Raising children is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks anywhere in the world. Regardless of race, colour, religion, financial status, raising children is such a huge responsibility and can be very rewarding.
The Bible admonishes parents to train up a child the way he should go so that when he grows up, he will not depart from the way. Proverbs 22:6. So there is a way for Parenting, and we shall be examining this way.
This series is aimed at helping parents (whether biological or otherwise) succeed in the task of Parenting. In terms of contents, we will look at the following among others:
ii. Who qualifies as a Parent
iii. Parenting environment
iv. Single Parenting
v. Good parenting and measures
vi. Impact of Good Parenting on the child and the society
vii. Pitfalls to avoid
Hopefully this series will be the last for the year, so it might be a fairly long series before taking a break for the year. I will love to have feedbacks and comments or contributions either on my blog (www.adewumioni) or through any of my social media handles.
We are all jointly building a better world, no one knows it all, I therefore will appreciate your contributions.
Have a great week ahead.
Good morning and trust you had a restful weekend. Sincere apologies for not broadcasting last week, but it helped to get a lot of views on the last case study.
Some opined that David and Fatima should not continue with the relationship because they are from different faith and not necessarily because the parents are not in consent. While some believe if they have the parents consent, they should go ahead.
Here is my view, marriage needs more than love to succeed. Marriage requires love, support from both families, sometimes harmonious religious affiliations, financial stability, stable health and maturity among other things to succeed.
Specifically on religion, there are cases of people from different faith marrying and enjoying their marriages, while there are same faith marriages that have hit the rock. So affinity of faith alone does not guarantee success in marriage.
I am aware that Christians often quote 2 Corinthians 6:14 to support argument against marrying anyone outside the faith. This text needs to be read in context of Apostle Paul discussion. I will also encourage you to read the write up by a brother below. He succinctly explained this.
Hmmmmm, matters of the heart are very delicate and sensitive and must be dealt with or attended to with some serious caution, and especially when they have religious colourations.
I will approach this topic rather systematically with the intent of bringing about a balance in the end.
As a Christian, and a minister of the Gospel of Christ, it would be easily thought that I will give a blanket “disagreement” to the young friends deciding to marry themselves and living their lives together, for better or for the worse.
My considerations will surely come from my understanding of the diversities of the religious influences from both backgrounds of the would be couple.
There are strong spiritual implications when “Marriage” is the case in point. This is not a business relationship or contract that has expiration dates or duration. It also involves an intertwining of the two to become “One flesh”, meaning that the bond in the union is beyond the physical realms, it is much more than the eyes can see.
Bearing the depth of this spiritual implication in mind, it is believed or expected that one of the two persons involved will or should be able to win the other over to sharing in his or her beliefs or faith. The reason here is, as a Kingdom (Family), you can not be divided and be expected to stand. Also, you cannot serve two Altars of worship, while you be declared to be bounded in love (Spirit, Soul and Body).
These concerns predominantly arouse all the sentiments from both ends of the divide, when young people from different religious sects seek to marry and live together for the rest of their lives.
One of the critical factors that also influences these situations is, the position of the Male gender in the relationship. The faith or religion of the male is mostly considered and the leading spirit or influence over the household, since the male is the priest over his household.
It is most and generally believed that the man’s Priesthood and spiritual influence will dominate his house, therefore setting the direction in which the home affairs are being run.
It is on this note that most parents insist that their children keep the faith that they were brought up under, believing that by this they have succeeded in raising a godly heritage.
Most Christians will often quote the Bible from 2Cor. 6:14, which says “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers”, as a meaning, do not have anything to do with people who are not of the same faith as you.
This interpretation is so wrong because we fail to rightly appropriate the word “unequally”. We can “equally” be yoked with unbelievers, but not unequally. When we think about the era in which the Bible was written, which was in the agrarian age, most of its illustrations and explanations were done with agrarian terms. If you had to plow the ground for planting, you needed to yoke two Oxens of equal strength and capacity, in order to deliver the effectiveness of your plow. Should one Ox be stronger that the other, the yoke would break the weaker one’s neck and kill it.
In deploying this to our lives, it simply means that when we bond with people of a faith other than what we believe, we must be equally strong to ensure we are not pulled off our faith and belief in God and Christ.
Having said all these, I believe that the one thing that cannot be counterfeited or adulterated by any faith is LOVE. If Love be the reason why the two have decided to come together to express their God nature and mandate as co-creators with God and to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, then the God of Love, who is love Himself will reveal Himself to them and bring them to the place of fulfillment in purpose and destiny.
I have seen several cases of such inter faith marriages and God has showed Himself strong and Mighty on behalf of the couples involved, as much as the love professed was genuine.
We do also understand that when people profess “love” most of the time, it is simply a state of emotion, and a view point influenced by several objects or subjects about the time of connection or coming together of the two. Since Love is the same as Hate, both only varying in degree of viewpoint as stated by the law of polarity, it is lickly that two people who professed love for each other and swore never to let anyone or anything come between them, could turn around and endup as sworn enemies. What happened here would be a drift in their views towards each other, and the truth is, couples often come to realise that as the years go by, what drove them at the instance of their relationship is totally different from what sustains the relationship down the line.
