HAVING CHILDREN DOESN’T MAKE YOU A FATHER
A father’s influence goes to the fourth generation after him. Whitney Houston’s parents Emily (Cissy) and John Houston divorced when she was at kindergarten. Together with her lover Bobby Brown, Whitney smoked crack in the presence of their five-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. At 22, Bobbi died of drug abuse… Her mother Whitney died at 48 on similar grounds. Great careers and, more importantly, great lives were lost due to weak fatherhood.
While there is little you can do about your ancestors, there is something that you can do about your descendants. One thing that prevents a man from being a good father is that he hasn’t completed being a boy. To be in your children’s memory tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. Having children doesn’t make you a father, raising them does.
There are some of us who were raised in unstable families but we don’t have to pass it on to our children. We don’t have to fight in the presence of our children. We can choose to shield their emotions from our disputes as adults. To a large extent, you are a product of your early relationships.
Unstable parents create insecure children. Stable parents raise stable children. Children need affection (hugs, kisses), attention (listening) and affirmation (positive words) every day. When a man loves his wife, it creates security and stability. The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother. Children learn at home how to handle feelings, losses, failure and conflicts.
Regrettably, parenting can neither be delegated nor suspended for a while as we work for the ring of fame and fortune. The growth of children is irreversible. Like a young tree, it takes the bends directed by the gardener. So is the life of a child. You can’t shape it in adulthood; you can’t pick it from where you left after you reach at the top in your career pursuits. It’s always easier to model young boys than to rehabilitate grown men.
If you invest in your child, you don’t have to invest for your child. Children require presence not presents. No amount of gifts and meeting financial obligations can replace your personal presence. Any written will can be torn in a few years after the demise of the writer of the will. The only sure inheritance that you can leave behind is the investment you make in your child, not for your child.
God in Proverbs 22:6 commands us to train our children in the way they should go so that when they are old they won’t depart from it.
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