Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Philander Rodman: This Explains A Lot Of Things

What thoughts come to your mind when you think of Dennis Rodman? Hall Of Famer? NBA Champion? Relentless rebounder? Shutdown defender? Taunter? Bully? Cross dresser? Deadbeat father? Nose piercing? Rainbow colored hair? Bad boy? Freak? One has to wonder about a man who acts so completely outrageous that all of the above could be correct answers. Anybody who authors a book titled "Bad As I Want To Be" truly craves to provoke and in Rodman's case act in increasingly bizarre ways. Like my previous article the question begs, where did this all come from? I know this will sound like a broken record, but look at his father: Philander Rodman.
Take a moment to look up the term Philander and you'll think that whoever named him was quite prophetic: 29 (TWENTY NINE) children from 16 (SIXTEEN) different women. From the sound of things, the elder Rodman has not been a part of Dennis' life since three years old. On top of that, he seems to live in this fantasy world that he's the long lost father of Dennis Rodman. No, he's a passive, self serving, deserting person who failed to take responsibility of being a man and a father.
Now read Dennis Rodman's quote:
"My father isn't part of my life. I haven't seen him in more than thirty years, so what is there to miss? I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father; I don't. I could say, 'This is my father. This is my dad,' but that doesn't sound right to me. I grew up with my mother and two younger sisters, Debra and Kim. There wasn't a male role model in my life until I got to college and started getting my [act] together."
One can argue whether Rodman has gotten his act together, but the bottom line is this. His life is one of confusion played out on a public stage. Sadly, he lacked the firm and loving direction that God instituted earthly fathers to provide. Even if one excuses his strange choices in fashion, he still is an insecure and irresponsible man.
Many of us struggle with the concept that God punishes the children for the sins of the father. In fact, it's number 2 on His Top Ten List:

Exodus 20:4-6
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."

What I see in this is the fact that our actions have consequences. We do reap what we sow. Sin does not exist in a vacuum. There are no victim less crimes. There's price to be paid and we need to pony up at times. Pretty harsh? Philander Rodman worships the idol of himself. Perhaps even more compelling is the fact that Philander Rodman is a Junior meaning there was also a Philander Rodman Sr. Now one has to take into account how God ordained things. Does Philander Sr. have something to do with this? If so, his third generation has been deeply affected by whatever idolatry he was involved in.
Perhaps I'm being a little soft on my stance, but it's clear to me that the sins of the father or grandfather will bring the natural consequence of hardship upon the sons. As you can tell from my tone, this really bothers me. Being involved with youth, foster parenting, mentoring younger men and talking with male peers has made it perfectly clear: the father's good and bad deeds affect the children. We need to break this cycle. I consider myself culpable too. Even though the children in my house have experienced abandonment by their birth dads, I know that I carry the deep responsibility as the dad who was there on a day to day basis. Many times I have failed. To both Ariel and Amanda I have needed to speak to them as adults and apologize for the ways I fell short as a dad. My prayer for all my kids is that the true Father can bring about the life and healing that I fell short of providing.
So I conclude by once again pointing to our real Dad. Yes, you can call Him Daddy if you need. You can be formal or deeply intimate with Him. But realize that we all need Him. He's the one we can run to embrace and know that we are safe.

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