Why is this not the number one topic being discussed in this world? Good fathers, and by that I mean real fathers who are there, have the ability to change almost every social problem we now find ourselves facing. I’d be assumptive enough to say that there isn’t a single type of crime or a single problem so big that it couldn’t be fixed or wiped out if fathers would just step up.

Hopefully, if you’re one of these dads, it’s not too late to be that real dad. I pray to God it’s not because your kids need you. Fight for them, dads. Give up everything for them if you must. Just be there. And do it now.

If you are reading this, feeling angry or saddened because you yourself have abandoned your child, do yourself the greatest favor you ever will, and assume that someday there still can be a place for you at the foot of your child’s bed. The road back to trust might be impossible. But, it might not be. Not if you make yourself a truly good man first. You’ll never know if you don’t try. And, try you must, even if that trust is never to be yours again.

If you are reading this and you are no longer able or allowed to have a part of your child’s life because of court orders or criminal activity, I pray to God that you spend the rest of your life demanding that other men step-up so that they never have to walk through the hell you now face. Think of the good you could do.

And if you are a mom who has watched your child’s father leave, my heart goes out to you. I also pray that you had no part in it. I pray that you didn’t make it impossible for him while he was there. I pray that you didn’t try and force him to live up to impossible expectations. And, I pray that if he is a good man and he wants to be there in his child’s life that you love your child enough to let him. Even if that seems impossible to you.

I’ll discuss more of that in an upcoming post. I believe a few more dads would stick around if we can all be real about how some good dads are pushed until they give up. Damn it, moms. If you want the father around… if you want him to reallybe there for you and your kids… you’re going to have to let him. You’re going to have to make some things possible. You’re going to have to let go of your pride and fight for it as much as he does.And dads, if you want the mothers of your children to want you around, you have to earn it. You have to be there. You have to be good men. How tragic is it any time an era of trust ends between two parents! How heartwrenching is it every time a man who was once thought to be a good man suddenly becomes an abhorrence or a plague to his family! How calamitous is it when men simply give up or take the easy way out!Married… divorced… separated… never together… what does any relationship status have to do with a man’s parental duty? Once you’re a father, you’re always a father. There is no you in the formula of life anymoreThere is always at least one other person standing beside you in that equation. Always. Own that. And never leave that behind.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I understand that there are millions of different and complex situations. I understand that this couldn’t possibly apply to every one of them. I understand that mothers leave their children too. I understand that some parents are dangerous and must be allowed no part of their children. I understand that some women have booted their man to the curb with every good reason she needs.  I hope it goes without saying that this post is not about those men or those situations. This post is about men who have every possibility and potential to stay in their children’s lives, but for some selfish reason they don’t. That’s all.

Please. Share your thoughts. Share your stories of dads who have left, and also of good men who are real dads and stayed. Heaven knows I could use some of that today because I know some dads who are about to be drop-kicked in the face by an angry Papa Bear.

NOTE: This is the first of a 3-part series (what I originally wrote got so long, I decided to split it up). Part two was posted 01/03/11 and was called, “Mom pushed Daddy out the door”. The third part is called “You’re not the man she married” and will be posted sometime after that. If you’re new here, don’t worry. It’s not always this heavy. Come back tomorrow; I’ll write something lighter. Maybe. We have a lot of fun around here.