My summation here then is, let everyone who finds themselves in situations as this, take some time and think through all the consequences, implications and the future of the home they seek to build. Bible says, “let he who seeks to build a house, first count the cost, and be sure that he will finish it, before he starts, lest he abandons the project after that he has started, then realises he has not enough capacity to complete it”.
I in my opinion then do not object to these faiths inter marrying, I however am concerned that Christ be the Lord of their lives in the end. So my prayer would be that they find Christ, the Rock of their salvation, if they never really did.
Let love rule and reign over all that we do, in Jesus Name. Amen.” – Kelvin Otung.
This position above summarises my view on this case study. I trust this helps someone out there. God bless.
Have a productive week.
David met Fatima on an official assignment in Jos. The two struck off immediately and had lunch together throughout his one week engagement in Jos. He works with a Consultant Firm while Fatima works with a legal firm, both based in Lagos.
They started seeing each other on their return to Lagos. Both of them knew they were going to face serious challenges should they decide to take their relationship further, being from different religion.
David is from a devout Anglican family while Fatima is from a staunch member of the NASFAT sect of Islam. However they are both madly in love and have vowed to weather the storm of parental acceptance together.
They have both agreed to teach their future children about both religion and allow them make their choices. They both respect each other’s religion.
Both parents upon knowledge of their relationship have refused to consent to their intention to marry. David’s father even threatened to disown him, while Fatima’s father warned her she will lose her portion of inheritance if she marries David.
They are determined to dare the odds but the pressure from friends, family and their religious circles is becoming unbearable. What should they do? Should religion hinder marriage relationship? Share your thoughts.
Kike’s story resonates with several young girls and women who for one reason or the other have found themselves carrying a pregnancy that was never planned for or expected.
So in rounding up this discussion, we will try to look out both the victims and the support systems available in our society.
I got some interesting responses and mostly skewed towards aborting the pregnancy. Quite understandable because we usually prefer the path of least resistance or the path with less troubles.
Now let us logically look at the Pros and Cons of both.
Kike saves herself from embarrassment.
Kike can continue to lead a ‘normal life.’
The unborn child would not have to fight identity battle.
Kike can have health complications in the process.
Kike would have to deal with her conscience for life.
Another life has been truncated.
Kike becomes a carrier of life and births a destiny
Saves herself from complications arising from abortion
Kike can’t lead a normal life again
She has to deal with the financial issues of nursing the pregnancy and child
She might have to deal with the issue of stigmatisation. (You can add to this list)
Now leaving logic, it is important to note that the process of conception is spiritual, without belittling our knowledge of biology. Every child that is conceived is a divine gift and should be dealt with as such. If there was no purpose for the child, God wouldn’t have allowed the conception.
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy are, it remains a gift from God. You can however choose to accept it or reject it.
The same way we cringe when we watch someone being beaten to death, is the same way heaven cringes when we abort, especially when it is a premeditated one, and not a life threatening situation.
This is not an easy choice, I quite agree, but this is what I recommend for anyone out there with a similar case.
Now, one of the reasons people go for abortion is the support system available for unwanted pregnancy. We are a cold society, who delights in pointing fingers and ostracizing women in such situations. Next week, we will discuss the Support at length.
Good morning and have a great week.
Kike woke up early that fateful morning two months ago. She lives with her elder sister and her family. She had to prepare breakfast for her two nieces and get them ready for the school bus, before leaving for work. She finished all of these by 6:05am and left the house with the intention of walking to the Estate gate where she usually joins ‘Danfo’ bus to Victoria Island where she works.
She had only taken a few steps before she felt a tap on her shoulder and someone covering her nose with a piece of cloth with some strange smell. That was the last thing she recalled before waking up. She woke up in an uncompleted building and found her skirt and underwear ripped. She felt weak and felt something running down her legs as she made attempt to walk.
She tried looking for her bag and found it a few feet from her with the content littered on the floor. Her phone was gone. She tried shouting for help but her voice was barely audible. She managed to walk to the road and flagged down a vehicle driving towards the gate. The vehicle stopped and before she could walk down to the vehicle , she passed out again.
She woke up on the hospital bed about an hour later. The good Samaritan had left for work leaving a note and phone number. The nurse told her she has been raped and medications have been administered on her. She was discharged two days later after running some tests.
Two months later, Kike started feeling sick, nauseous and weak. She thought it was malaria and went to the hospital, but the doctor shocked her that she was 7 weeks pregnant. Her world came tumbling down. Why? How? What do I do now? These were the questions running through her mind.
When she told her sister and brother in-law later in the evening, they were both shocked and confused. They later advised her to abort the pregnancy, but her mum called that she should not abort the pregnancy. How do you keep a baby you don’t even know the father? Who will marry her with such a baggage?
She is confused. What should she do? Share your opinion.
Good morning and have a great week.
Moral from this case is that marriage comes with a lot of responsibilities and requires a lot of wisdom and tact to manage all the parties involved.
