Over the weekend, I had the privilege of sharing in the joy and celebration of a young one of our kind being dedicated to the Lord. During the occasion, the preacher of the day, encouraged the new family to raise their young one in the ways of the Lord. This he said, quoting from the good book in 1st Samuel 1:27. A story is told of a young woman by the name Hannah, who desired of a child from God. In her prayer for a child, Hannah made a vow unto the Lord that if he will save her from her affliction and grant her a son, she would give him unto the Lord all the days of his life. Standing on this word, the servant of God greatly exhorted the young couple to dedicate their firstborn daughter unto the Lord as has always been the norm amongst Christians.
On a further reflection on the preacher’s sermon I realised how important a mother and father play a great role in the life of a young one. Time and again throughout history sociology professors have come up with theories and findings in trying to demystify the role of a father and fatherhood in the society; as such we need to ask ourselves what role should a daddy play in the role of raising up their children. Times have changed greatly since the stone age to apple and Facebook and therefore many social and cultural issues come into play in defining a father.In a traditional African setting the father is always considered to be the bread winner in the family and roles were given to family members based on gender. I am made to understand that according to the swedes, in order for one to be considered to be a man he had to have a son, build a house and Plant a tree; on a deeper reflection, it shows the pressure society puts on men, which in my opinion is fair enough. It adds weight to the fact that a father has to be the provider and protector of his family. Some have added the roles of cooking, washing utensils and taking kids to school as part of being a father in the modern age; that is for you to decide.. depends with where you come from.
The good book in stressing the roles of the father in the society tells any father who would bother to read it that ” Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”in 1st Timothy 5:8. The father therefore remains the core provider of the family by all means whatsoever.Besides being a provider to his family, a father has the role of being a moral teacher to his children by instructing them according to scripture and the laws of the land. He serves the role of instilling qualities such as confidence, risk-taking, hardwork, persistence among others in their children. The father also plays the role of a sex role model in the family set up. He gives a perfect example of how the male can fit into a family setting.His relationship with his boy child and girl child nurtures them into understanding their sexual orientation, behaviours and mannerisms and how to handle the opposite sex in a positive manner.
Sadly,a few cases of child negligence, single families around us;fathers,mothers killing their children just shows how the smallest unit in a society fabric is degrading into inhumane kind of behaviour. Sad stories in some slum areas have been told of young mothers aborting again and again;dead bodies of infants found floating on a river. On reading between the lines,one learns of an irresponsible daddy, an irresponsible mummy broken or inefficient law and order institutions that do little in bringing the offenders to book.It is not a pleasant sight to behold when one bumps into children with a home but no food,homeless and foodless, street beggars by the day and petty robbers by the night forced to do this by circumstances brought upon them by their daddy’s and mummies, children with tattered clothes begging for a shilling or two.
It is upon us men to be the real daddies that society desires of us by owning our children and bringing them to the ways of the Lord and the values we hold dear.