In continuation of our discussion, it is important to define parenting and put it in proper perspective. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Parenting as ‘the process of taking care of children until they are old enough to take care of themselves, the things that parents do to raise a child.’ It also means raising someone as a child.
Parenting therefore is not a job for the biological parents alone, you can father someone’s else’s child. It is equally important to point out that parenting can be done directly or indirectly. It is direct when you are primarily responsible for the upbringing of the child or ward, while it is indirect when the child or ward chooses you as his or her mentor and assigns the responsibility of fathering to you, or when without your knowledge, someone decides to model his or her life after you.
Going by the word of God, children can’t be left on their own, especially in the developmental stage. That is why Proverbs 22:6 says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ Children are to be trained upward till they can make decisions on their own. What you impart into them at their developmental stage becomes their guiding principles all through life.
Now, let us look at the role of each parent in parenting, starting with the role of a father. Fathering is one of the most important jobs in the world and the most enriching. Nothing gives such joy as to watch your children becoming great and knowing that you played your part well. Just as God smiles in approval to a true son, we also smile with pride when our children make us proud. Fathering is very rewarding, not just materially but in terms of positive contributions to societal growth.
Many unfathered fathers are occupying places of authority in our nation today and it is one of the reasons for leadership failure. ‘Nemo dat quod non habet’ meaning you can’t give what you don’t have. Some fathers too were not properly fathered, so they find fathering difficult and challenging. Many have also become victims of negative indirect fathering due to the failure or absence of the direct father. Who is your child’s role model? You or someone else?
To be able to father rightly, you need to understand the roles of a father. Some of the roles are:
1. Role Model
3. Decision Maker
4. Best Friend
9. Destiny Moulder
We will continue tomorrow by examining each of these roles in detail. Stay blessed and enjoy your day.