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A FATHER IN PRAISE OF HIS KIDS' MOTHER

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God bless you.

Today, Father's Day, is set aside to honor me and all the other fathers of

the world.

I'm proud and thankful to be a father. I'm even prouder and more thankful to

be a husband.

I owe both of these blessing to two sources: God and my wife Joyce. I love

my Lord and I love my wife dearly and shall forever do so.

As I continue to undergo God's healing in my battles with a brain tumor,

prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure, my greatest earthly

sources of strength and support come from being both a good husband and a good

father.

Now, bear in mind that I was a husband to Joyce first before she made a

daddy out of me. And being old school, I still believe that that's the way things

should be. Couples should get married before they have children.

But I can't blame the women for this growing discrepancy. Most women

want to get married before they have children and want to stay married during and

after raising those children.

Unfortunately, we men increasingly have been messing things up.

Especially in my race. No woman on the face of the earth has done more

for her man and her children and gotten less reward, less respect and less

appreciation for it than the black woman. That's because too many of us black men

want to use our women as meal tickets, sex toys and punching bags.

It pains me Sunday after Sunday and church service after church service

to stand behind the lectern in the pulpit and preach to a congregation that is 80

percent women, who are 90 percent single mothers.

Don't get me wrong, now. I'm not saying that we black men have a monopoly

on mistreating women because in every race there are low-down men who

mistreat women. There are still cultures that deny women basic human rights and

treat them as third-class citizens and even slaves, which is an abomination.

But I believe there is more personal mistreatment of women in my race

than anywhere else because we have more single mothers running our

households, we have more women being violently abused and we have deadbeat

dads in obscene abundance.

Happy Father's Day?

Yes, but only because of loving, dedicated, hard-working mothers.

Obviously, there'd be no fathers in a motherless world. But there is an

increasing population of mothers whose babies' daddies don't want to be

husbands. They want to play the field. They want every woman they meet to

be a virgin when they are nothing near the same. It's a shame. It's a shame. It's a

low-down dirty shame. Too many men want to pimp, skimp and limp their way

through life.

A good father is a husband first. A good father loves his wife and children. A

good father works hard to support them. A good father is right there with the mother

raising those kids together in bad times and good times. A good father stands his watch

when baby is sick or needs feeding or needs a diaper change. A good father disciplines

his children and loves and respects their mother in full view of them. A good father prays

with his children and takes them to church. A good father lives his life in a way that makes

his children proud and happy to call him "daddy." A good father will sacrifice even his

life for the safety and welfare of his family. A good father never quits being a good

father.

I thank God that I'm blessed. My wife Joyce and I have been married now 41

years on the 30th of this month. We started out as high school sweethearts at

Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kan. We courted for seven years before we

got married. During our four years of engagement, we had a joint savings

and checking account in preparation for marriage.

Few couples even court anymore. Driven by lust, greed, immaturity and

irresponsibility, too many young people rush into bed with one another and rush

even faster into a marriage doomed from the start because they really didn't love

each other and because they lacked the faith, discipline and hard work to make

a marriage work.

I am so thankful to Joyce for putting up with me for so long. She has been,

I really believe, a much better wife than I have been a husband. She has never

lied to me, has always loved and been true to me, has done whatever she could

to make me happy, has supported me in everything worthwhile I've ever

endeavored to do and has made me the primary focus of her life behind our

savior Jesus Christ.

Can I say the same about me? No, sisters and brothers, I can't. I have not

been a perfect husband. Yes, me, Rev. Lacy J. Banks, a baptist preacher for

56 years, I have not been a perfect husband to her as she has been a perfect

wife to me.

But I have been a perfect father. I love my three daughters Nicole Cherice-

Roxann Chapman, Noelle Victoria-Renee Banks and Natasha Sarah-Lorraine

Banks with all my heart. I am also thankful to Joyce for her effort to bear me twin

sons before she miscarried and they died of premature birth. One was still-born

and the other lived a day and died. We both still cry occasionally, especially Joyce,

over the memory of losing them and the agony of wondering what might have

been.

I have given my daughters a Christian upbringing. I have always been there

for them when they needed help. I have sheltered them from premature adulthood.

