Children are a special blessing from God. The world today is a tough environment for children. In our day, a child could get on a bus and possibly travel to the other end of the country unharmed. Times have changed and instead of children’s laughter, we hear more of their abuse, abductions and other unpleasant details.
“Dad? Would you please help me with my homework?”
“Your Mum will help you with that. I am busy now,” as he turns another page of the newspaper. “Son, I am reading something important. I will get to you when I am done!” Father adds, to quash the guilt welling up inside. Television on and newspaper open, he looks up as his team scores and yells, “gooaal!”
Son in the other room, picks up another exercise book, sighs and wonders what has his father so disinterested in him. He feels powerless, frustrated and afraid. Son cannot tell Mum. It is between men. Distracted by the growing hurt, he writes down the wrong answers, his lip now quivering. He does not feel very big now, at a full ten years. His teachers presses him daily about the cause for his daydreaming. Son wishes he could tell her that it has nothing to do with dreams but more nightmares than he can handle. Teacher is a woman and he dare not to share with any woman. He is a man now.
Father picks up his mobile phone, answers and starts to laugh. “Yes boss, we can have that drink today. In fact, I can leave now!” He rushes to the door, nearly knocking wife off her feet, as she enters. “See you! We’re off to celebrate that goal!” He shouts, not bothering to turn to her, as he moves in haste.
Mum shuts the door and calls out for her Son. He jumps up and asks for her help. She obliges and once done, his mood changes to the sad emptiness he felt earlier. “Mum, what’s with Dad? Doesn’t he love us anymore?!” She looks down and then back at him, lost for words and a trifle ashamed. Father, or Husband as she would like to call him. He rarely speaks to her and acts as though ashamed or unhappy with everything at home.
Mum continues to coax Husband out of his shell. He discounts her efforts, leaving her baffled and humiliated. Father reminds her often that their children enjoy a two-parent family. He ignores quality in their relationships, dismissing the notion that anything is wrong. The family matures with the scares of constant withdrawal. Father takes and Mum strives to add onto to them. He loves the notion of family but has no idea how to invest!
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Father learns of God’s desires for the family at the Men’s Meetings at their local Church. He cries, broken and ashamed. He cannot understand how God can forgive him after all he has failed to do for his family. Now in his twenties, son evades Dad’s company, asking why he should spend time with him, when he made next to no emotional investment.
It is another ten years before they speak. Son furious but working under self-control. Father apologetic, shrunken and partly afraid. He listens to Son and responds. God’s family glue starts a fresh bonding. Mum praises God and draws closer to Him. Husband has returned, injected with a fresh dose of hope and love. The family bask in the marvels of God for many more years!