Month: June 2010

Fathers, please stand up!

If any nation is going to experience real change, it has to begin with the smallest unit of the nation which is the family. The rebranding we have been talking about in Nigeria has got to start from the family. Our society’s fundamental problems are not going to be fixed by the church or the government but by families under the leadership of responsible fathers bringing up godly children.
We frequently hear great people appreciate their mums for the role they played in their upbringing but rarely hear about fathers. Typical success stories portray mothers as women who have played vital roles in the lives of the person or people involved. While awards and songs are dedicated to mothers, we only hear stories of fathers abandoning young children with struggling mothers. Now, statistics indicate that a greater proportion of youths involved in various vices are products of homes where true fatherhood is missing. I believe fatherhood is under attack from the enemy because of its significance in the home. For some, the devil has turned the graces and abilities God has given men into channels of abuse. It would appear that we have more mothers than fathers who have discovered their roles and responsibilities in child upbringing and have even adopted roles that should primarily belong to fathers. While we accept single parenting (in unavoidable situations) as a circumstance we have to live with, I strongly believe God’s original plan is that a father and a mother bring up godly seeds together. Mal 2:15. Each has specific responsibilities that are best fitted for them. The responsibilities of fatherhood are great and are best handled by a man. Men have been endowed with the graces to carry out the basic responsibilities of protection, discipline, instruction, provision and guidance. Every man’s fundamental responsibility is to bring up godly children who would likewise become great parents. Every father has a divine mandate to raise godly children. Myles Munroe says, ‘fatherhood is the highest honor God can bestow on any man’. The family is a man’s immediate sphere of influence. And fathers should make every moment spent with their children count.
It takes a miracle to change a grown man but sound counsel by a godly father in an atmosphere of discipline can change a child’s life for good. The values that make a man or woman a caring father, a loving husband, a suitable helpmeet, a principled leader or a law abiding citizen are usually developed at childhood. A father plays a vital role in cultivating these values in a child. If children are gifts from God, then no child is born to turn out bad because God does not give bad gifts. Some children might just require more attention than others. The greatest legacy you could give them consists of the things money cannot buy. While you provide education, food and clothing, ensure you help them develop godly character and the right values. Best of all, teach them to love God with all they’ve got. Never ever give up on developing the gifts we call children that God has given us.
I look forward to more success stories in which fathers play prominent roles.

Advertisements

FACEBOOK AND MY WORLD

Recently, I had to stay indoors because of the council elections going on in the city I live in. I had more time to flip TV channels like I usually do when I hold the remote control. Two talk shows on air that day coincidentally had the social networking issue or more specifically, the Facebook revolution as their subject of discussion. One talked about how Facebook had been used to raise funds for a baby with a rare medical condition needing special food. I also heard about a lady who had taken a Facebook fast during the Lent season hoping she would break free from her Facebook addiction. She was trying to apply the theory that a 21-day abstinence could break any habit. One discussant who was introduced as a social networking expert talked about having connected with some of the most influential and powerful people in the world via Facebook. He even said Barack Obama was one of his Facebook pals. On the other show, someone called Facebook a spirit. People wake up and the first thing they think about is updating their status and then the last thing before hitting their beds is writing about the highs or lows during the day. I know someone who once woke up in the middle of the night and found that power supply had been cut off and decided that the best thing to do was announce this to the world via Facebook. I also once saw someone stuck in traffic busy on her laptop browsing Facebook pages, to while away time I suppose, Lagos traffic could be annoying sometimes, you know. These days I hear children are busy on Facebook or tweeting away during classes when they should be listening to their teachers or lecturers. This has culminated in an increasing rate of failure in school exams. As for me, I have established contact with several old school mates I may not have met again, thanks to Facebook.
Our Facebook profiles have become mini autobiographies that tell our life stories. We relive childhood memories, discuss our present experiences and reveal our plans to our pals. Just like the success of an autobiography is basically determined by the number of copies sold, our profile’s popularity seems to be determined by how many friends we have and the number of comments on our pictures or writings. I guess there is an application that can help tell how many times our pages have been visited.
But I have questions… Can I afford to spend half of the time I use on Facebook on some spiritual activity like praying or studying the bible? Can I add my pastor or my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ to my list of Facebook friends? Would He be pleased when He visits my pages? Am I concerned about the spiritual condition of the folks I call my friends or followers on Facebook? My dad used to say, ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’. Is this true about Facebook friends too? Do my comments and statements on Facebook dovetail with my Christian beliefs? Do I have ulterior motives when I use a social networking service like Facebook? Does my profile show any light or provide seasoning like the Bible says I am supposed to do? You may be asking if life is all about preaching and preaching. But what better platform can you get to spread your faith than one that connects you with your world. Facebook might just be your epistle read by all men. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3. Meanwhile, I have some friend requests to attend to on Facebook.