Where have all the fathers gone?


Around this time of the year, my thoughts wander back to my father. I grew up with a father who believed in being the father. He was not always right, but what he said was law in our house.

Although not a very well educated person, my father knew how to use the Board of Education on the Seat of Learning for all of us children. He believed he had the right to be judge, jury and executioner concerning the things in his children’s life, with no appeal to a higher authority.

In the kitchen hanging next to the door to go outside was a very interesting parenting tool, at least in my father’s eyes: a paddle with a religious inscription, “I Need Thee Every Hour.” The inscription was quite true to the reality of life in our home.

Spanking was a routine exercise in our home. My father had the idea that if you were in trouble in school you were also in trouble at home. He had this fantastic idea that the teacher was right and I was wrong. I guess he knew me and that I could take a little bit of truth and spin it into a lie. I wonder who I learned that from?

Several times I got in trouble at school, which involved a spanking down at the principal’s office. The first time this happened, I well remember walking into the kitchen and saw my father standing there holding in his hand that infamous paddle. Within a few moments, the paddle was doing its duty and I was doing the “paddle dance.”

After the paddling, my father sat down with me and said, “Okay, what trouble did you get into at school requiring the principal to paddle you?”

I wished he had asked me before the paddling, because now I had no incentive whatsoever to lie. Looking back, maybe that was the whole purpose of the paddling.

Ruminating over these things, I tried to figure out how many spankings I actually got during my lifetime. Let me just say, it was significant. More than that. It taught me respect for authority.

I wonder if some of these young people getting into trouble today ever had a spanking? Of course, today that is completely against PC. My father did not believe in PC (Political Correct), but he did believe emphatically in BS (Back Side). I think if parents today would focus more on BS than PC, things might be a lot different.

To spank or not to spank, that is the dilemma today. Most gravitate towards the “not to spank” aspect unaware they are creating a lot of damage for the next generation.

If some of these youngsters could spend a week with my father and his infamous “paddle” they would grow to respect authority. Unfortunately, there is no authority figure in most homes today. Even those homes that have fathers are coerced into believing the father has no real significance in the family.

All I can do is to quote a famous psychologist, “How’s that working?”

Well, how is that working?

The wisest man in the world, Solomon, said, “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:12).

True love always corrects that which is wrong, especially in the person they love.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, P.O. Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. He can be reached at 1-866-552-2543 or via e-mail at jamessnyder2@att.net.

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