Facing The Challenge of Christian Fathers As Role Models | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Faith, LIFE

Facing The Challenge of Christian Fathers As Role Models

Posted: Jun 21, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Aramide Oikelome, Lagos

Few years ago, Pastor Wale Adefarasin of Guiding Light Assembly, Ikoyi while preaching at a Men’s Summit said that the reason why crime rate is so high in Nigeria is because of the failure of Fathers. By this, he meant that many fathers have failed to be good role models for their sons and by extension, other children. While many have argued that this is not true, some have admitted that fathers need to pay more attention to their homes instead of leaving the issue of child training as the exclusive responsibility of their wives.

Nicholas

Nicholas

Every 3rd Sunday in June is celebrated across the globe as Father’s day, hence many churches have earmarked Sunday 21st to honour fathers. As Christians dedicate time to celebrate and appreciate these men, Sunday Independent sought to sample the opinion of people on these pertinent questions- Who is a successful dad? What are the indices of a great dad? And, when can we say that a man has failed as a dad?

Mr. Olusegun Obisanya, a father of three biological children plus three other neighbour’s children admits that of a truth, the failure of fathers in training their children is partly responsible for the social disorder we have in the nation today but that is not the sole factor as there are other interwoven variable factors. Economic hardship has been put forward as a major reason for the spate of crime in our society.  What shall we say about children whose parents are financially strong, who live in abundance but still resort to crime. Of course, there are parents who encourage their children to take to crime.

We cannot deny the fact that in some homes today, there is a serious dearth of qualitative and exemplary lifestyle from fathers and mothers; even schools which contribute largely to a child’s upbringing have also failed. Many teachers are not worth their onions as some of them promote corruption and immorality.

Leaders in churches and mosques have not helped either. We can also put the blame of the increase in crime at the doorsteps of the political class who aid gangsterism and criminality. The young minds have painstakingly observed that it pays to be involved in criminality as the social miscreants are being employed by politicians with enticing monetary reward while they get shielded by their godfathers for the atrocities committed.

Another thing is the total collapse of value system in the country. The younger generations have failed to realize that there is dignity in labour. Even parents nowadays encourage children to be involved in all forms of vices, such as stealing in the offices.

Technology, as good as it is, has brought untold corruption to the society and many parents don’t have ample time to know what is happening with their wards while they are under their roof. Above all, the fear of God has totally disappeared from our lives and homes.

The solution lies in parents coming to the realization that God has given them these children to watch over and train because they belong to Him. So, parents will give account of those children to God.

Grace Gbemisola Ejiwunmi, a School Administrator and mother describes a successful dad as “One who has been able to successfully impact the fear of God and good morals values into his children. Also, he should be sensitive to the needs of his children and should give ample time to interact with them in love. It should be such that the child is proud to be identified with his/her dad.”

Talking about the indices of a great father, Dr. Oladapo Ayeni, a clergy, counselor,

Firstly, a man that fears God- When a man fears God, he will understand God’s stand in the upbringing of his children, especially when God says in Psalms 127:3 “Lo, children are the heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

These children are in the falling state and it is the responsibility of the fathers to bring them up in the way of the Lord. Fathers will give account i.e. they will be held responsible if the children go astray.

Again, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  The way a child should go is the way of the Lord and this is found in His word. This implies that fathers must take time to read, study and meditate on God’s word. They must ensure that there is time for family devotion where the whole family will come together to fellowship in His presence.

Secondly, dads are supposed to be role models to their children. The words of a father must tally with the actions the children see from their dads.  “Do as i do and not do as i say…” Children are very impressionable and very practical. You as a Dad must take great responsibility in this area.

Thirdly, he must be responsible taking charge of his home and ensuring that he leaves a lasting legacy for the children. He must fulfill all the requirements of the 3Ps (Provider, Protector and Priest)

Fourthly, DISCIPLINE is key. A father must not fail to discipline his children when they have erred and we have this at various levels of their development. Proverbs 23:13-14 says, Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Also, Proverbs 29:17 says, “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”

There are many passages in scripture but the bottom line is that the primary responsibility of bringing up the child is through the parents, particularly the father who is the head of the home.

The conclusion of the matter is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, which says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”