The integrity of any major structure solely depends on its foundation. I remember playing with my builder blocks as kid. I would lay out my tools and spend the majority of my time organizing the base of my project. Even back then I understood that if I erected my edifice on the bigger, more sturdier blocks, I could raise my masterpiece as high as I wanted it to be. By investing in the foundation of my structure, I significantly eliminated the risk of losing what I had constructed. The father is as important to his child as the foundation is to the tallest of buildings. Now, more than ever, fathers are needed to man their post and have an active role in the lives of our children! Society is quickly shifting to a family model that is void of the father.
Over 70% of children were recorded to be illegitimate in the early 2000’s. When welfare became a constitutional right in 1963, “government assistance” took the place of the father at the head of the table. The welfare system provided just enough to put its recipients in a financial trance, only to have them become dependent on a program that would eventually become their way of life. Our culture became “addicted to assistance”and many lost the will to be accountable and the desire to create and provide for themselves. The need for a husband became redundant and the seat of authority in the family was vacated. Subsequently, our children were left without the covering that only a father could provide. The infrastructure was compromised and many of our children missed (and continue to miss) out on the wisdom and guidance needed to be functional contributors to society. This epidemic is systemic in nature and has traveled through our culture over time and has gained momentum over the years. The modern day behavior of a fatherless generation is eroding the fabric of the family and compromising the future of the next generation.
Our kings have lost their crowns to incarceration, unemployment, drugs, murder and all manner of misconduct. Meanwhile, due to the lack of structure and the absence of the father in the home, our youth have become barbaric in nature and tone deaf to the voice of authority. In the pursuit of purpose and the desire for affirmation from their father, our young men pledge their allegiance to a family structure outside of the home; they commit to gangs and resort to violence as their language of expression. Our young queens search for the love and affection needed from their father in all the wrong places. Many of our next generation of kings die with untapped potential never ascending to the throne and living out their purpose. Our girls wander aimlessly, losing their way only to become teen mothers and victims of promiscuity.
As a father of three girls this message resounds ever so clearly with me. I have grown to understand firsthand the importance of my presence in the life of my children. As my girls have matured over the years, I see the value and integrity of the foundation that was laid in them when they were young. Just like I spent time building the foundation with my builder blocks, I spent time building my daughters. Because of the proper foundation, they can go as high as their minds can imagine! Does this mean that they are perfect and void of the typical mistakes that many young adults make? No, but because of the valuable lessons translated by an engaged father, most of the time they are able to course correct and navigate through what many others never make it out of!
Call to Action
As African American fathers, we have to be mature and courageous enough to take our place in the lives of our children (maturity is the acceptance of responsibility). Even if we are not physically in the home, we have the responsibility and the mandate to be the guiding light. My favorite book says that children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. As fathers we are to aim our children in the right direction and make sure that they hit their targets! Connect with your loved ones , pull your babies close, and let them know that Daddy’s Home!
Written by: Tony Robinson