children

MEN OF THE TRUTH

Sometime ago I shared some thoughts on fatherhood at a men’s meeting. At a time like this when we celebrate fatherhood, I consider it is appropriate to share those thoughts with you trusting you would glean some positives from them.

According to God’s design, a child’s complete development is dependent on the presence of a father and a mother in the home. Thus, fathers are crucial to the balanced development of children. You could be the father to your biological children or adopted children. Or you might even have the privilege of being the father figure to the young men and women around you. Sadly, we are beginning to see that the place of fatherhood is under threat from the subtle movement of the proponents of the convergence of sexes who believe that roles are interchangeable and can be carried out by anyone irrespective of the gender. The roles of the father and mother are not interchangeable and cannot be swapped. And thus the influence of fathers on human development cannot and should not be waved away.Father

Fathers must be role models for their sons and daughters and one of the dimensions of influence fathers bring to the mix is the influence of truth.

As fathers, we must speak the truth always. We must be people of our words. We see lying celebrated and promoted everywhere around us. It appears it is the preferred instrument of transaction in a world of competition and rivalry. Of course, it is the language of the devil. People lie and even lie that they are not lying. And really, you would always have to support a lie with another lie. When truth is thrown in, the cookie crumbles. Any agenda, institution or task built on a foundation of lies would inevitably collapse sooner or later. Lies, no matter how simple, can be very destructive. Interestingly, that little lie in what you thought was a trivial situation might portend a precarious situation for someone else. Make it a decision to always speak the truth, even when faced with a life-and-death situation. Tough words, right? But the truth always saves!

We must live by the truth – live by the Book of books. Our lives must be governed by the Word of God. That means we pass all issues, choices and decisions through the filter of God’s word. As fathers, let our words and conduct dovetail with the things we read in the Bible or hear at church meetings (where God’s word is taught). For example, we should, by our actions, demonstrate our respect for authority. When we run red lights at traffic stops, are we teaching respect for constituted authority or rebellion against order? To gain the honour of having your children hold unto your words, you must govern your life by the Word of God. Also, when we develop family cultures, these should be based on God’s word. When we introduce family traditions and develop values for our homes, the word of God should be our sounding board. We might want to ask, ‘How does this tradition or value resonate with what God thinks?’ Am I pushing a cultural ideology or building a godly home? These questions can be helpful as you develop your family culture.

We must defend the truth. We must be consistent with our stand. We defend the truth when we speak for the truth and practice what we say. We should be able to explain biblical truths and principles to our children so that they are able to deal with the challenges of life. Fathers should guide their children in developing the right perspective to life. Children shouldn’t be left to form their own opinion or viewpoint on life-defining issues. We are to train up our children in the way they should go. There is a way they are to go which we should guide them to set their feet on.

To be men of the truth, we should know the truth ourselves. We should know the word of God and know it thoroughly. Be as confident with the scriptures as a lawyer quoting sections of the constitution in a courtroom. We must fortify ourselves with sound knowledge of the truth. For us, the word of God is an invaluable and indispensable tool for building great families and it should not be far from our hearts.

Have a truly happy Father’s Day.

 

 

A BEAUTIFUL DAY

One morning after it had rained, I had It’s A Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace playing in the car as I drove on a muddy road. The dance steps in my feet found better expression on my hands with my head nodding in perfect agreement. I found it so easy to sing along, agreeing that indeed it was a beautiful day. The weather was cool, I was not driving in traffic, not hurrying anywhere, and there were no worries in my head at that moment…I was just coasting along on the road even though it was muddy. Then it occurred to me that I could pass someone walking along that same muddy road who would have heard my car sound system blaring and who would be wondering what was beautiful about the day. First, it was cold because of the rain, next the fellow would have to endure walking on the muddy road, getting his or her footwear and clothes really dirty and stained with mud. I realised then that it is pretty easy to be grateful in convenient moments!

Think about this: The one who has children could easily be grateful for a full quiver while the one waiting for the fulfilment of the promise would be thinking… There could be someone with two job offers and whose only problem is whether to take the one with an annual vacation but no 13th month salary or the one that has the reverse conditions. At the same moment, there could be someone who has sent 100 job applications over the last 12 months and has not received more than an email to acknowledge the applications. Someone could be feeling as fit as a fiddle while another just remembered the shot she has to live on for the rest of her life except God brings a miracle. A couple you know may be celebrating their 10th year wedding anniversary with everything around them shouting that they had enjoyed every bit of their lives together thus far. And you might have had 5 breakups in the last 6 years and still have questions about your current relationship. Your friend’s children may be excelling in school with a couple of them on scholarships while your child has struggled with his academics and spent a couple of days each term on the hospital bed. You are not alone on this. Jabez had his experience, Joseph had his own story, Job lived his too.

Your life might be a potpourri of the good, the bad and the ugly. You might be enjoying what some would term an unusual level of grace with no major challenges or incidents on your path. Or maybe the reverse is the case – your life story might indicate that you’ve never hit a purple patch all your life. But like Job said in Job 14:14 …all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. I also know that all things are working together for my good because I love God. Even if God keeps me this way, my report at the end of the day would not be different from those mentioned in the hall of faith – that they walked in faith and obtained a good report (Hebrews 11). God has the marking scheme and knows what He is looking out for – a man or woman whose heart is fully committed to Him.

But while I wait, I will stay focused on what He has said about me. The thoughts would come, the images would flash across my mind, those voices might interrupt my silent space but I would remain resolute in my focus on God’s word. I will keep His Word before me, in my heart. He says His thoughts for me are thoughts of peace and not of evil and He would give me the expected end. The words on my lips would always align with God’s thoughts towards me. My confessions would dovetail with my belief. This is the quorum needed for the manifestation of the promise in my life.

Yes, it’s a beautiful day. We would still sing our song.

Selah.

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.