The day is 10th May, 2020; I wake up some minutes to 9 am only to find my timeline flooded with status updates bearing celebratory messages to our Mothers. It’s like everybody on my contact list has put up some message to celebrate their mothers. The day is widely celebrated, and it’s clear that mothers are heroines. Most people would describe their mother as angels; I mean, they always saved the day with the little they had. They would literally put their lives on the line for the sake of their children, if not their families.
Supposedly, today was 21st June (Father’s Day), would social media be flooded with celebratory messages to Fathers? I have observed over the years that we rarely notice when its Father’s Day. The day passes just like any other day with just a few messages written to fathers. If I was to compare the two days, Mother’s Day would be compared to a series like Prison Break that runs for 6 seasons with at least 20 episodes every season, while Father’s Day would be compared to a WhatsApp status that runs for 30 seconds. Before you think I am exaggerating, just go through your social media, and you will see my point; people have even gone ahead and composed songs to their mothers. Wait for 21st June; you tell me if we have a replica of the same.
I wouldn’t blame people for not celebrating their fathers. How would you celebrate him when he was either absent, drunkard, battered your mum, failed to provide, or he provided but never had a relationship with you? Most people have had daddy issues at some point in their lives. Therefore, Mother’s Day cannot pass without one realizing the gap that has been created by fathers.
Let’s take a practical approach, how many people have been brought up by single mothers? The question is, where was the father? Which sober person would continue partying and merry-making, yet they know they have kids out there, and they don’t know their whereabouts? Another example, a man somewhere has 3 kids, he spends all his hard-earned money in drinking, comes home drunk and every time he is home there is chaos. What will the kids grow up thinking about their father? If one is lucky enough, the father was present, hardworking, and gave them everything they needed, but he never made an effort to have a relationship with them. I have heard several people say how they have never had serious conversations with their fathers. If the father wants to know how they are doing, they normally ask the mothers!
I am not saying that we don’t have responsible fathers. I know of people who have been raised by single fathers. The other day we saw a father who was taking care of a small baby after the mother left. I have also come across fathers who have given up their lives for the sake of their children (biological and spiritual). I celebrate such. Every time I think about this, my heart cries, “why can’t we have such fathers in the society?” Or why can’t our fathers be like our mothers, why can’t we have many stories of fathers as we have good stories about our mothers?
There is a big problem here, and not unless we address it, things will keep going south. I will say this without fear of contradiction, the current generation (the millennials, Gen Y, X, and Z) will make worse fathers than our fathers. These generations have become PS generations; they will wake up go to PS (most probably owned by a girl) joints spend the whole day playing PS (and at the end of the day probably try to hook up with the owner of the PS). Some are better they are working, but they spend their weekends partying. Who will they father if all their lives they are “partying”? Sometime back, one of my lady friends told me she is not marrying because she can’t find a serious guy; most of them are busy partying and drinking. If we don’t provide a solution, our young men will head the same route our fathers headed. And the society will continue rotting.
I know I have been very vivid, but I want to paint the picture as it is. So, what is the solution to the problem of fatherhood in the country and in the world? The answer is in the Gospel. It is in the Gospel where we find the pattern of Father-son relationship, which we can model our lives after. We can keep crying about our boy child, we can take them back to traditions, circumcise them, give them motivational talks, but this will not help them. It is in the Gospel that we find the Father’s love and his attitude towards people that we should learn and apply in our lives. God loves the world, and he gives up his only begotten son that he may restore us to him. It is in the same Bible where we find examples of fathers such as David (1 Samuel 22) where men in debt, distress, poverty, and with many issues come to him. He raises them to become mighty warriors. Can our men give up everything they have for the joy and life of others? The Bible also puts it clear that Fathers have a big role to play in the lives of children (Ephesians 6:4). Paul urges fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instructions of the Lord. Therefore, if fathers are absent, who takes up their role? Something will go amiss. My prayer is that we can consider this and raise a new breed of fathers who will love, treasure and provide a covering to their children (both biological, spiritual, and adopted).