Yesterday was Father’s Day and I preached this message in my local church. Remember I’m an ordinary member in the branch I attend. It was quite a lengthy and extensive summary, so the message will be divided into two posts.
Bible passages: 1 Corinthians 13:11, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, 1 Peter 3:7, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Samuel 4:9, Ecclesiastes 6:3, Genesis 50:5-14.
Just about anyone can father a child; however, being an honourable father requires a great deal of effort.
These are 11 D’s that will make you an honourable father.
D1 – Dream/Desired life
I was in my home town to settle a dispute over real estate issues between my younger nephews on the 16th of this month and I was told of the story of how the villagers, back then in the early 70’s, used to make mockery of my father as a refuse collector at Warri. The oldest of them told me that it was his father, my late cousin, that rebuked them one day during a village meeting to stop making mockery of my father.
Recently, I was invited by the community to speak to the Christian association of the, now, urban area, which is no longer a village. When I finished speaking, one of the old men who must have been among those that made mockery of my father came to my car to narrate how they made mockery of my father then. In fact, last year the whole community sent the President General of the community to invite me as the guest speaker for the annual conference of the town. I sent my daughter to represent me because I was billed to speak at Abuja.
My father did not respond to their mockery verbally or physically; he only set his mind on raising me as a medical doctor. He paid the price, worked hard, and today the story is different. His dreams have been fulfilled in me. Today, I’m one of the most prominent citizens of that town. My father was an honourable citizen before his death as the oldest man in our own quarters. I am living the life I dreamt of long time ago in my early twenties just before I got married.
Work hard at your dreams and they will eventually manifest. Hold on to your dreams; never ever let go.
D2 – Direction
As a father you are the HEAD OF THE FAMILY.
The head contains the following:
a. A brain
As an honourable father, you should formulate plans, principles, philosophies, practices, and procedures that govern your family. Some of these are passed over from generation to generation. They form what the family becomes known for even after the patriarchs and matriarchs have passed away.
Eventually, you become a model and template for those under you to follow.
b. The eyes
An honourable father must be a visionary leader. He must lift his eyes beyond his locality, generation, and even tribesmen.
There was one Chief Ugbarugba of Otokutu-Agbarha in Ughelli North Local Government Area of today. He died in 1960. When he started cutting down trees to plant rubber, his family members thought he was mad. They said he was cutting down a forest to plant a forest. They had not heard of rubber trees. He had 100 acres of rubber and palm trees; he had bulls and fish ponds. He wore a coat over his wrapper like the Malaysians he interacted with. Today, the 100 acres is worth millions of Naira. Nearly every descendant of his, up to his grandchildren, is entitled to at least a plot of land.
My wife’s maternal grandfather left a legacy that his great, great, great grandchildren are still beneficiaries of. The same with Odumegwu Ojukwu, Odutola, Dantata, Sam Walton, etc.
c. The ears
An honourable father must be a man who hears from God, or at least have a gut feeling or what sociologists call intuition. They have divine insight into life that makes them act in a way above the mindset of their generation. They necessarily do not need to be Christians.
d. Nose for opportunities
Most fathers who leave outstanding legacies are men who have the ability to sense opportunities and harness them.
e. The tongue
An honourable father must be a man who can pronounce the future into existence. He must know how to motivate his family and exercise authority.
D3 – Decisions
To be an honourable father, you must be ready to make very hard decisions. There was a time I failed to take a hard decision in my family and it brought dishonour to the family that we are yet to fully recover from.
Adam was lousy. He should have rebuked the serpent when it was discussing with Eve. Adam should have asked questions before eating the fruit. Abraham should have refused to sleep with Hagar, the Egyptian maid.
Our wives and women in general usually try to use tears and sex to sway a man’s decision-making process. If you can resist them and take very firm and godly decisions, your family will respect you. If you don’t and the problems eventually arise, you will be shocked to see your wife blame you.
D4 – Discretion
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
When you become a father, you don’t reason, talk, dress, or behave like a child. You must respect yourself. You must distinguish between what is common and what is holy— Leviticus 10:10—and respectable.
Mark Twain might not have said this, but the message is as important as the attributed author.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7
You have to come to a realization, accept, appreciate, and make an effort to understand the differences in the build of men and women. You must know that your wife might not necessarily be analytical like you; women might not be logical in marriage, even if they are lawyers or mathematicians. Women learn from their mistakes and value outside counsel more than the ones you give at home until they get stuck. They hardly accept their faults. Therefore, you must not degenerate to the level of beating or verbally abusing your wife. The Bible says your prayers will be hindered. Never degenerate to the level of having sexual relationships with your workers or coworkers, in-laws, church girls. In fact, adultery is very dishonourable.
Be very careful of the company you keep as a father and be attentive to your behaviour before your children.
Avoid criminality and social vices.
In the continuing post on Honourable Fathers we’ll discuss the other D’s of an Honourable father: having drive and a determination, being distinct, dependability, being disciplined and installing discipline, having distinctive descendants, being treated to a death of honour, and demanding honour.
Happy Father’s Day to Honourable Fathers and those fighting to be honourable.
God Bless You