Parenthood back then and nowadays

If you are coming from Africa, it is very likely that you were raised along with your cousins, aunts, uncles etc. knowing many family members, therefore being connected to many people in your family tree. But growing up as youngster, despite the presence of so many figures around me, the absence of one always raised many questions within myself, especially when that bell at school rang, signaling the time for parents to pick up their kids. Though I did not rely on my mother to pick me up, since i could easily get home on my own, i could not stop to wonder at the sight of my classmates going with both of their parents home, where is my dad?

Home was nice with mom, with no doubt, a very delightful experience, she became a born again Christian when I turned 11 and influenced me in a very positive way during my childhood. But when going to play around the neighborhood and seeing both father and mother leading houses of my friends, i could not help but think something was wrong in our little home. Where was that man who was supposed to be in charge? where was that male figure i wanted to look up to? For some reasons, i never dared asking my mother about the absence of the mystery man, surely i was very young to understand what went on but one thing i could clearly sense from my mother are uncomfortable topics, and that one was on top of the list, so the young one did not try his luck.

As i reached the teenager state, this big hole in my head requested to be covered with solid ground, running out of patience, my mother clearly understood by then it was about time to give some explanations. So she tried, and i was still not satisfied. By that time i committed my life to Christ, choosing to live a life that mainly focused on being a good example in high school, and there, i was exposed to some disturbing facts, students who were like me fatherless but made some other choices about their lives. Drugs, theft, violence and the list goes on. They were wild, they just had no limits. They would talk back to teachers (a very rude attitude in our culture), striker them, rob them, be rude to others and so on. Like me, they were looking for a role model, but since they could not find anyone, they just decided to make one of their own. My role model was Christ, the way he lived, loving others, being humble, so in some ways, i had a Father whose only instructions were to obey him and to love my neighbor, and that surely kept me out of troubles. Being surrounded by other young Christians made this significant choice easy, as we would only discuss around matters that are not harmful to our growth.

Although one would think i was regarding other youngsters who had both of their parents still together as happy, the sad truth is, for most of them, it was not the case. Many of them were caught by the never ending cycle of choices made by their parents that had direct repercussions on their well being, and high school was just the theater of all this emotional breakdown stored from home.

All these facts served me well, they help me realize how important choices i make today are crucial to both my wife and our children. I realize it is true that we cannot all have the nice angel like children we hope for in this life, but if the personality they grow to become is going to be strongly influenced by the way of life of their parents, then i better make sure to be a Godly father. As true as i wanted to have a dad, i then realized my biological father was not really a man i wanted to look up to, and frankly all i wish for those many teenagers out there, is to really seek the advice of Christ through his words. He is the role model this world will never be able to manufacture. I do not know what is like to be a good father, my prayer is that the Lord will use life and actions to teach my kids that difficult concept, for now i know, only him is the key for successful parenting!

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