By Rev Sam Oye
Luke 1 61-64
“What? they exclaimed. There is no one in all your family by that name. So, they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise, he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.”
One of the greatest challenges of our time is fatherlessness, especially in this generation where Google has become a mentor, search engines have become uncles and online platforms have replaced real-time experiences between individuals.
We are living in a time whereby fatherlessness is increasingly becoming a challenge.
What is fatherlessness?
It simply means being under-fathered. As a woman, you need to understand this regarding the man in your life that while some of the problems you may experience with him can be because of things you can blame no one else but him. As a matter of fact, they stem from being under-fathered and other times unfathered. When a man is under-fathered or unfathered, the effect will show.
Our fathers, as much as they wanted to be around, due to the nature of their jobs, could not always be around in our lives. This made most of the men born from the 1960s to the 1980s to be men who were mostly over-mothered and under-fathered.
There was much more of a mother’s influence compared to the influence of a father. This caused most of the blessed children from that era to be more loyal to their mothers than their fathers. The reason for this is that these children spend most of their time in the womb with their mothers and that remains the same after they were born leading to less influence from their fathers.
It is not the case of children loving their mothers because they are females;  the loyalty is from bonding, proximity and developing memories.
Ask yourself these questions: Who do I remember the most that were in my life? Whose influence do I feel the most? Whose cuddling did I feel? Even in rebuke and correction, who pulled me close afterwards?
This leads to children likely giving their fathers excuses, but the problem with excuse is that it comes with repercussions. So, the challenge of our days happens to be the challenge of fatherlessness.
Research has shown that the majority of society’s problems originate from inadequate fathering. Why do you think the prophecy in Malachi 4: 5-6 (MSG) exists?
Malachi 4: 5-6 (MSG)
“But also look ahead: I’m sending Elijah the prophet to clear the way for the Big Day of GOD—the decisive Judgment Day! He will convince parents to look after their children and children to look up to their parents. If they refuse, I’ll come and put the land under a curse.”
This is a critical moment. Evidence from research shows that as a lady, one of the major challenges even in your relationship is due to not being properly fathered. Also, evidence shows that as a man, one of the causes of your marital problems with your spouse is due to not being properly fathered. A lady who grew up with a weak father understands control, so when she gets married, she will not know when she wants to extend control over her husband because she grew up with a weak father.
It is wise for a father to talk and bond with his son. For example, a father needs to have a discussion with his son about what to do for a mother on her birthday. This includes the son in the familial process. Also teache the son how to treat a woman. This helps the son not to see the world solely from the lenses of a woman.
When relating with a woman in a way she would reciprocate, the best approach is for a son to relate with his mother. A mother is the one appropriate to teach a son about women. This is because if lessons about women come from a father to his son, it will lead to the son developing a masculine perspective about women.
It is the reason many women are frustrated because they are married to men who cannot love them. It is also the reason some men are in a mess because they are married to women who were over-fathered and under-mothered.
Your financial crises can be traceable to who fathered you and your relationship with money can be traced to who fathered you.
A mother and father should be united in the household. There should be teamwork in marriage. A father and mother should not be saying different things to their children. The children should hear one voice in the house. It is wise for children to understand the value of money. Having a wealthy parent should not make a child a spend-thrift. As a child, you are not rich because your parents are rich.
Fatherlessness comes as a result of a father’s absence. It is a product of a father’s absence in the developmental stages of a child. It could be in the form of the absence of a father’s voice, input and influence.
Most men have the traditional perception that the definition of a man (husband) is a provider. In Africa, for this definition to be valid, the woman has to be subservient and underpowered. This is the reason when men get married, they do not want their wives to work. They want their wives to focus on raising the children. This perspective keeps the man in power. As the man is the provider of the house, the woman is the dependent. A note to understand about women is that when a woman goes to work, she works with more zeal and fire – the source of this drive comes from the thought of the children. For a man, when he goes to work, it is usually towards attaining prestige and power.
A woman combines tactical capacities to outpace a man in the workplace. Whereas a man uses his strength to move forward, a woman uses emotional competence. When a woman is working her way to the top, she never lets you know she is going there, she makes and creates diversions. When a woman is using you as a ladder, you will never know. This is because a woman sees a full forest, whereas a man focuses his sight on a tree.
A man cannot understand how to define himself within the context of having a wife who no longer looks up to him, not from a place of pride, but an empowered place. This may lead to a lack of actions, gestures, languages and postures that she used to express when the man was the provider and she had nothing. If you are not properly taught, as a man, the next train of thought is to believe she has become arrogant.
Every man needs to be needed; it is how we were created. What makes a man important is that we are needed. This is why in a workplace if a man feels he is not being used or given tasks, he switches his job or role. Now, here is where the crisis lies, when the woman who normally needs you no longer needs you because she can meet her needs, how do you define yourself as a man? This is the current crisis between working-class couples.