Discussion: Happy Father’s Day?... Breaking the Cycle of Pain!
(This Discussion is written by Pastor Phillip A. Miller, Sr. of Victorious Living Faith, Baltimore, Maryland
https://www.vlfministrys.org/ and Victorious Living Faith: Not Your Traditional Church - Home
June 18, 2021
As a child Father’s Day meant nothing to me. Like a lot of children, I grew up without a father. I thank God that He blessed me with so many positive men in my life who chose to guide me in a fatherly way. But there was still that hole, that emptiness, when it came to Father’s Day.
I guess never knowing my father was the roughest part for me, and I often wondered why he wasn’t there. Why? That was the big question, didn’t he care about me, was I that much of a disappointment at birth? Or just a mistake that he chose to leave in the past? We can run these questions for days and may still not get the answers we are looking for, that Why?
So yes, Father’s Day held an emptiness for a lot of years, but as I got older, I began to look at that emptiness in a different light. Not at my emptiness, but at his. See, he didn’t know what he was missing out on. Or would even be around to say, “That’s my son!” Society has trained us to label fathers who are not around as “Deadbeat dads.” But have we ever thought of the pain these fathers have and will go through?
There is a circle of pain that is present on this day from both sides of the equation. Yes, it is true you have some men, I can’t call them fathers. Who simply ran away from their responsibilities, because it did not fit their live style at the time. But then you have those, who by whatever ways and means deemed it necessary that for the sake of the family thought it was better they leave. This may sound crazy or a copout, but there is an actual basis behind these thought patterns. In the 1950s into the early 1960s, the Welfare Act had the “No man in the house clause.” This put many men especially, in the black community in a precarious position. Stay and hope things get better or leave and your family can get help from the system. You hear many stories from this time period about, “Daddy went to the store for a pack of cigarettes and never came home.”
Be it the pain and suffering he left behind, his intention was for his family to survive. Though we don’t live at this time now. Still, you have many men who walk away because of a sense of failure on their part that they are not living up to what a father should be. This is a cycle or generational curse that must be broken. Why? The reason is, if this continues, young men will not have fathers to look up to and in fact never learn how to become fathers. God in His creation of this world, gave it an order that Man would be the foundation for things to come and that order revolved around the father. We look at why is the world in such chaos now. Well, when you take things out of order, what you get is chaos!
Even though I was raised without a father, I vowed I would break this generational curse in my life. God has blessed me with six beautiful children: Octavia, Scotty, Phillip Jr., Tony, Quan and Samantha. I never claimed to be the best dad in the world. That is not my testimony. But I will be the “I am here father, the teaching father, the loving father. The example that even though you grew up without a father, you can be one to your children.”
So yes, June 20th brings a lot of mixed feelings. There are a lot of “WHY” questions on this day and a lot of emptiness in the lives of our children and our men. But it is time as my good friend Russell Brereton says, “To Bridge Da Gaps,” we move on from asking “WHY” to asking “WHAT”? What I’m I going to do to break the cycle? What will I do to instill in my children those things that I longed to get from my father? What I’m I going to do, even though for whatever reason I left my children, is to show them I LOVE THEM?
So, to those who stepped in, who stood in the gap for the dad that wasn’t there. To those who have carried the mantel that I will father you. If no one ever says they appreciate you today… I say Thank You! You don’t know how you have taken the “?” out of Father’s Day.
I dedicate this to: Ben Miller, Richard Miller, Woodrow Miller, Joe Miller, Randolph Jarmon, and my big brothers Steve, Stanly and Sidney. Even though all of these men have gone to be with the Lord, I pray that I just live up to half their legacy.
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Happy Father's Day!
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