In my life before ministry, I worked almost exclusively with men both as an employer and as a co-worker. I have heard just about every gripe and curse over the “burden” of having to pay child support. I admit, I’ve done my own crying over this issue. I loved my son – no question there! I wanted the best for him without a doubt. But she, SHE was another question. “She doesn’t need all that money; she just bought a new car; it doesn’t take all that money to raise a kid; Jeesuz!” “What does she want from me? Besides, she’s got a boyfriend now! They are married now-they make more money that I do!” I’ve heard (or said!) it all.
Never mind that she had responsibility for his total care! Never mind that he was on her health insurance. It wasn’t me trying to figure out how to get him to soccer practice or where to find the money to pay the registration! She was eating up my paycheck!
Why should I have to pay so much? Soon I quit paying it at all – until the District Attorney explained it to me. I felt like I was paying money to stay out of jail. And one day it hit me. “Don’t I want my son to be safely driven around? Don’t I want him clothed in the best clothes? Isn’t Margaret’s husband a good man that cares for my son as his own?” I felt like the Grinch “whose heart was two sizes too small!”
Soon I began to notice that I felt better when I paid my support promptly and on time. And in time I realized that I paid my support for me as much as my son. For years! In time we, Margaret, Bart myself, and Michael too found a way to get Michael through Washington State University. We sat together as friends watching the commencement ceremony in Pullman, Washington. Today I am grateful that Margaret brought forth this fine young man into our lives. Today I am grateful to Bart for doing a great job as Michael’s step-father. In time, I trust they will overlook my shortcomings as a child support provider.
Is child support Spiritual Practice? You bet your ass it is!! Man up and pay it!
Do you have questions about child support, parenting and other issues? Contact Reverend Mike and the Center for Spiritual Living by email or at 818-363-8136. Reverend Mike’s door is open at the center Monday through Thursday, and you are always welcome to join us for our Sunday or Wednesday night services or other events.
Photo from Flickr by Yinghai, Some Rights Reserved.