A Moravian minister has come out in defence of Barbadian fathers in the face of a generally negative image of being no good.
In a sermon at the Calvary Moravian Church on Roebuck Street, the City, coinciding with the annual observance of Father’s Day on Sunday, Rev. Adrian Smith contended that there were still some good fathers in the Church and the wider Barbadian society.
At a service to launch a week of activities by the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, Smith exhorted these good fathers to fight on despite the obstacles.
He noted some men had become bitter after recognizing that the system was stacked against them, as a result of being labelled as deadbeat dads. He also noted that some men felt belittled after being denied access to their children.
Smith went on: “Some men are broken in their pockets and they cannot even pay a bill through lack of employment. Some fathers are so broken in spirit, they cannot even pay attention. In the end, their homes are broken.”
The Moravian cleric encouraged fathers to “push through” in spite of “brokenness” and the lack of adequate financial resources to support their families.
Contending that money was often overvalued in the family environment, Smith suggested that attention also ought to be given to the emotional and other intangible support which fathers gave to their children.
“If you give your child a $50 bill, he/she will soon forget the gift. However, if you bond with your child in assisting it with its homework, he/she will never forget it,” he said.
“If you attend your child’s graduation from primary school or secondary, they will never forget it. These things matter to a growing child.”
Noting that God had wired human beings to be emotional and to shed tears on some sad occasions, Smith urged men not to be ashamed to express their feelings in such cases.
“Do not be afraid to cry if the situation is beyond you. Do not believe that crying is beneath a man.”
Smith also encouraged Barbadian men to join their women and children in attending church on a regular basis and to fight resolutely for their families’ upkeep.
The church service was attended by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave; retired Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Brigadier Rudyard Lewis; current Chief of Staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne, and Dean of St Michael’s Cathedral and Chaplain of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, The Very Reverend Dr Frank Marshall.