Father’s Day: A Character Test


I had two take a second glance at the news headline on Yahoo.com.  Desmond Hatchett, a 33 year old man from Knoxville (TN), was requesting relieve from the court for his child support. According to news sources, Hatchett had 30 children by 11 different women. 

However, Hatchett struggled with his financial commitments with his children due to his low paying minimum wage job. The court required him to turn over 50% of his wages because child support payments were based primarily on the children ages and their needs.  Sadly, some mothers were only receiving $1.49 a month for their children.  Consequently, Hatchett could not meet his financial responsibilities as a father.  However, not meeting their mental or spiritual needs may have more lingering effects on his children. 

With Father’s Day upon us, the adequacy of fathers will eventually be dissected by media pundits and culture experts.  America is in trouble as it witnesses millions of fathers missing from today’s homes. Unfortunately, there are unintended consequences to this national epidemic. 

Despite all of the government and social support available, today’s children still need a strong male role model in their homes.  For a few people, today’s fathers do not make the grade. In fact, the question must be considered: Can anyone concretely define the contributions of a father in a home? 

Clearly, today’s women are more independent. In fact, many families lack a male figure in the household anyway.  Fathers are often the forgotten fixture in the life of the average child. I am constantly reminded of the shortcomings of men in all walks of my life.  

Yes, some people claim both the traditional structures of families and roles of family members are too outdated. Clearly, the demographic shift in America suggests something is different.

According to the 2006 Census Report, there are over 60 million fathers in the United States.  Sadly, everything is not a pleasant story. There are 4.6 million fathers who pay child support, representing 84 percent of child support providers.

Fathers are a staple in our community. Fathers are like a creek in your backyard. You don’t miss it until it runs dry. Likewise, the absence of a caring father makes a difference in a child.   Furthermore, the trends for missing fathers have varied.

With the increase of out-of-wedlock births and the high degree of divorces, children living away from their biological father have become common place. The National Survey of America’s Families estimated in 1997 that one in three children under 18 years lives apart from one of their parents. 

National attention needs to be placed on developing better fathers and retrieving any lost ones…if possible.  Many good fathers are forced to fill in during those situations when fathers are absent from their children’s lives.  Obviously, there are numerous examples of abusive and absent fathers in today’s home. 

If today’s leaders buy into the notion that fathers are irrelevant, we dampen our children’s sense of optimism about the significance of good fathers in influencing positive behavior in our children. Consequently, effective fathers should be celebrated as a link to a successful future for our country.  

Please share your opinion on this topic. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green