In honour of Fathers’ day which was celebrated across the world on Sunday 16th June 2019, this blog post is dedicated to all our awesome daddies, big daddies (uncles/elders), small daddies (big brothers/cousins) and sugar daddies (We all know the ultimate sugar daddy is Jesus Christ, right??) Once again, we have a collaborator, Victor Adewumi on Musings with Mo to offer an alternative perspective on the role of our fathers and the meaning of fatherhood. We will be discussing relationships with our heavenly Father as well as our earthly father from a female and male perspective. The way daughters and sons relate with their fathers can be very different yet we have a heavenly Father who loves us all the same. How do we reconcile these two different perspectives?
When you think of the word ‘sturdy’ what first comes to your mind? Do you think of something strong, immovable and solid? Can we correlate the word ‘sturdy’ with our fathers? I believe that the biblical narrative paints an image of our fathers as the sturdy foundation of a home. We see the example of Joshua speaking boldly on behalf of his entire household stating ‘…But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15)
This narrative has somehow become flawed by societal expectations and standards such that men and, consequently, fathers are painted as emotionless and cold. I remember the opening sequence for the popular Nigerian tv series Super Story, with a scene of a young boy on the roof of a thatched house and his father urging him to jump down that he would catch him. At first, the young boy refuses but eventually after much coaxing from his father he decides to take the leap. The father doesn’t catch him and instead uses that as an opportunity to teach his son not to trust anyone, even his own father. Okay, so this is a very extreme example. But how many of us have seen the circulating messages on social media, where it describes our mothers as the nurturers and comforters while fathers are said to be the ones to introduce us to the harsh realities of life. Well, as a daughter, I can tell you that is not totally true! Although usually, our fathers are not as openly affectionate, I find that with some encouragement their loving side comes out strongly!
Although, I will say that one of the traits I admire greatly about my dad is how honest and frank he is on every issue. Sometimes, as with the majority of our African parents, we hope they could do it in a more pleasant way but you know…such is life. I appreciate my dad for his guidance even if I don’t understand it right there and then. That relationship with my earthly father has helped me in navigating and strengthening my relationship with my heavenly Father and vice versa. I am able to understand that if my earthly father can advise me and wants the very best for me, I can only imagine the great and mind-blowing plans my heavenly Father has for me (Jeremiah 29:11). What’s even more is that my earthly father may be limited but my heavenly Father is unlimited and has the command of the whole universe, therefore what shall I fear?
Fathers are the ‘sturdy’ foundation of our family units. They teach us with their amazing work ethic, their impeccable character and great depth of wisdom. They teach us to dream big and reach for the stars. Yeah, I love my Dad. And one thing I am super thankful for is how my earthly father loves my heavenly Father. It helps me love him even more. He sets a great example and provides a ‘sturdy’ foundation upon which I can build my own faith and something I can eventually pass onto future generations to come. That to me is the greatest definition of a father. Someone who leaves a legacy of faith, love and complete dependence on God.
We thank God for awesome parents because we know daddies and mummies are one and so we celebrate them both today (#NoShakingTables).
I pray for many more years in good health, peace, joy and blessings for all our fathers. For my father, in particular, Daddy Aji, I love you dearly and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. I pray that you shall reap the fruits of your labour and God shall equip me with everything I need to make you proud, as well as equip you with all you need to make me proud, and equip both of us with what is needed to make our heavenly Father proud. Happy Fathers’ day!
And to all those that have lost their fathers or do not necessarily have a father figure in their lives, be comforted in knowing that God says this:
Check out Victor’s perspective here!