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February 21, 2012

CUMMINS: Your family should be important to you

FLOYD COUNTY — Who am I to question God’s plans? I know he set up a beautiful world for us with stars and a moon to look at. However, parents said never to look directly at the sun, because God might strike you blind. It was not the only thing God told them to tell us not to do. When my folks began taking the fun out of life, I began rebelling at about age 2. The first word I uttered was, “Why.” And the reply, “Because we said so.” From that point on, my elders remained stupid until I reached age 40.

It seems to me that God goofed when he organized the institution of the human family. Other animals don’t go through what human fathers do. Most fathers such as stags, bulls and rams fall in love for about three minutes at a time. Once performing their instinct to replenish the earth, they go eat, then nap and don’t fall in love again until nature intervenes. A male pelican goes fishing whenever he wants. Mother hens sit on nests, while roosters strut around crowing and bragging. Why is the human-father enslaved to a family of offspring, who consider him fossilized?

When you examine God’s family plan for humankind, he talks about commitment until death parts you. This means a man is stuck with a wife and family no matter how strange they are, or grow up to be. The human male is trapped, because he fears God and then his wife. She mentions the vows repeatedly, which he repeated that made the two of you one. (How could that be)? As I remember, I was in a semi-stupor when I repeated mine.  

Yes, God works in mysterious ways. Take little children. Why is the father responsible for their welfare for what seems like an eternity? I think children should be kicked out of the nest when they become 16. Buy them a car, give them the keys and be done with it. Birds know enough to kick a wobbly chick out of the nest whether they can fly or not. But a father keeps sending his children money, drives 200 miles to babysit for them and makes frequent calls to say, “Now here’s what I would do if I were you.”

Little children are so cute, at first. When the father sees the mother and the child as it nurses, he is profoundly touched and in the clouds. Then he stops at a cigar store on the way home to be alone for the next couple days. Traditions change. Before the Surgeon General said cigars would kill you, new fathers proudly announced their fatherhood by passing out cigars to all their male friends. In those days, King Edward knew something about marketing and they wrapped the cigars with, “It’s a Boy” in a blue wrapper or “It’s a Girl” in pink. After the silly father distributed these cigars to his friends, he’d met all obligations in preparation for raising his child in the way he or she should go. The giddy father then sat back awaiting the welcome home party, which lasted about one day. From that day forward, his life would no longer be his.

The young father did not realize the ramifications, limitations or how another breathing, human being in his house, would change his life, like barren trees when the leaves fall. He did not realize the mother would say to him, “I carried your child and suffered pain for you and now you owe me.” He did not realize children are immature. No one told him that raising children would cost him about $250,000 each. Other male species don’t tolerate these kinds of things, because God planned for them to go free.

For whatever reason, it seems we’ve lost many of the traditional family values, primarily commitment. An intact family is not a rarity these days, but the increasing numbers of children raised in broken and dysfunctional homes is staggering. Until Family First regains its status, who knows?

 If I had it all to do over again, would I have gone deep in debt, lost sleep and hair and preached the same old sermon from the patriarchal pulpit? Let me think about it. The only drawback to a family is that you simply can’t get away from them, nor catch up with them, but in the final analysis, they’re about the only everlasting thing we have remaining on earth.

Do not contact Terry Cummins’ family at TLCTLC@AOL.com.

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