In the first post to mark Father’s Day, we looked at the first four D’s to going beyond just fathering children to becoming an honourable father. We looked at having a dream/desired life, having and giving direction, making right and hard decisions, and having discretion.
D5 – Drive and Determination
Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!” 1 Samuel 4:9
Honourable men are ‘strong’ and very determined to achieve their desired goals and dreams.
I saw my father work so hard at very menial tasks. He would close from the refuse-collector job, then go and build or patch mud houses in our neighbourhood. After then, he would go out at night to be a security guard. In the morning he was off to work. I wonder if his grandchildren and great grandchildren will ever know the pains my father, Johnson Emekpu Apoki, paid to lay the foundation they are building on now.
Our churches, today, are propagating the Gospel of ‘success without hard work’, ‘favour without labour’ . . . I have to say that that’s deceptively evil.
The pastor preaching three to five sermons on a Sunday has done about an equivalent of 10 hours of farm work. Preaching, especially in Pentecostal churches, is serious hard work.
Every honourable father you see today has worked very hard over a long period.
D6 – Distinction
You must be distinctive as a father in the way you live and even your professional duties. A vulcanizer in Lagos did so well that a bus stop is named after him—Vulcanizer bus-stop.
Moses, Aaron, Jeduthum, Asaph, and Merari were all Levites, but they all had distinctive roles.
D7 – Dependability
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8
Your family needs should be provided and you must protect your household. An irresponsible father is worse than an infidel.
D8 – Discipline
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
You must be disciplined and organised as a father.
You must instill discipline in your household. Your presence should bring a mixture of joy, faith, and orderly behaviour.
D9 – Distinctive Descendants
My wife, my children, and I are totally different from our family members, maternally and paternally. We are not even typical Nigerians.
D10 – Death of Honour
‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’” Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.” So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt—besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company. When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.” That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim. So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father. Genesis 50:5-14
It is sad for it to be said that a father died in the company of prostitutes. Or that he died in the house of his girlfriend or died in prison. An honourable man should be given a befitting burial, if not he is worse than a stillborn baby.
A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. Ecclesiastes 6:3
D11 – Demand honour
When you have laboured to attain excellence and greatness, be humble, but don’t allow people treat you like trash. Treat yourself with some level of royalty and insist on the right value to be placed on you; it is not pride. Him whom the Lord has honoured and knows it not is like a beast that parishes in the bush, so says the bible.
Once again, Happy Father’s Day to Honourable Fathers and those fighting to be honourable.
God Bless You