Fatherhood is about playing the character of God,no wonder its a difficult job
I've always felt that being a father is such a difficult job;if not the most difficult job on earth. And I can remember anyone contesting this assertion with me.
Father’s Day every year provides an opportunity for me to reflect on the concept of FATHERHOOD especially in the context of some of the messages we hear about fathers and what society expects from us. I think Fathering, in the real sense of the word seems to me like the toughest job on earth.
I honestly feel so. And that’s because, Fatherhood cannot fully be understood or discussed without an understanding of God as “The Father”. In fathering, we try to fit into a role and to play that role one needs to understand the role in the first place.
In other words, how can you effectively play a role or fit into a character without studying the original character you’re trying to play?
For instance, how can you play Nelson Mandela in a movie without first taking time to study the real Nelson Mandela- his idiosyncrasies and personality? I believe that in all the expectations from fathers and the profound testimonies of most people who had (or have) great dads (as well as the anger of some who often wish they had a different dad) you can find a reflection of our relationship with God the father.
If you love your dad so much, it shows what kind of dad he’s been to you and if you hate your dad,it also shows what manner of dad he’s been. Our relationship with our dads can also give an insight into how atheists perceive God the father.
Most atheists are obviously angry with God especially a God who is described as LOVE yet kills and looks away and allow evil to thrive. That feeling makes them argue against his existence.
Compare that feeling with that of ladies who were abused-physically and even sexually by their fathers or about boys who were rejected by their fathers even before they were born. I’m sure their concept of Fatherhood would flow from their background and experience of pain and disappointment. They can’t understand when you say “My Dad Rocks” or “My dad is the best man ever”.
So, what’s my point?
Our idea of Fatherhood shapes our worldview far more than we can imagine. Fatherhood is source and many things would go wrong when Fatherhood goes wrong. That puts so much burden on fathers. Also, I feel because Fathering is meant to be a visual representation of the character and image of God to our children, this tall demand even gets taller and justifies the recommendation that fathers should try and study the character we are playing which is that of God The Father as a coping strategy in living up to this daunting expectations.
Indeed God bless all fathers. When it goes right everything is fine. But when something goes wrong with fatherhood, the outcome can be catastrophic. And we can see it everywhere.
For decades now, the world has been grappling with a crisis of fatherhood and you can see this crisis all around us; from the rape crisis in India, to the genocide we all witnessed in Rwanda to the Syrian crisis and emergence of ISIS and all the terrorists groups before it in the Middle East. From the ever increasing population of fatherless boys and single mothers in South Africa, to the rise in militancy in the Niger Delta, the Almajiri crisis in Northern Nigeria and the ever present Area Boys epidemic in Lagos, this crisis is apparent and all around us.
Indeed every where you turn, you see Fatherhood clearly on trial. Of course, the influence of fathers like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu points to just one fact: Fatherhood is still “source” and when something goes wrong with Fatherhood, everything is bound to go wrong. And to change the world, we must get it right with fatherhood.