Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade recently wrote in a syndicated column that appeared in papers across the country that he now knows “what winning really means.”
Wade was just awarded custody of his two sons. He grew up in Chicago, and his own father was heavily invested in his upbringing. Wade wrote that since his sons have come to live with him, “every day has been like Father’s Day.”
President Obama recently appointed Wade to a new parenting program geared toward encouraging fathers to become more involved in their children’s lives. That means accepting the responsibility for the lives they help to create. Being a responsible dad means serving as a role model for his sons and daughters. That demands honesty, integrity, dependability, compassion, discipline and love.
We frequently hear ads on the radio for fathers’ rights attorneys. But are they asking the fathers to be responsible parents in addition to demanding visitation rights? In today’s Chicago Tribune, Michele Weldon writes that the Fathers Rights Foundation website offers tutorials on “How to minimize child support.”
I checked their website. Sure enough, it’s right there on the home page, plus a series of articles on the cheapest way to get a divorce. What kind of father is focused on giving the least to his children?
Clearly, one of the greatest problems facing society today is the profusion of families where the father is absent. The radical feminist movement is partly responsible for this trend. So is the terrible breakdown in sexual morality and disregard for the sanctity of marriage.
Since Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae in 1968, widespread acceptance of contraception has been accompanied by an increase in divorce, sexual abuse, unwed pregnancy and abortion. Contraception has made it easier for men to avoid responsibility for their sexual activity and more difficult for women to demand faithfulness.
But in spite of all the pressures on both men and women to cast off responsibility and “live free,” people still have free will. They can choose to do the right thing.
Our society desperately needs men to be real men—to be strong, protective and loving. As we stand outside abortion clinics and watch couples go in to have their babies killed, we do see men who don’t want abortion for their children. But what are they doing to prove they love those children? We also see men who are advocating for abortion. Are they capable of love?
I hope that Dwyane Wade has an impact on other fathers, that they realize that being a real father is winning in the game of life. And I commend President Obama for launching a new initiative to strengthen fatherhood. For all those fathers who take their responsibility seriously, thank you for your important contribution to society.