By Rev Sam Oye
Luke 1: 61-64
Globally speaking, the greatest challenge in every society is that of the under-fathered children. One of the challenges you will discover in American society is the fact that the black community is with the largest number of fatherless children. This is the reason it is the community that produces the highest number of people involved in crimes and violence.
This shows that wherever there are no father figures, there will always be a crisis.
When we discuss fatherlessness, we are talking about the absence of a father who should have been present in the life of his children’s developmental stages. Sometimes, we think fatherlessness means the father is dead; this is partly true. It could also mean parents are divorced or separated; so, the father was not part of the child’s life, this is also partly true.
The worst kind of fatherlessness is when the father is present but the impact and influence of the father in the child’s developmental stages is not felt. This means that although he is around, he is not involved. When a man cannot track how much his child has grown over time, this indicates he is available but not accessible. When a father is too busy for his children, it can be understood but never justified.
There are different kinds of fathers, namely:
The authoritarian father – The one who shows up and everyone goes into hiding. When he approaches, everyone adjusts and is on their best behaviour. Do you desire your children to fear or love you? The first person the children forget is the one they fear. The first person a child forgets when empowered is the one they fear the most. It is relative to leadership; leaders feared are the ones people forget.
The uninvolved father – The one who does not establish love, rules and regulations in the household. Children of such fathers end up looking for love from strange places. When sons of these kinds of fathers become men, they are easily manipulated by women. When he is offered compliments by women, he will fall because he has never heard it before or been told these things. Men who are raised in families where there was no relationships, rules and regulations are subject to being manipulated because they were raised by uninvolved fathers.
The indulgent father – The one who gives his children anything they want. Usually, these fathers are from homes where they were deprived. When they become mature men, they ensure their children do not experience what they went through. They go from one end of the pendulum to the other to satisfy the wants of their children. Their children are indulged for each thing they were deprived. Their children are given everything while they got nothing. When their children ask for anything, they are given, because they were shut down during their time as kids.
As a single, if you want to get married, two things to do is increase your
Attraction power: Increase your availability, accessibility, sociability, likeability, sense of responsibility and spirituality.
Retention power: Increase your capacity to have guarded conversations. Do not let your mouth come above your mind. The day your mouth goes above your mind, you will say rubbish things and lose people. This is why we say “mind over the mouth” and NOT “mouth over the mind”.
Generally, the complexity of society is actually a result of this essential area – the kind of fathers we have. When you have an indulgent father who gives a child anything they want, the child grows up without rules and regulations. These are the kinds of kids that dislike boundaries when they become mature. The balance of all men is those raised by authoritative fathers – They give rules, regulations and structures that guide actions and behaviours. The reverse of authoritative fathers is authoritarian fathers where there are so many rules and regulations, but no relationship.
In Matthew 3:17 (NKJV), the Bible says “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
This is called affirmation. Men do not even know why they go after prostitutes. Even women do not understand why they chase after their husbands while abusing them. Women should be calm because it could be that they are dealing with a broken child in an adult man’s body. He could be a man who has never been told how wonderful he is. This leads to you, as his partner, being the extension of his parent’s voices always telling him he is not good enough. Every man needs an affirming voice.
Men travel through life, go through the thickest jungles, climb the highest mountains and face lions and bears. When men come home, they never show what they confront. Men hide the marks to keep their women safe because they want to be secretive, they hide them because they care about their partners.
Sometimes, men do want to be vulnerable, honest and transparent – the three levels of communication in every relationship. The highest form is vulnerability. No man can be vulnerable with a woman he is not honest and transparent with. As a woman, can you handle honesty? If yes, you will move unto transparency. If you cannot handle transparency, you can never handle vulnerability. Do not assume you know your husband when you have not passed the test of such conversational levels. Men are smart because when they want to be vulnerable, they will first start by being honest. When a man who is under-fathered marries a woman who is also under-fathered, there is a crisis in the family. We need fathers to be involved in the developmental stages of their children.
According to statistics from the US Censors Bureau, the absence of a father figure in the life of a child can predispose that child to have financial crisis hardship (or even poverty). This brings us home to fathers in Nigeria who are constantly providing for the family, not with the family. Fathers need to not only provide for the children but provide WITH the children. What fathers do for their children is what they talk about, and not what they are doing with their children. The reason men get frustrated when their wives or children complain about things is because they focus on all they do for them instead of focusing on what they do with their wives and children.
The topic for today is “Faith for Breaking the Patterns”. We need to break the patterns of fatherlessness as men before it is transmitted to the children. It has to stop. Everything we are building and accumulating, who are we accumulating them for? According to the US Department of Health, children who do not have father figures in their lives are more predisposed to having alcohol and drug addictions. Money cannot replace a father.
According to another conducted research, it was discovered that children who are not under the influence of a father figure constantly involved in their lives have the tendency to commit themselves to mental health institutions because most of the times their emotions are not balanced by the contribution of their parents (particularly the father) who affirms them.
As a father, do not let others give your children the affirmations they seek. People complimenting your children should never be a discovery to them, it should be further confirmation of how you affirm them. According to Hendricks CS, adolescents in father-absent homes are more likely to be sexually active at their early ages.
Things to note especially
Celebrate single mothers and married women doing their best to be fathers to their children in the absence of fathers who should be there. We always need mothers to stand in the gaps absent fathers create.
Young men are challenged to go beyond providing food, shelter and cars in the house and money to the family. Young men need to go beyond just requesting sex and consuming food. This does not define masculinity. Prepare for more than all these in marriage. Prepare for what it means to be a father.
Leave memories of a father in the hearts of your children. Inheritance will never replace memories. How much you leave for your children can never be compared to the touch you made. Houses do not come to visit you when you are old, they stay where you bought them. It is people that move around, whether they will move for you is dependent on whether you have touched their hearts.