Thursday, June 18, 2020
Lagos, Nigeria

athers' Day is here again; it is a day set apart to honour and celebrate the fathers.

Though, mothers alone cannot engineer children, interestingly, a day to honour the fathers was not given a consideration until 30 years after the celebration of mothers had started.

And when eventually the idea was mooted in the United State of America, it suffered a setback. It had no approval by the majority of the people and it failed until few years later.

The credit to set apart a day to celebrate the fathers goes to one woman in the US by the name, Sonora Dodd. Sonara's father, William Jackson Smart was a civil war veteran who single handedly raised his six children. It could be that his wife died, I do not know.

Dod heard a Mother's Day Sermon in 1909 and she thought that there should also be a corresponding day to honour the fathers, particularly as she was raised by only her father.

So the Father's Day was first held on June 19, 1910 at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington.

I grew up in the Nigeria Baptist Convention to celebrate the Mother's Day but not the Father's. I had become a full grown adult and married with Children before I heard of 'Fathers' Day in the Nigeria Baptist Church. This tells the story that no importance was attached to celebrate the fathers as the mothers.

It is actually good that the mothers are given due attention. Their responsibilities and duties in raising a child are enormous.

A game of few minutes in the room, involving two people becomes the task of only one partner, right from conception, to gestation and the D-Day; the hour of the birth of the baby.

The mother feeds the baby and nurtures him.

If the child becomes smart and becomes prosperous, he or she is the father's baby. If on the other hand, he or she turns out to be bad, he/she is the mother's headache.

King Solomon, attests to the saying in Proverbs 10:1 What a cheat! What unfairness!!

But the responsibilities of fathers in the family cannot be rubbished even if it is not as pronounced or appreciated as the mothers'

Fathers mostly rule the world. It is only in few countries that we have women as Head of State. So except the fathers are upright, we shall continue to have nations filled with hunger, injustice, corruption, oppression and cheats and nations fighting nations.

So it is a good idea to set a day to celebrate the father and at the same time remind them of their responsibilities.

A reckless and irresponsible father cannot be a responsible head of any Department or State and this is the reason for the hunger in many nations, particularly in the third world countries. His family members, friends, town people and party loyalists may see him as responsible but that depends on the side one looks at it. The mere fact that he is part of the pain and hunger, which most citizens undergo has made him a completely an irresponsible and reckless father.

So my message on this Fathers' Day centers on "The Godly Father and what makes a Godly and good father"

Let us pray.

"The Godly Father and what makes a Godly and good father"

The father is the head of the family. The spiritual state of the family lies on him. He takes responsibility for the leadership of the home and the conduct of the children.

But what makes him a Godly father? What makes him a good father?

Yes, he provides for the needs of the family. But does that make him a responsible father in all totality?

Is it by meeting all the demands of the children that makes him a good and Godly father?

Is it by providing domestic servants in the home so that the children do no chores in order to concentrate on their study that makes him a good and Godly father?

Is it because a chauffeur drives the children to school that makes him a good and Godly father?

Is it by sending his children to Schools in overseas that makes him a good and Godly father?

Is he a good and Godly father because he buys cars for the children soon as they enter the University?

Is he a good and Godly father because he opens fat bank accounts at home and overseas for the children and wife?

Is it by presenting the key of a palatial home and state of the art vehicle on the wedding day of the child that makes him a good and Godly father?

I have no grouse with any father who provides all these for his children so long as he does not fund through pilfering of the public money or by fraudulent means, thereby turning the populace into paupers and inflicting pains on anyone.

Unfortunately in Nigeria today, majority of the fathers who do these for their children use the public money, obtained due to the public offices they hold or high positions they attain as Civil Servants or wealth obtained though fraudulent practices or contracts with the government officials.

Those acts of many fathers incorporate their children right from their youth into the league of corrupt clubs because what lesson about Godliness do they have, to preach to those children?

I want us to look at the history of a father in the Bible; king Solomon.

He devoted his life to teach his children what matters most in life.

