WHAT CAN MOTHERS DO TO HELP FATHERS
Ladies, we must cover our children’s father(s) instead of magnifying their faults. If a man feels disrespected in his home (or when he visits if you aren't living together) it will discourage and demotivate him. He may not have the emotional or spiritual maturity to stand strong. It is foolish behaviour to talk about your husband or your child/ren’s father in a demeaning way. If you are a single parent or a wife who feels that your husband is not being effective in his leadership in the home, it is a foolish thing to add to his pain. Let love guide you through the challenging times. Your children are watching and learning from you. You are not just raising sons and daughters. You’re raising future wives and husbands as well as future mothers and fathers. Teach them well.
There is never an excuse for a father to walk away from his parental responsibilities. I am a person who grew up without a father, I know the damage it does so this is not in any way condoning what absent fathers do. However, when a man is thrust into fatherhood there isn’t a manual and it is more daunting to a man who grew up without a father or one who was not actively involved in his life. He is expected to be a role-model father when he didn’t have a father to model that role for him. Therefore, such a father will need all the help he can to navigate through parenting. You can help him become an effective leader in the life of his child or children by being the spouse God has called you to be.
There used to be silence. There was nothing to say or contribute to the Father’s Day celebrations. I felt nothing towards the father I was only connected to by my birth certificate so I didn’t think Father’s Day had anything to do with me. However, working with children for most of my teen and adult life, it was inevitable that I would one day have to confront those deeply hidden emotions.
It was a special Father’s Day project that began to break down the protective wall I had built over the years. That wall was to protect my heart and my mind. The wall began to shake and the grieving process began. Eventually, there were tears. Through the cracks seeped resentful words and thoughts and I discovered a root of bitterness. It made me cry because I could no longer recognise myself. A father's absence creates a hole in the heart of a child that cannot be filled by anyone else.
I cried tears of sadness. I cried tears from a place of confusion (frustrated with the lack of answers to questions) and tears from a place of anger and frustration when I just couldn’t find words to express how I felt inside. There were more tears, feeling angry from the lack of understanding or acknowledgement of my pain, when others would make me feel I was wrong to feel the way I did towards my father (and sometimes towards my mother). The root of bitterness went much deeper in my adult years. I knew something had to be done or it would destroy me.
THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY A FATHER'S ABSENCE
As women, we must recognise how our negative behaviour can contribute to the way our spouses behave. This recognition is very important because their response can affect the relationship between them and their children. Therefore, this is a call for mothers to be wise in speech and actions. Our role is to help them in developing as effective leaders. We cannot contribute to that process if we are only thinking of ourselves and what they aren't doing for us.
A lady in waiting sometimes verbalise her thoughts in waiting for 'Mr. Right' or the 'perfect partner' however, such a lady often lack the wisdom to prepare her heart and mind for that union. There is no perfect one out there, no Mr. Right! We all enter into relationships with excess luggage. We must love our spouse perfectly (walking together in perfect unity, working through the challenges and reaping the rewards together). It will be a challenge but when we are in the relationship to serve each other it will no longer be about ‘me’. Instead, it will be about the one we serve and together as one unit we will work for the progress of the family.
[The wall began to shake and the grieving process began. Eventually, there were tears. Through the cracks seeped resentful words and thoughts and I discovered a root of bitterness.]
It is my heart’s desire to see the hearts of men turn towards their children once more. I yearn to see strong women who encourage their children’s fathers, building them up to be all that they were created to be. However, it has become the norm to see women disrespect their children’s fathers who are either emotionally or physically absent, in the way they are talked about in private (to their children or close friends or relatives) and in public (social media etc.). Proverbs 14:1 reminds us that “A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.”
[You are not just raising sons and daughters. You’re raising future wives and husbands as well as future mothers and fathers. Teach them well.]
Flowers by the floral team at Limbury Baptist Church.