My reading of Genesis 2:22-24 and Genesis 4:1 gives me a whole new dimension to what have been termed “a father”. To me, there are two types of fathers.
First, before God created Eve, there was Adam. Adam at that point was not a father but a man. Although Adam was given a supervisory role and was in charge of the activities in the garden God has created, I still believe he was more of a care taker than a father.
Wikipedia tells me that a father is “a male parent or individual progenitor of human offspring”. This means that till Genesis 4:1, Adam was more of a husband than a father. Genesis 4:1 reads “Now the man had marital relations with his wife Eve and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain ......” it was at that point that Adam became a father.
To support my point further on the score that fatherhood has got to do with childbearing or looking after a child, I will resort to the promise God made to Abraham.....even though he had a lot of servants who saw him as their “father”, God still insisted that he will be made the father of many nations through his own son (Genesis 15:2-3). My point is a father is made when a man finds a woman he calls a wife and is able to sow the seed of life into the woman.
However, there is a second type of father that is very common especially in our Ghanaian society. Most of us look up to our uncles, teachers, elder brothers, pastors, bosses at work among others who encourage us, direct us and counsels us.
In some cases we even try to be like them. In most cases, these people look after us; they feed, clothe and pay our bills. To us, they are our fathers and we are right on that. So the title “father” is obtained through any of these two ways I have mentioned. In any of them, fathers are special and needs to be treated as such.
In any of the cases explained above, the men involved are not angels or saints. They are human like us. They have had their challenges and difficulties in life; they have had their own storms, high and low sides in their life’s journey. To some of us, our fathers are the best thing that ever happened to us, to others, the mere mention of the man’s name can cause someone to throw up immediately. It becomes very sad when the latter occurs.
As children (with reference to fathers) we might be justified to “hate” our fathers, to think they are irresponsible or believe they do not deserve our forgiveness or a second chance. As wives, we might be right to tell our children how irresponsible their father is, how visionless and hopeless the man we call our husband is..... I’m just saying, you might in fact be stating a fact.
But wait a minute; I dare say fathers are made by women. If that is so, then if fathers are irresponsible, the woman cannot be isolated from the blame (I know most people would not agree with me on this) but I strongly believe that women make fathers. If that is so, then, my dear young ladies who have not yet made any man a father, you should be careful the man you decide to turn into a father.
You owe your unborn babies that responsibility. So that, in the near future, you would save yourself the long explanations and castigation on the man you decided to turn into a father. Your children deserve a good father and that choice is yours and yours alone.
To the young ones who through life experiences have sworn and cursed their fathers, I share in your pain and I understand you perfectly but please take a minute and ponder this.
The bible says children honour your father and mother.....emphasis on...father and not a good father or a responsible father.... it says your father. This simply means no matter how “evil” your father is do not ever in a single moment in your life open your mouth to say anything unpleasant to him. You just have to honour him. If you have in a single moment said this either openly or in your heart, that is why we have a day like this.... please, kindly call that man, visit him and apologise and draw close to him.
Those who think their fathers are failures and do not respect them because they have not been able to take care of them, I just want to say... Never ever judge the actions or inactions of your father. He might be whatever you might think, you might be actually saying the truth but I repeat NEVER EVER judge the actions or inactions of your father because, if you were in his shoes, you might have done worse.
Let us in a day like this, learn from the shortfalls of our fathers and pray to God to help us be better fathers in the near future. We should not be judgemental but rather appreciative of the fact that we also have/had a man in our life - no matter who he is/was, what he has/had and where he is (whether dead or alive) - we can call FATHER. We might not be privy to the things he has gone though, the pains of life, the sleepless nights, the regrets and disappointments as well as the shattered dreams.
What we can do is to strive not to repeat the mistakes of our fathers and try to be better fathers to our children in the future. Happy father’s day to all fathers especially my dad Rev. Emmanuel Aboronoma Nyarko-Anti. My little advice to all young men on this day is ....NEVER MARRY A LADY WHO DOES NOT RESPECT HER DAD, BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT RESPECT YOU TOO IN THE FUTURE.
These are my thought on a day christened “FATHER’S DAY”.