
Thank God for these fathers who are polar opposites of deadbeat dads.