Economic And Socio-religious Challenges Facing 21st Century Christian Fathers (1)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

 

ECONOMIC AND SOCIO-RELIGIOUS CHALLENGES FACING 21ST CENTURY CHRISTIAN FATHERS (1)

BY

ERNEST ONUOHA

NO one applied to be a father, whatever we are God made us. He chose us and it is for a purpose. None therefore, would shy away from this great responsibility of fatherhood. Richard Fugate in his book, What The Bible Says About Being A Man says most modern males, ‘rather than aspire to Biblical manhood’ are content to be emasculated, having lost the characteristics of a man, effeminate (taking on the characteristics of a woman); or macho (employing crude, animal-like characteristics without consideration for the feelings or rights of others, especially women)’.

    But God did not make a mistake in choosing us as fathers. Of Abraham He said: ‘For I have known him…’ Gen. 18:19(a). He knew his strengths and weaknesses; it is also true that He knows ours too. He said among others: ‘I will make you a great nation and through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed…’ Gen. 12:1-3. No doubt, we are also benefactors of the blessings of Abraham today.

   Our work as fathers in the 21st century, jet age, computer age, is faced with a lot of challenges particularly at the economic and socio-religious levels. But are we going to abdicate our roles as fathers? God forbid! May God stir our hearts to stand up and play our roles to His glory in Jesus name! Amen.

Economic Challenges Confronting Fathers

  We heard clearly what God said to the first father – Adam, ‘…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee… for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,’ Gen. 3v17-19.

    Ever since, man had not had it easy in putting food on the table. Yet, as a father he is expected to take care of his family — wife and children. The jet age with its attendant implications makes the matter worse by the current economic down turn in the country. Part of our undoing is the over dependence on crude oil revenue. The oil boom has led regrettably to our doom.

    We are aware that majority of our people are always in search for white collar jobs, with little or no attention paid to agriculture. This has brought unnecessary pressure to few job available. In this situation, some can pay up front (bribe); if women and young ladies, they can offer their bodies, what a shame!

    We remember with nostalgia the bold attempt by the then Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his programme of ‘Back To Land’ – Agriculture. I think the current administration’s emphasis on Agriculture seems to be a right justification to that earlier call. We need employment and food to take care of the teeming population. It is true some are ashamed to return to the farm, but that may be a helpful way to run away from the current imbroglio.

   There is no gain saying the Nigerian Christian father is under pressure and is still expected to play his role accordingly, especially in taking care of his family. It is more serious according to the Holy writ: ‘But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever,’ I Tim. 5-8.

   How can a father without a very good source of income be faithful in this circumstance? My father, though late, once told me that a man who is provided for by the wife is in trouble. It will affect his role as a Priest in the family and it will also tamper with his authority. Note: ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune.’

  A Christian father should be up and doing no matter the challenges of the economy, to take care of God’s family entrusted to him, for failure to do so will make him an infidel. God is aware that putting food on the table would not be easy after all, the land is already cursed. Yet, he expects us to toil (work very hard) to take care of our families. I think the warning of Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians is very helpful too. He had said: ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, if any will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear of some that walk among you disorderly, that work not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread,’ II Thess. 3v10-12.

   There is no room for laziness; every hand must be on deck if our families must benefit from us as fathers.

VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor,
Delta State.

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