04 March 2014

"The System"

A friend posted this video from the Arsenio Hall show of a spoken word by Prentice Powell on "the system," with a caption that read - "to all my fathers that got screwed by the system."

I watched.  At first I didn't react. Then it was like a tsunami that hit my thoughts. Everything pulled back from my cortex and I didn't feel anything and then like a gigantic wave emotions came rushing forward.  My thoughts on this won't be popular, but they are honest.

I felt Mr. Powell's pain. I felt his hurt and desire to be in his child's life.  I felt his frustration with the "system."  Without knowing his full story, I have sympathy for him.  At the same time, I have questions for him.

You see, the system he so wants to blame for allowing his son to live 3,000 miles away yet still requires him to pay child support was not designed to raise children outside of nuclear families.  It wasn't set to be disputed in courts, with a stranger in a black robe deciding our children's fate. It wasn't designed with the child being born into two separate households in mind. You can read the legal system, but I'm talking about God's system.  The system wasn't designed to have to decide which parent gets a certain amount of time with the child and which parent pays which portion of that child's school.  The system was meant for two parents to raise a family together.  At some point we have to quit blaming the system and look at our unwillingness to follow His system.

The Bible is littered with examples of the discord and chaos that occurs when people don't follow His system. Look at Sarah and Abraham. Sarah doubted that God would do what He said He would do, she encouraged Abraham to sleep with her maid and have a son, then she because supremely jealous. Abraham had to send Hagar and Ismael away and his heart was broken. Outside of the system. Discord. 

I know every father and every female who just knows they would do differently out there is potentially rolling their eyes and saying how it's not right for a mother to take her children away and use them as a pawn when the relationship doesn't work.  I agree. That is not right.  That's not at all what I'm talking about here.  That's not what the system is about.  I'm talking about Mr. Powell's ignoring the fact that the same man that laid to create the baby wasn't committed to His plan for the baby's family, to raise and provide for a family as one.  That's the system I'm talking about.

You see I know firsthand what it is like to raise a little boy 2,000 miles away from his father.  I know what it's like to not follow His system. I intimately know first hand when the system fails you.   The system I came from taught me different. I came from a system where my grandparents were married for 50+ years and even after my grandfather's passing a grandmother who said she vowed her loyalty to my grandfather for the rest of her life.  The system I come from is parents who have been married 35 years.  A system where my sister and her husband have remained married for 10 years.  That's the system I know about how to raise and provide for a family. 

So why are we questioning "the system" that keeps our sons and daughters away from one of their parents at times and demands that you support your child as if you were providing for your family? Let me assure you, the system allows you to get off much easier than if you were committed to His system and the plan to provide for your family.  Why do we demonize the primary parent who all they want is the best life for their child and will do anything to provide that, and is doing all they can the best they know how to provide that, instead of looking at our unwillingness to abide by His system? 

You see, the system wasn't designed to raise families where parents have to decide who gets what holiday and weekend.  The system can't fix this problem because it is simply a response to the problem.  If we want to look at a fix for the system, we have no one to look at but ourselves. 

I stand on no soap box shaking my finger at anyone. I live this. Every. Single. Day. I too am guilty of not following His system for us. I too acknowledge that even when someone does follow His system, people fail. Things happen. Our human love changes. Relationships end. My response to Mr. Powell is on a systemic level. When will the system of valuing marriage, valuing family, and providing as one be the system we subscribe to? When will we not allow the system to fail us but stop failing His system?

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