In a message to a largely black church today, Barack Obama told the congregation that black fathers are "missing from too many homes." He went on to say "They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it."
Suffice it to say I don't agree with everything Barack Obama says, but I couldn't agree with anyone more than I agree with him on this issue. The issue is not confined to black fathers, but all fathers. Nearly 20 million children, almost 30% of all children, now live in single parent homes. Many of our social problems are at least statistically rooted in this growing problem. I personally believe more of these problems than not are solely rooted in fatherless homes.
I only say this to emphasize the appreciation I have on Father's Day for my father and Katie's father. They taught us many valuable lessons, but the most important was that when times get tough it is reason to keep the family together, not abandon it. As a new father, that is the foundation of my responsibility to Elliott and Katie. I know someday Elliott will look back on the job I did as a father and make his own assessment on my role as his dad. The only pressure I feel in influencing that assessment is to ensure that he can say I was always there.
I also thank my heavenly father today. I know that all days he is faithfully guiding me as a father and watching over my family. He reminds me daily that when times get tough, I need to take a deep breath and place my trust in him.