I made a good education a top priority for them and my wife and I fulfilled our

dreams of making sure each got a college degree before either marrying or getting

pregnant. My daughters have disappointed me many times. But my wife has

seldom disappointed me. Quite frankly, I believe she deserves somebody better.

So I am immensely grateful that she is doing me a favor to continue being my

pride and joy and letting me be her husband.

To all you mothers of the world, I wish and pray you joy and happiness with

your children, grandchildren and great grand-children. But I also wish and pray

for you to have a loving, faithful, hard-working (or at least willing-to-work or

seeking-to-work) husband be your side to cherish and support you as I cherish

and support my wife.

I am blessed to have a wonderful Christian, hard-working, faithful and loving

son-in-law in Larry Chapman. He and Nicole have been married for 15 years

now (thank you Jesus) and are the proud loving parents of two girls and two

boys, whom they are raising diligently in the Christian doctrine.

I wish Noelle and Natasha will be equally blessed to know the marital

bliss that their mother and I have enjoyed for 41 years. But although the pickings

are slim, the Lord is able. So I will not lose hope. But I also thank God that they

realize it is better to be alone and happy, than married and miserable.

God bless you.


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5 Comments

Dear Rev. Banks,

What a wonderful Father's Day tribute! It is so YOU, honest and loving and unashamedly revealing, something we (male and female)don't spend enough time being in our lives. As always I am encouraged by your being an "open book". I know that you are having a wonderful Father's Day.

My Father's Day testimony - Before marrying my husband I was a single mother, the child of a divorced, single mother, also a child of a divorced, single mother. I'm so grateful to God that He placed men in my son's life that filled in the gap - my uncle, my son's god father, various coaches, and my husband who took many, many fatherless male children under their wings and did their best to model appropriate Godly, manly behavior. With them, much prayer and certainly most important, the intervention of the ultimate Father, God Himself, my son is now a husband and a father. There's not enough time to write about the experience of watching my son with his son. I'll just say that God did something I wasn't exactly expecting back then as a single mom - He proved that He indeed can break generational curses and bring families back in line with His guidelines for His people. Although, as you know, my husband is severely disabled and critically ill, he's already received several cards and text messages from our children(step, adopted, blended, and god)wishing him a Happy Father's Day. I expect calls a little later. He may not think he did very much for our children while he was healthy, but their acknowledgements on this day say otherwise. I share that to tell birth fathers, step fathers, adopted fathers, and just encouraging a child fathers that everything you do to demonstrate love and concern matters to a child. And to their mothers.

God bless you, Rev. Banks and your wonderful family. You are all a great inspiration. You remain in our prayers for continued healing and we can't wait for the next installment of the miracles God is working in your lives!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Marie, for your magnificent magnificat on

how our heavenly Father used you to break of the generational curse of delinquent

fatherhood in your family. I thank God and celebrate you for your gratitude to your

husband and the other surrogates who chipped in to help shape your son into the

wonderful father he has become. Yes, by the grace of God and through prayer,

faith and due diligence, a good thing can come out of Nazareth. It thrilled me to

read you describe the joy you get from watching your son father his son. What a

touching tableau to a rejoicing mother. And then you bless me with rhetorical roses.

I am greatly encouraged by your kind compliments. I pray that I can inspire other

fathers, too, to be better fathers. It is never an instant perfection. It remains for all

us fathers a work in progress, this fine art of fatherhood. And we can't do it by

ourselves, either. We need help from heaven. We need help from Our Father, which

art in heaven. Thank you again, Marie, for being a marvelous mother, the true

progenitor of fathers beyond Adam.

Dear Lacy -

This is one of your finest entries. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, and may God bless you and your missus with many more.

When I was five years and five months old, my father passed away. Forty-nine years later, I think of him more than I ever have. My mother took the reins in the family and did everything she could to raise her three boys as well as possible. But, I'll say this to anyone who thinks that a child doesn't need a dad: Even with the wonderful job Mom did, I have always and will always feel that void left by my father's passing. A child needs both parents. When my daughters were born, I was involved totally. Even through a divorce, the girls always had access to both their parents. And, today, my wonderful younger daughter took me to dinner and gave me two perfect presents and a magnificent card. My devotion to my children is doubled because my father couldn't make that same choice.