Truly, marriage is between two people, but in reality it is between two families. As a man, you must accept your wife’s family if you want to enjoy your marriage. As a woman, your husband’s people become your people, you either accept it and enjoy your peace or fight it and live in frustration.
It is therefore very important to know the family you are marrying into, not just the man or woman you have fallen in love with. Your love will be strained if your spouse’s family is difficult.
Back to Emeka and Simi, first Emeka has to protect his wife from undue stress, especially considering her pregnancy. Emeka’s best option would be to have a heart to heart discussion with his mother. Since the mother has chosen to live with them, she must understand that Simi is the manager of the house. She can only offer advice in a gentle and loving manner and not issue instructions.
Emeka can also request his elder sisters to talk to their mother to take it easy on Simi. He might also need to talk to Simi to exercise more patient and be a bit more tolerant.
If all of these fail, then Emeka might have to secure accommodation for the mother and get an elderly care assistant to be with the mother, while he checks on her regularly. This however should be the last option.
It is good to avoid some troubles than managing it. For the unmarried ones, look before you leap. For those already married and are going through situations like this, God will give you grace and wisdom to manage it.
Good morning and have a great week.
He was lost in thought as he sat in the garden. As melodious as the combination of the chirping of the birds and the gentle breeze from the trees is, it did not help in any way to reduce the heavy weight on Emeka’s mind.
He has been sitting alone for over an hour. He left the living room in anger an hour ago, after his wife and mother exchanged harsh words. His marriage of five years appeared to be under threat with the latest episode between his wife, Simi and his mother.
Simi is a beautiful, quiet and reserved woman. He recalls what attracted him to her when he first saw her at the neighborhood shopping mall six years ago. She was on the queue to make payment and another lady tried to jump the queue. While others shouted down on the lady, Simi just waved it off and even pleaded that they allow the lady.
They courted for one year before getting married. Mama has always been the “Margaret Thatcher” of the family. She is a no nonsense woman and was very strict with her three children while growing up, Emeka being the last born and only son. His elder sisters are married and both abroad. She is very meticulous and even at 70 she still wants everything set and tidy.
Since Emeka’s father passed on four years ago, Mama has been complaining of loneliness and moved in to stay with his son’s family a year ago. Since then it has been one issue or the other. If it isn’t about the placement of the plates, it would be about the unswept compound. Even the maid has been tutored severally by Mama.
Simi has been managing it all but since she got pregnant four months ago, she has been very edgy. Coping with Charles, their first child, Mama and the pregnancy is becoming too much for her. She has been finding it difficult to cope with Mama and has been talking to Emeka to allow Mama return to her husband’s house.
Emeka can’t bear the thought of asking her aging mother to live alone, yet he loves his wife dearly. Emeka feels indebted to the mother, being her favorite. Moreover the children already decided to give the family house to a Management Company.
Emeka is confused. What should he do?
Share your thoughts and advice.
Good morning and have a great week.
Let me quickly say there are three checks or approvals needed in the area of choice of life partner.
1. Self Approval
2. God Approval
3. Parental Approval
Self-Approval: As a man, you have the primary responsibility of finding your wife. “He that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22.
You should be able to answer the following questions:
Is this person my friend? There is nothing as good as marrying a friend
Are we mutually attracted to each other? This is important.
Do we share similar dreams and vision? Or our dreams are at cross purposes?
Do we share common faith?
God Approval: God is interested in your life and wants the best for you, so you should seek His approval about whoever you have found. God may show you your partner and He may not, depending on how you relate with him. It is however erroneous to wait on ‘Men of God’ to show you your partner. They can only guide you in your choice. How do you know God approves of your choice?
Inner peace will be present
There will be confirmations by others
Things will start falling into place
Parental Approval: This is very important and cannot be pushed aside. Parents have spiritual covering over their children and their blessings are very important. This is why we are asked to honour our parents, so that our days may be long. Exodus 20:12. If you honor them, life will honor you. You will live well and long. Honoring them even when it means breaking up a cherished relationship as in the case study will attract God’s blessing and give you a better replacement. Each time you obey God’s instruction even when it is not convenient, you will get His Blessings.
Your parents carry more weight and blessings than your spiritual parents. Anyone that encourages you to disobey your parents should be avoided, except where your parents are asking you to violate God’s instruction.
God cannot be put in a spot, He has several alternatives. You will not miss out if you obey Him. Even if you get disappointed by your choice, God can fix it, so don’t fret.
Have a great week. Cheers!
This scenario resonates with a lot of people. There have been cases where Parents have clamped down on relationships with or without cogent reasons, and one wonders if parents have such rights.
In discussing this Case, we will provide answers to the following questions:
Do parents have the right to choose for their children or wards?
Should one heed the parents when they say ‘No’ to one’s choice?
Are spiritual parents more important than biological parents?
Where there is a conflict between Spiritual and Biological parents, who should one obey?
Is there just one man or woman destined for me to marry? If I miss that person, does it mean I can’t enjoy marital life?
Before we wrap up on this Case, we will discuss these questions and then close it. I strongly believe this topic (Parental Consent) requires in-depth discussion.
So let us start the discussion. Join this thread to share your views.
Thank you and have a great week.