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COMMUNITY VOICES: Absentee dads, fatherless children

Many children today grow up without their biological father. I speak of those men who walked out on their children. This is an epidemic in society. Children need their mom and dad to teach them what dignity, respect and honor look like in their home. A man should never deny his own children the right to have their own biological dad.

When a man marries his wife, they commit to being with one another “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, until death do us part.” Unfortunately, the sacredness of the marriage vows for certain people is not an important factor. Where there are no vows in holy matrimony, one cannot expect true commitment.

It’s not right for a man to walk out and ignore his biological children, only to give his time and attention to another woman and other children who are not his own. When a man brings children into this world, he has the moral obligation to parent his own children and not leave this responsibility to someone else.

What does it say about a man who denies his own children and would rather spend time with the “girlfriend?" Men only have one opportunity to raise his small children, just one. By the time he realizes it, the kids will turn 18 and be out on their own. It will then be too late to raise them.

Fathers need to live under the same roof with his children. Fathers need to teach their sons how to treat a woman with respect and dignity. He needs to teach his daughter how to have self-respect and not allow the boyfriend to take advantage of her. He needs to show his children what it means to love and appreciate his wife, their mother. When children think of a “hero,” they should be thinking of their father. A father should have the greatest and positive impact in the life of his children.

Children need the presence of their father and his unconditional love. He needs to show how much he cherishes and cares for them. Children can sense neglect, and they can also sense love. If you are a man who has abandoned your own children, I advise you to “man up” and reconcile with your children. Your children need you in their life. They need a man of integrity with strong ethics, morals and values. Most of all, they need a man who loves and fears Almighty God in Christ Jesus.

Finally, I encourage all fathers to watch the movie “Courageous,” directed by Alex Kendrick. This movie will help you see the dynamics of how essential a father is needed in the life of his children as they are growing up. The movie will challenge you to step up to the plate and be the father your children deserve to have. Don’t be an absentee father. Be the man God intended for you to be.

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David Vivas Jr. is the pastor at World Harvest International Church in Delano.