What a wonderful day to stress the importance of fathers in the lives of children! We are two lucky fellows to have children who love us. Happy Father's Day, Lacy, and many more to come.

BANKS' RESPONSE: And a most happy, happy Father's Day to you, too, the

Powers that be. We are a supreme fraternity: us dedicated, loving fathers. You

always respond on time and in time, John, with a psychic synergy that blows my

mind. Yes, my mind just seems to mesh with yours. We think pretty much alike.

We feel and visualize and sensualize likewise. I feel some great cosmic kinship

with you and a precious few of our other most faithful and consistent blog

respondents. As Sister Sledge used to sing, "We are family." The Lord be praised!

On this Father's Day, I'd also like to give a shout out to our heavenly Father for

making us and for predestining that our paths would one day cross, whilst we

journey, glued by gravity to this spinning ball of mud, revolving around the sun and

zooming through the universe to divine destinations indescribable. On behalf of us

all, I want to wish our great Lord God Jehovah a Happy Father's Day. I know that

we often disappoint Him and bring shame to the kingdom with man's inhumanity

to man and with the way we savage our land, sea and air with greed-driven

pollution and destruction. But our Father remains full of grace and mercy and He

just keeps on blessing you and me.

Good morning, I trust you had a wonderful Father's Day. I just bet if we asked your daughters, they'd say everyday is Father's Day! Mothers are very important in any child's life, but Fathers are really just as much. My father was not the type to tell you "I love you" or kiss you on the forehead, or any of the "mushie" stuff, but he showed his love by his discipline, his support, his sacrifice, his desire for our education, his respect and love for our mother. In fact, the first we ever heard him speak "baby talk" was to his great-grand child. We were shocked! My brother and I often speak of him and always laugh at the time, just before a whipping, he told him "you may disrespect your mother, but you will not disrespect my wife." It was not funny at the time. My son, like many did not have the benefit of a loving father as a result of divorce, but he had the benefit of a loving grandfather(also his pastor) and godfather and is the loving father to four beautiful children. You don't have to tell me how great our GOD is! I've been rambling...this is your blog...you all are still in my prayers.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Gwen!!! How could you ever accuse yourself of

rambling to me when every single word you write to an e-mailed comment to this

blog is a magnificent work of gold. And since you can never write enough for me,

then you certainly can never write too much. I agree that there are so many other

ways, even more genuine ways, of showing love than by words. Actions always

speak louder. Words of love are often used to deceive and to set up someone for

abuse. At the same time, people can do good works for for the same reasons. But

at the end of the day, I'd settle more for acts of love than words of love. Words

can influence visions and elicit hunger. But acts can realize things and satisfy

hunger. Thank God that you had a good father. And I just assume that the

grand child that got the first sweet talk you ever heard from him belonged to

none other than sweet Gwen Murphy. Now, I dare you to tell me I'm lying.

Oh my gosh - that was so very powerful. I was brought to tears and I am willing to bet that you are a much better husband than you are giving yourself credit for. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband who is an incredible father to our four children, and I was reminded of him while reading your statement. I don't tell him enough, but I will tell him this evening, that he is a wonderful man and a terrific father. I am very, very lucky, and I thank you for helping me realize it.

BANKS' RESPONSE: That's right, Christine, go 'head on and bless your

husband with a deserved compliment. We good husbands and fathers don't really

get enough of that. Not that it matters that much because we are not who we are

and we don't do what we do for praise. All that we are and have and do is because

God's blessing us accordingly. And let me applaud you for being the good, caring

and sharing wife and mother that you obviously are. We husbands don't praise our

wives enough, too. And when our marriages get to the points where they are a

lasting thing enriched by the birth and raising of children, we are very, very indeed

most blessed. Praise the Lord!!! And most of all, praise and thank God for love.

Any man or woman who finds true love that is shared on a 50-50 basis should

drop down on his or her knees and thank and praise the Lord.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.

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This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on June 21, 2009 12:59 AM.

IN MY SMACKDOWN WITH DEATH, GOD'S GIVING ME THE VICTORY was the previous entry in this blog.

THANK GOD FOR 41 YEARS OF MARRIAGE TO MY HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART is the next entry in this blog.

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