MOTIVATION Ashley Thaba
THE Bible has a plan for literally every aspect of our lives. This plan is for our personal benefit and that of society.
One particular plan of God is outlined in Titus 2. It’s a long chapter so I won’t quote it, but I really encourage you to read it!
The premise is that older men should be pouring wisdom and practical daily tips for a productive and godly life into younger men. (The same goes for ladies, but today I am focusing on men)
My husband and I frequently lead parenting and marriage seminars.
A recent conversation in a marriage seminar got me thinking about the lack of discipleship that is haunting the young men we see in our societies.
As a professional parenting consultant, I also have a Facebook forum where I freely offer tips to parents in order to encourage them in their role as parents.
I then used my Facebook page, Mom to Mom: Parenting Consultations, to voice my concerns and encourage the 4 200 plus readers that frequent that page.
What happened next astounded me! Over 23 000 liked and shared the post I wrote.
Clearly, I had struck on an issue that resonated with thousands.
I decided to use this column as another forum to share this word of encouragement with especially fathers.
My genuine prayer is that we would have men who come together for the good of the country and selflessly offer their love and support to those young men who are a part of their families, churches and neighbourhoods, among others.
Here is the essence of what I wrote on the post that went viral:
I am sitting at home alone because my husband took my son to watch a big soccer match. He frequently takes Caleb and they do “man” things together.
All day Thursday, over the holiday, I mean from 7:30 am to around 7pm. – he took Caleb to the farm and the two of them built a chicken coop.
Last week, they were slaughtering a chicken and goat together. On Fridays, Percy takes him to soccer and cheers him on at practice.
Every morning, they get up together and clean out the brooder where the newly-hatched chicks sleep and give them fresh food and water.
Caleb beams with pride and joy when he is useful and helpful to his father! You can see how proud he is! Percy is intentional about spending time and pouring into our son. He is intentional about bonding with the girls also, but in different ways and right now, I want to talk about the father/son relationship.
I hope what I am about to say I will not come out wrong. I was leading a marriage workshop today and one of the ladies was commenting on how, as a single mother, she felt that her son was missing some of the masculine touch a man could bring to his life.
From a strictly objective and psychological perspective, statistics prove that boys do miss out on something without a father or at least a very strong father-like figure in their lives.
Here is my challenge to you men: Can you identify a single mother and volunteer to go play soccer with her son, take him to the farm with you or in some intentional way, bless that mother by loving her son? Surely, some of you have sisters who you could pull up your socks and be intentional about you playing a father role in your nephew’s life.
If your children have age mates who you know are being raised by a single mother, could you and your wife be intentional about having that son in your home and including him in activities with your own children?
Could you identify a little boy or young man at church and make a point to greet and ask him about his week? Is there something you can pray to God for him?
Does the little boy have a big school match coming up that you could go and offer support to him or a big test that you could help him study for?
Does the young man have a woman he has his eye on that you could take him out for coffee and offer guidance on how to enter into a healthy relationship?
Even if it is just greeting him at church and showing interest – it is something worthy the while!
Today, at the marriage workshop, one of the ladies said African men are not good at commitment and being good fathers. But then, as we chatted, we realised that most of the people in the room were raised by single mothers.
Maybe our men just don’t know how to be good fathers because they have never saw a model of one.
Those of you who were blessed to be in healthy marriages should invite the young men into their homes and pour into them!
Share life with them. Let them see what it can look like! If one-by-one, you and I can pour into the boy child and the young man who is starting to think about starting a family, we could make a difference and conversations like we have had today may not be so common anymore.
I am not trying to point fingers at the single mothers, but rather challenge the older men to disciple the young men and boys around them to rise and lead our families! Remember the old African proverb – it takes a village to raise a child!
Next week, I will offer some very specific ways older men can pour into younger men based on the guidance of Titus 2.
Let me, for now, just say for those of you fathers who are doing their best and are pouring into their children, you can’t begin to imagine the priceless gift you are giving your children and us, the community, who will have to live with the child you nurture.
Thank you so much for your services – your loving selfless sacrificial service to raise sons who will bless us as a nation in the generation to come!
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