Our fathers, Our mentors │© Fola Daniel Adelesi

On this 2013’s occasion of the fathers’ day, I would like to start out by saying my heart goes out to all those who do not have any fatherly figure in their lives or those who lost their fathers or husbands in one form of accident or the other. It may also have been a natural death but the most important thing is that it would have been nice to have a fatherly figure around. I would like to pose a challenge to every man out there while asking the women who will be reading this to help the men surmount this challenge.
It is true that over the years, some men have only been men in the things that relate to reproduction. They have not been the men that their husbands would like to see around or the men that their children will like to see around. They have been involved in some very disgraceful acts so much that the family does not want to relate with them. Some people who are supposed to be fathers are currently in jail for the wrong choices they have made that are now shaping the lives and future of their children. I am not here to blame these men. They have their own life struggles. We are also in a society that seems to ask us to always take care of the women for they are like the weaker vessel and then unconsciously place more demand on the men. Some men have been able to adequately yield to this demand or pressure, some others are trying but most people have just freaked out! They can’t handle the pressure and they have turned to something else for support or as their hiding place.
Let’s be real here. It is really a tough world and so many men are going through a lot. But in all of these, I do not in anyway support men who are not there for their families. You need to know that the way forward in any situation for us as a family is to stick together. Some may have everything working for them and others may just have almost nothing working for them but you still have to be there for your wife and children. In some families, the children are not even asking for much. They only want a fatherly figure and the woman only wants someone she can point to as the model for her children, especially the boys.
So here’s my challenge. As a father, you have to be the mentor for your children either the boys or the girls because it is one of the many responsibilities that God has given to you. Your boys have an option to grow into the kind of man that you are or that you are showing them. And as for the girls, they are expecting their husbands to be like the man that you are. Where you do not lay a good example, the girls either vow never to marry or at least pray they never have the kind of husbands their mothers had.
You have to brace up in this tough world and be the model father that your children really will be proud of any time any day. You cannot be a father that places preferences on material things above the needs of your children! You cannot live in luxury houses while your children are not catered for or are struggling to get through school. You cannot just call yourself a man because you can get in between the legs of a woman and help in the conception process of a child. It does take more than that to be a father. You have to be there for your family all the time regardless of what it is you are going through. Sometimes you also have to deny yourself the pleasure of this world just to satisfy your children.
I think that this world will be a better place when we have more men who are truly standing by the responsibilities they created rather than waiting for the government to face the consequences of their untamed libido. The United Nations today has more responsibilities because of children who do not have a home or parents they can point to, not because they dropped from heaven but because some men were not men enough to face the consequences of their actions.
Having given the challenge to the men to stand up to their responsibilities and be there for their families, the mothers and wives need to help these men. You have to give then a chance to be responsible to their children. They may not be perfect and they do not have to be perfect to get things done. In all, what you should do for them is to start with the breathing space that they need to be the fatherly figure in the lives of their children. You may not even like their faces or want to have anything to do with them but you need to think about the future of their children. Some of these children, if they ever find out that you denied them the privilege to have a father in their lives, will never forgive you. He may not have much in his pocket but you can help him to be a good father. Refrain from pulling him down with your words. Nothing chases men out of their families faster than the unbridled tongue of a nagging woman.
Back to the fathers, I just want to remind you that you have a role to play and you must play it. I recently heard the story of a father who was a drunkard and had two sons. One of the sons grew up to become a drunkard like the father while the other drew vowing never to be like the father. Even though the children we bring to this world will later be blamed for their own choices, we should not be the one to push them into those choices that the world will blame them for. Let’s help them make better and informed choices especially going by the experiences we already have or the mistakes we have made. Let’s be there to guide our children to the path of success so that we can walk down the aisle with them when they eventually make it into a hall of fame.
I know you may have had it rough yourself as a father but don’t be the father you never had. Be the father you have always wished for. And to all the father out there who have been around all along for their families, I salute your courage and also pray that your efforts will be rewarded with good success. Keep being a model for your children and keep standing strong for them. They may not know what you are going through right now just to be their father but will find out when they become fathers or wives to some other men and will give you some credit.
Dear father, please note that you are highly celebrated regardless of everything. Have a wonderful fathers’ day!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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