Bob Tamasy: Fathers: An Underappreciated Resource?

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Upon receiving his award for Most Valuable Player in the NBA, Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant gave an emotional homage to his mother, who as a single parent raised Durant and his brother. It was a wonderful, stirring tribute to a woman who had toiled and sacrificed mightily to provide a livelihood for her sons. But underlying Durant’s glowing words of gratitude was an unanswered question: Where was their dad?

In no way do I wish to diminish the loving devotion demonstrated by Durant’s mom. She – and all single mothers like her – deserve accolades for the incredible challenge they accept each day in holding down jobs while also raising their children, hoping to build them into responsible, productive adults. The mom of Dr. Ben Carson deserves similar commendation, providing the inspiration and motivation for a young man who came from the ghetto to gain acclaim as an accomplished neurosurgeon, author, speaker and – in the view of some – become a credible candidate for President. 

Yet for every wonderful story about a single mother and her family, there’s also a back-story of an father missing in action. In many cases the dad never played much of a role in the lives of his progeny; sadly, in too many cases the biological father was absent from day one.

Having joined my wife in raising our children, and now watching them guide their children (our grandchildren) through the various stages and phases of childhood, I know how difficult the job of parenting is. How a single parent can pull it off successfully is almost beyond my comprehension. Ecclesiastes 4:9 states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.” This passage clearly relates to the workplace, but also holds strong meaning for the home and parenthood. 

I greatly admire my sons-in-law as I observe their devotion to nurturing their own children. In some cases they’ve made work decisions to ensure they don’t spend too much time away from the kids. Regrettably, I think back to my own career as a newspaper editor and have to admit I spent far too many hours at the office and not nearly enough watching our daughters grow up. If I could do it over again, yes, I would do it differently.

My own dad was not a hugging, touchy-feely type of man. Few from his generation were. But he modeled for me the virtues of hard work, integrity and marital fidelity. He, like myself, wasn’t extremely vocal, but his actions spoke loudly and true. 

I think of my uncle Joe, my dad’s brother, who in many respects served as a second father. He also built into me a work ethic, a vision of what I could be, and instilled a sense of confidence. Many times after some professional accomplishment, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What Uncle Joe would say about this?”

The Bible speaks extensively about fathers and their importance for society as well as the family. The Scriptures assign fathers the primary responsibility for spiritual training of children, a role too many fathers today have neglected. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). They – along with mothers – are told to provide instruction and discipline. “Train them (your children) up in the way they should go (follow their natural bent), and when they are old they will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). 

When fathers do wrong, there are consequences. The Bible speaks of the “sins of the fathers” affecting multiple generations of children (Exodus 34:7). This doesn’t mean God holds children responsible for their father’s misdeeds, as other passages make clear, but they often endure “collateral damage.” We see this today with the rise of broken homes and the emotional toll children suffer; abuse in the home, and many other problems resulting from family strife.

But this Sunday, Father’s Day, is a time to focus on the positive, celebrating the vital contribution dedicated, caring dads have in their homes and society. 

It’s also a time for remembering the only one we can count on with complete confidence, our heavenly Father – Jehovah God. Jesus assured His followers, “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?” or ‘What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’…your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33).

Our earthly fathers may have failed us at times, even many times, but the Lord promises He never will. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”” (Hebrews 13:5). From personal experience, I can attest that’s true.

* * * 

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Mitch McClure Speaks On "I Sure Am Glad To Get Off This Boat" Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God, at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "I Sure Am Glad To Get Off This Boat" in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This sermon is part of a series of sermons based on the Biblical report of Jesus that the Last Days would be preceded by events like Noah's day. Pastor McClure will lead the ... (click for more)

Friendship Central Hosts Preach-A-Thon In Memory Of 2014 Homicide Victims

Pastor Ezra Maize and Friendship Central Community Church, located at 7 Tuxedo Avenue, Chattanooga, will be hosting a 24 hour Preach-a-Thon beginning  Saturday, October 4, at 11 a.m. and ending on Sunday, October 5 at 12 p.m.  The 24 Hr. Preach-a Thon will be dedicated to and will highlight the names of each of the 24 victims who lost their lives from January 1 of ... (click for more)

EPB Officials Huddle With Attorneys Over City Street Lighting Issue

EPB board members huddled with attorneys on the issue of billing for city street lights on Friday morning. EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson asked for the private session with attorneys Rick Hitchcock and Tom Greenholtz of Chambliss Bahner. Don Lepard, owner of Global Green Lighting, earlier filed a $10 million "whistle blower" lawsuit, claiming overbilling by EPB on street lighting. ... (click for more)

Woman Shot And Killed In Catoosa County Residence

A woman is dead after a shooting in Catoosa County. According to Sheriff Gary Sisk, around noon on Friday, sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to 227 Smoketree Circle, Ringgold, Catoosa County, in reference to a subject being shot.   Upon arrival, officers located two females and one male at the residence. One of the women was observed lying at ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Troubling Jameis Winston

One of the greatest things about the American legal system is that each and every crime is judged on its own merits. Just because Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were each arrested for domestic abuse earlier this week, each National Football League football hero will be given an independent hearing and trial, if need be, ... (click for more)