Blessed dad and sons three
Senator Reverend David Durant is triply blessed.
Not every pastor can preach that his biological children who were born into the church have stayed in the church; but Reverend Durant can.
And, as he prepares to celebrate his 33rd Father’s Day on Sunday, a proud Durant, the pastor of Restoration Ministries, can testify that Proverbs 22: 6 which advises “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” speaks volumes in his life.
His three sons David Jr, 33, Jonathan, 30, and Timothy Christopher, 28, were all introduced to the church while in the cradle, and now that they have grown into young gentlemen, they remain faithful to the morals and values they were exposed to.
“They did not stray. This is a blessing. I have met with other pastors whose children are not serving the Lord, and it hurts. And I am glad that, with all the drugs and block life and different things around, they have remained steadfast in the church and got involved in ministries in the church . . . .
“They could have strayed, but they did not. I thank God that not one did stray; because it could have happened. But once that foundation is there, they would not depart from it. I am still their father, and I am still guiding them when I need to,” Durant told Barbados TODAY as he spoke on how he raised his boys in the church.
The father is also content his sons all took advantage of a sound education and have chosen successful careers. The first son is an engineer; the second,
an actuary in New Jersey; the third, teaching the nation’s children.
“This is due to good discipline, much talking to and being strict; and I did not neglect my parental responsibilities,” the 57-year-old declared.
“Don’t be fooled. Keeping three boys on the right track is not at all an easy task,” Durant is quick to admit. Quite often he was overcome with excitement of being a father, but he always stood his ground as he instilled “proper values and good morals” in his charges.
“You just don’t let them have their own way; you guide them. These guys had to come home at a certain time, because they knew if they didn’t get in the house at a certain time, I would lock the gate and they couldn’t get in.
“They couldn’t leave home at a certain time, saying they going out; because that was time to sleep; not time to go out. I hear about children leaving their parents home at 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock in the night to go out. That couldn’t happen under my roof.”
Maybe its through God’s grace, but the boys adhered to their dad’s rules and regulations, giving their father and his wife Joy respect. This made life easy for Durant and them, as he hardly had to share lashes.
“The thing about it is that I didn’t have to beat my fellas often. I talked with them. I beat sometimes; but that was rare. Talk to and establish boundaries –– and they knew their parameters. Their mother, my wife, we stood together on things. So it is not like they could run from hearing one thing from one to the other to hear something else; because we stood together on things. If I say this is it, when they go to her, this is it,” he said.
When asked if he would like at least one of his sons following in his footsteps as a pastor, Durant replied that that would make him happy, noting that one of his offspring was inclined to go in that direction and might soon be pursuing theological studies.
But as for him forcing them to follow him, the senator said he had laid the foundation and had left the choice to them.
“I don’t believe in forcing children to do things, because what you want for them may not be what they want. Eventually it just doesn’t work out. When they are knowledgeable enough and look at all the opportunities they have –– that this is it and they just commit themselves to that –– I find that that works.
“But, I just came back form Curacao, and my last son was there with me; and he even preached. He preaches well and the people enjoyed his ministry down there.”
And just as he has raised his family, the pastor prays for his children, two of whom are married, to do the same. Ever since Durant and his wife were married at 23, the same year they had their first son, they have been living by example.
“They have never seen me or their mother fighting. We never had an argument in front of them. They came up and saw a model that was stable and they had something to emulate,” the pastor said.
Reaching people, meeting needs, changing lives and ministering to them is the way the public figure, who has been sitting in the Senate since 2008, hopes his sons continue to live their lives.
“I believe that they can be of a benefit to the nation, helping to maintain that spiritual balance; helping to guide the nation; looking out for the vulnerable in our society, the elderly, the children, young teenagers; reaching out to the needy in the streets, showing compassion to those who are desperately in need and those who are broken and battered and bruised. I want them to maintain justice, equity, fairness and show love where it is
needed. I want them to serve the less fortunate; and we serve the [homeless] men in the Clyde Gollop Centre.”
Durant also has quite a number of outside children who look up to him as a father when seeking advice, someone to share proud moments with and with shoulders to lean on.
“I want to encourage fathers today who are neglecting their children to mend that area of their lives. They can correct that, because abandoning your children is not the thing to do. It is abuse and it is costly, because it brings a lot of pain and a lot of hurt and a lot of rejection.The number of children I come into contact with who do not know their fathers . . . . There are even some in the church whom I talk to who do not know they father.
“It is a bit painful and they feel a sense of rejection. That is why some look to me as a father because they say, ‘You are the father that I never had’. So they adopt me as a father figure for their lives.
“And that in itself is a responsibility, because apart from your own children, you have others who are looking to you because they never had a fatherly connection. I am trying to be there for those individuals,” said the concerned man of God.
Between his pastoral duties and serving in the Senate, Durant surely has a busy schedule. But as big as his children are, he always finds time for them, and his two grandsons, savouring precious moments and bonding.
“I’m busy, but I still know what is going on with them. We chat often; and the one who is an engineer is back by me temporarily because he is building. So the grands keep me busy. The one who is in America comes often and then when I go up there, I am in touch with him.”