On this Father’s Day, we thank God for faithful fathers. Our society is truly blessed to have so many African American men who have proven to be faithful fathers and husbands. Last month we observed Mother’s Day. It is one of the busiest days in the year for gifts, cards, brunches, dinner and flowers, but unfortunately in many ways Father’s Day has little or no meaning. We have heard many negative comments about fathers, and in far too many cases, we have stereotyped the African American male with being a dead beat father; one with little or no respect for his home or family. There is also a myth that our Black men are irresponsible, and for many it has become the truth. Oftentimes, we have been told the untruth for so long, it seems like the truth. Yes we have men, not just African American, but men of all ethnicities who do not fulfill their responsibility. Thanks be unto God there are countless African American men who do love the Lord, love their families and seek to be good role models for others.
I have said on many occasions that I did not have a responsible biological father, but I have been blessed with so many men of God who poured into my life’s blessings. I know firsthand there are many outstanding fathers who make unbelievable sacrifices for their family. I am always amazed at how we can look at the prodigal son who wasted his father’s resources, and see the brother who was jealous or envious, but we fail to focus on his faithful father. It is an unbelievable story of a young man who left home, squandered his money on wine, women and song, only to find himself with the desire to come back home. In the Gospel of Luke 15:22-24, we find these deep and profound words, “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” We see how this faithful father, who had so much love for his son, welcomes his son back home.
There are so many fathers like this in our society today, in spite of what their children have done. They have a loving heart and are always standing and waiting to welcome them back home. It’s amazing what a father will do for his children. There are many men who are not biological fathers who sow into the lives of others.
I pay tribute today to John White Sr. who has gone home to glory, who provided me so much love and tender care in my youth. I also pay tribute to my pastor, Rev. Dr. Albert Franklin Campbell, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, for his guidance, wisdom and mentoring. He is truly a man of God, and I consider him my spiritual father.
I am grateful today to give God thanks as a father who watches our sons provide love to our grandchildren. My heart beats with pride as I witness these young fathers do for their children what God calls them to do; to bring them up in the nurturing admonition of the Lord. That is a blessing for me as a grandfather and I know I am not alone.
We salute all men today and thank God for those fathers who have been called home to glory. Most of all, we thank God for our loving Heavenly Father who provides all of our needs according to His riches in glory.
May this Father’s Day be one in which we say thanks to our earthly fathers and give glory and honor to our Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to have a father who loves us unconditionally and is always there to provide for our every need! May our Heavenly Father, the God of all comfort and peace, strengthen you this day and the days ahead.
The Rev. Charles W. Quann is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church of Penilyn.