As we start setting up house after an enduring wedding period; following years of waiting, preparation and fervent prayer. And with marital bliss and the joys that accompany marriage welling up inside each of us, we rejoice.
Like a newly completed building whose scaffoldings had to be removed so that the beauty of its structure may be in view without obstruction; we now look to build what we will become our tomorrow.
But as we do, I looked back and saw the role our biological fathers have played in our lives. I put emphasis on ‘biological’ because in this generation of believers the role of a ‘spiritual father’ seems to constantly undermine, equal or even be above the role and relationship of a biological father.
Whereas that is unscriptural, ungodly to be blunt. The role of a spiritual father in the context of father and son is to encourage a healthy relationship between the spiritual son and his biological father.
The purpose of doing so is to produce a man who is complete in character, socially alert, whose masculinity in Christ lacks no nutrition and whose world view has been correctly cultivated.
I have seen this too many times; young man who are so proud to call their pastors and spiritual leaders my ‘father’ and even post their pictures on social networks. But not a single day have they ever felt the same zeal for their own biological fathers.
I say this not in criticism but as a statement of fact, that this relationship is neglected. And the rest of society is paying the price, including the Body of Christ. This is not supposed to be so.
Your father is your father, no matter what and who he is. He may not be flamboyant but he gave you life, literally.
Back to biological fathers. The truth is that all that we are is a direct reflection of who they have been to us. What the people around us are reaping is what they have been sowing in us.
A father and son relationship is not perfect. In fact the older we grow is the more independent our thinking becomes. But in spite of it all this relationship is of God.
As a man who has literally assumed the same office of husband they have been occupying for decades, and have been championing it in all seasons. It becomes necessary for me to be cognisant of the effect their presence has played in our lives as individuals who now form a couple.
But more so, I want to focus on the presence of a father in his son’s life.
The subject of father and son is not new; in fact it is one that is constantly trending in various sectors of society. In church the subject is often overly spiritualized with little process able information to digest, in government it is acknowledged as a social crisis through various crime statics, but there is very little solutions given. In families it is overlooked under the impression that boys grow on their own.
With that said; I am tempted to ask the question who is raising the boy child? Who is teaching him the reigns of manhood? For fear of rambling off, and missing the point of writing this piece, I won’t.
My father has been there for me and my siblings. He may not have given us the world. But he gave us all that is in his world and he continues to do so. He never missed my evolution from boyhood, to sonhood, from sonhood to manhood and now from manhood to being a husband.
It is the tiny nuggets of his wisdom he shares as a biological father that filled the gaps in each of those stages. A father’s presence is the bridge paving the way for a boy’s metamorphosis into becoming a visionary, an inventor and ultimately a world changer. Thus it is important if you have baby boys, don’t just be a present or absent male parent. But be an actively involved father to them.
It is only my father’s blessing as a biological parent that gives me the confidence that my way will prosper as a husband and in all I do. My father’s blessing is not just verbal. But he is actively involved in my maturity. No amount of praying, fasting or spiritual consultation will do. The role of fatherhood in my life is his.
Thus I said earlier whatever and whoever your father is as a person, he is still your father. And the truest blessing in your life lies in obeying him before your spiritual father.
Unapologetically I submit this with all humility. A vast majority of the physical service we render in maintaining God’s house has come as a result of the skills and teachings from our biological parents; the same parents who are sometimes undermined when we come to Christ. This is an unpleasant truth but it’s the truth none the less.
When it comes to the definition of manhood; my father is the epitome of the subject. I learned from him that manhood is not a social position, a biological right over women and children nor is it a place of demand. Manhood is a service. A service not every male is able to endure. It is a service to everyone around you respectively.
Initiation schools do not produce men, fathers do. That is why a father is able to produce a man out of his daughter, because the bond of father and son is about relationship not ritual.
Manhood is about creating memories. A real man knows that whatever he is doing, he is creating a memory an experience to those close to him. The truth is when a real man dies; it is the memory of him that lives on.
If you are a single mother raising your sons all by yourself and the ‘male parent’ is still alive. In spite of the nature of your relationship with him make sure you initiate a relationship between them and him. He may not be willing to pay for their maintenance and up keep, it is ok be the man he cannot be in that regard and raise those boys. They will thank you later in life.
But what is important is that they know him, and the men he is. Not as you say it, but as they see him. This is important because some men are still stuck on boyhood, even though they are now parents. So initiate relationship first, by doing so you are combating the curse of absentee father in their lives. A duty he should have played.
Speak a blessing over them as much as you can. Many men today struggle with anger, because when they were young they never heard their parents blessing them.
If you are a son reading this and there is no relationship with you and your dad. If he is still alive take courage and initiate that relationship. It is not too late.
Remember as you are growing up your dad is also growing up. He might be afraid of taking the first step to show his emotions. Irrespective of where the offense originated from initiate good relationship.
Let me end this by saying peace on earth does not exists. This includes the peace between a father and his son or sons. But we are called to be creators of peace not just to declare it. But to actively participate in creating it in the spaces where we live in;
Thus the bible asserts in Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
So let father son relationships increase and the male parent syndrome diminish.
Written by:Anele Nele Matshisi
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