A MOTHER’S VIEW ON FATHERS- 7 POINTSAdeshola Ezeokoli
Fathers are very important. They are the bedrock of society. Without fathers there would be no children, and without children there would be no families and no societal growth. Fathers are however maligned in popular media, and a lot of times portrayed in a bad light. Some fathers have not lived up to societal expectations. Some fathers have indeed abandoned their families in the name of career, extramarital affairs and other things. There are however a great many fathers who are doing their best, raising their children, being good role models, husbands, leaders and balanced men who follow God and lead their children in the same. I am fortunate to be married to man who is not only an loving husband, but a father par-excellence.
I am writing this post, talking about fathers from a mother’s point of view. I posted this last year, but in view of Father’s Day, I am reposting it.
1. Spiritual head:
This is a father that would guide his family into spiritual things. A man of the Word and the Spirit. In most homes, it is the woman who takes the family to church, leads family prayers and the like. As the head of the home, however, the husband and father is supposed to be the head in spiritual things, not only in material and physical things. Take responsibility, as a Christian man not to leave the spiritual atmosphere of your home to chance. Pray with your family, pray for your family, teach your children the Word of God. Not only will they learn from you, the will also have an example, a model. Now, as a spiritual head your model is Jesus Christ and the church. You are not to force or coerce you family to go to church, or pray. If your wife is not of the same religion, you have to show the beauty of your faith by prayer and patience, not by bullying.
2. Gentle leader:
The operative word is leader, not tyrant or dictator. The other operative word ( 🙂 ) is gentle.You are to be decisive but not stubborn; you should not be wishy-washy, either . What goes on in your home should not pass you by, unnoticed. It is true that husband and wife have different responsibilities in the home, but no woman wants her husband to have an I-don’t-care attitude, leaving things to chance. On the flip side, no woman wants a husband/father-of-the home to be a tyrannical boss, throwing his weight around; putting his foot down; yelling at everyone; snorting like a rodeo bull; not listening to reason. Some people have taken, “Wives submit to your husbands” and run with it in the WRONG direction. That verse was written to wives and NOT to husbands. You cannot “receive the Word” for your wife and it is NOT your duty to “make her submit”. Besides, submission is not taken, it is given and you cannot make someone submit to you. Be a leader , not a bully.
See my previous posts on loving your children. Every wife wants her husband to have a good relationship with her children. Love your children, you will not have any other chance with these ones that the Lord has given you. Do not pass up the opportunity to build a loving relationship with your children. Tell them you love them, show it in your actions, be there for them. Find out what they like and buy it/do it/show it, etc. Include them in the things that you do, as much as it is possible. For instance if you work in IT, show them how to use computers/write programs etc. If you are a doctor, tell them about medicine. If you are a preacher, you might take them with you to your meetings. These are just examples. Your bonding time with your child will depend on your child’s age, interests, and feasibility. Your children must know, in no uncertain terms that you love them unconditionally.
There is nothing unmanly about helping your wife in the house; there is nothing unmanly about taking care of your children. To expect a wife to do ALL that needs to be done in the house may be rather overwhelming. Unless you can hire a helper for chores, dad, your help is needed. Support is needed especially when your wife is overwhelmed. I have heard of men who say things like “My mother did all the chores and raised five of us,etc, etc…” Well, the truth is that, you do not know what your mother want through; a lot of selective amnesia comes into play; circumstances may have been completely different. For example, if you grew up in a well-to-do African home in the 70s or 80s, your mother may not have worked and if she did she may have had one or two hired domestic helpers, as well as live-in relatives and an extended family support system. Fast forward to this century, living in the USA, a woman working a 10-12 hour day with two or three children, no extended family support and no hired help. The latter woman clearly needs help around the house, help with the children and as much as possible, the means to hire help where possible. A gift of a spa day, is something every mother would appreciate! Now I am not saying a father is expected to do all the household chores. By default most of the domestics fall on the wife. I am talking about stepping in to offer help and support when needed.
I do not care what the feminists say, no woman want to be be the primary bread winner for the home while the dad lazes around like a bum, or only spends money on the household when his wife begs, whines or demands it. This is not meant to be. Even if the lady earns more money than the man, the father is to see to it that nothing is lacking. Money that comes in is not YOUR money or MY money, it is OUR money. Men should not hide money is secret bank accounts from their wives. Men should handle the bills and oversee the household finances. Having said that, the better money manager ( husband or wife) should handle the details of financial distribution, but dad should be able to say, “let us put x dollars to savings” or “let us open a college fund for the children” etc. Now everyone goes through stuff. Sometimes men lose their jobs and mom may be the only bread winner. Even when a woman is shouldering the main financial burden, dad should not behave as though he does not care because he is not physically bringing home the bacon.
A wife wants the father of her children to be present and supportive. She should not have to keep on asking you to pay your children’s school fees. A wife does not want to beg for supportA woman needs support for her own dreams and ambitions as well. Your wife does not exist only to help you, she has dreams of her own to fulfill in the various areas of her life, be it in the home, where her career is concerned; starting a business and whatever areas God has laid on her heart. A father should also be supportive of his children, in their dreams and endeavors. This does not always mean giving your approval to everything that they want to do. Sometimes being supportive means guiding your child towards things that are in their best interests, and guiding them away from things that are not. There are many ways to support your family: financially, emotionally, by your presence; with your words, and on and on it goes. Be your family’s greatest cheerleader.
No wife expects her husband to abdicate his role as a disciplinarian. Yes, dads should be disciplinarians. Do not leave discipline up to mom, all the time. Correcting a child does not mean shouting and yelling at them. You should correct your children where they err as well as be a consistent voice in their lives as far as discipline is concerned. A father should not show favoritism, preferring one child over the other. Each child should be loved equally, not compared to his/her siblings; and complimented on his/her own merits and strengths.
What other things do we expect from fathers in our lives? Please leave a comment below.