The entire chapter 1-7 of the book of Proverbs contains his counsels to his children on a wide range of issues of life, relating to Godliness. If every father in Nigeria does this, if every father in the world behaves like king Solomon, Nigeria and the world entirely will be a Paradise on earth when everyone gives consideration to his other fellows. But is it not what one has that he can give to people? Are we fathers ourselves righteous that we can have the boldness to teach our children righteous behavior?

All, which concern many fathers is the performance of their children in their studies.

Hear King Solomon in Proverbs 1 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! 11 They may say, "Come and join us. Let's hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let's ambush the innocent! 12 Let's swallow them alive, like the grave[b]; let's swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. 13 Think of the great things we'll get! We'll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. 14 Come, throw in your lot with us; we'll all share the loot." 15 My child, don't go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. Hear him in Proverbs 2 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Hear him in Proverbs 3 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation. Listen to the king in Proverbs 4 My children,[listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don't turn away from my instructions. 3 For I, too, was once my father's son, tenderly loved as my mother's only child. Listen to him in Proverbs 5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel. It is as sharp as two edged saw. Listen to him in Proverbs 6 My son, if you become surety for your friend, If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, 2 You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth. In Proverbs 7, he advised: Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. 2 Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.[a] 3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Hear him in Proverbs 10 2 Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life. 3 The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked. Hear him in Proverbs 19 Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and a fool. That was a good and Godly father, who took his time to educate
and instill in his children, what makes a good life and he pointed them to God.

Time does not permit that we read the whole chapters together but I encourage you to carefully read those chapters in your private time and you will see how he educated his children on a range of subjects.

He stressed it to the children that wealth is not what constitutes a good life but character and Godliness.

Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, we have accepted that wealth is a measure of good life and certain Churches sadly preach it too and so fathers go out in pursue of it, more than the kingdom of God; fair or foul, ignoring the words of Jesus , which states "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)

Seeking the Kingdom of God i.e. securing a place in heaven is the only reasonable and important thing anyone can pursue for himself and for his children.

I have in the past told the story of an old man, already resting with the Lord who constantly challenged his son, a very high ranking man in the military, if all he was acquiring was within his income.

What a country we would have if all fathers in Nigeria will monitor the activities of their children.

What a country we would have if the society will shun people living above their visible income rather than crowning them with chieftaincy titles.

Unfortunately many fathers today behave like Eli, the Priest, who was not firm with his boys when it was reported to him that the boys behave improperly with the sacrifices, which people brought to the Temple (1Sam.2: 12-26).

In the Yoruba culture, in the past, by the time a son is 5 years old, he vacates the bedroom of his mother for the bedroom of the father. This enables the father to properly mentor the son right from youth.

Unfortunately today, the boys have their rooms and the girls have theirs where they are not under the watch of the parents throughout the night.

What a country we shall have, what a world we shall have if every father devotes time to teach their children the true value of life like king Solomon did.

Fathers, I challenge you on this Fathers' Day, when we are celebrating you to stay at home and rapport with your children. Cut down on the time you spend in the Club House. Return home after work.

Find time for morning and night devotion for the family. Research shows us that children who have spiritual background at their early age, even if they turn wayward as they grow into teens and adulthood, they return to the spiritual life of their infant as they get old. So, fathers, give your children every necessary spiritual lesson when they are very young.

If fathers will participate in house chore, their sons after they are married, will have learnt that their wives are not servants or house girls, running round the house from dawn to dusk.

By doing those, the fathers are helping their sons to build a stable strong home. In fact I have a son who bathes his child at the age of 2 weeks.

I have the habit of clearing my plates and wash them after meals even if the table is set for me. If fathers do those things, their sons will not see them as strange after marriage.

I do not see sweeping as demeaning to my position as the head of the home. In fact until my daughters had the muscle, sufficient to pound yam, I did it.

Let us pray

  1. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the Bible is loved and taught,
    Homes where the Master's will is sought,
    Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  2. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the father is true and strong,
    Homes that are free from the blight of wrong,
    Homes that are joyous with love and song;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  3. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the mother, in queenly quest,
    Strives to show others Your way is best,
    Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  4. God give us Christian homes!
    Homes where the children are led to know
    Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
    Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
    God give us Christian homes;
    God give us Christian homes!
  5. Happy Father's Day.