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