The problem with ministry and modern-day living is the presentation of a false picture of “all is well” to the general public while we are facing our own challenges.
Most times, we dare not open up to those close to us that we are having challenges in marriage, ministry, finances, and health issues.
There is the euphoric, bandwagon, echo, and false-impression Christianity that imprisons people. When you tell people that you have never quarreled with your wife, it frustrates those who know it is very difficult for them to say that they have never quarreled with their wives. I have quarreled with my wife severally; we had one yesterday and I dodged one this evening.
I have always told young friends of mine that I mentor that I have never committed adultery for the past 35 years I have been married. But, boy, it is not easy as a Man of God and public figure. I get tempted everyday, but God has helped me by His grace. It is a daily battle with temptation even at my age. I always tell people it is not easy.
Please let me state categorically that mentoring your own children is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever had.
What grace has helped you to overcome, must not be a reason to look down on someone who is having a challenge in that area. That area you have excelled is your area of grace. Many people you see with challenges of their faith love God, but they have not been able to tap into their overcoming grace.
“We are all saved by grace, not by works, lest we boast . . .” says the bible.
COVID-I9 found my last child and third son with me at home. I had sent him to Europe to school for about 6 years. I wanted him to have international exposure. He came back with a masters degree at 24 years of age. I had sent him to the United States of America to work from Europe to do summer holiday jobs to learn the American business culture. However, the child you sent overseas might not be the same child that returns to Nigeria after 6 years. You will need to bring him back to the reality of whose son he is, who he is, and the nation and race he comes from.
Mentoring your child is very difficult as a preacher or what they wrongly call ‘motivational preacher’. I’m a reality preacher and preacher of developmental Christianity.
Your children see your faults, unlike those who think that Dr. Apoki Charles is a great preacher. Sometimes, they detest your popularity and achievements, and their being constantly under pressure to be like you, or societal expectations of being spirits, instead of being the same children that God says, “foolishness (craziness in the Yoruba Bible) abounds in the heart of a child.
I also noticed that Nigerian parents don’t know how to befriend their children. Their usual mode of communication is through slaps, knocks, beating, flogging, or fighting. If these are absent, it is by aggressive howling, usually prompted by mummy.
Someone asked me in a faraway western country why Nigerian pastors and Christians have many Papas and Mamas in the body of Christ? I told him that a child is communally owned and parented. However, one of the main reasons is what is called ‘Absent Father Syndrome’.
Because most of us never had a close relationship with our fathers, we are always looking for a father figure. Our pastors and those who mentored or cared for us, now replace those fathers we never had. We defend them even if outsiders notice their flaws and mistakes, because it is expected of every African child to defend his father even if he/she is handicapped.
In the next post, we’ll look at Effectively Mentoring Your Children.
God Bless You.
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