The former Social Minister of Indonesia, Mrs. Khofifah, stated that Indonesia is the nation with the second highest rate of fatherlessness. A home is considered to be fatherless not just when the father is physically absent (resulting from death or divorce), but also refers to a condition in which fathers, though present, are not fulfilling the roles and functions expected of them.
Infographic source: www.fatherhood.org
The role of a father in the family is so vital that it is difficult to imagine what our society or our nation will be like if our future leaders have been raised in fatherless households. One fallout from this crisis is many young people find it difficult to have a positive image of what a healthy father looks like because they had been hurt by their own fathers at home.
Being a parent nowadays is not easy. We cannot always be with our children. And children are often strong easily influenced by their friends, the community, and social media. In most cases, these influences are not in line with good and wholesome values.
Our children don’t need us to be perfect fathers. But it is possible for us to become better fathers. Here are some things that we can work on:
A father must be open and admit his mistakes to his spouse and children, as well as to others. Make a warm and familiar atmosphere in the family, so that each person will admit his (or her) wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness, so that there can be reconciliation. Parents who are not humble enough to acknowledge their mistakes set a bad example for their children and will later suffer the consequences. On the contrary, a father who exemplifies honesty, exhibits good values for his children, empowers his children will become individuals with integrity and trustwhorthiness in later life.
Parents should be consistent in the treatment and care of their children. They must avoid ‘favoritism’ which can result in unhealthy competition among the children. The less favored child will feel envy, resentment or inferiority, while the ‘golden child’ may become arrogant and tend to demand they get everything that they want.
Consistency also means that the father as a leader is consistent in applying and carrying out the values and rules in the family. When we are inconsistent, it’s hard for children to adopt values and rules as their own values and lifestyle as adults.
3. Family becomes your 1st priority.
Family purpose and interests must take precedence over one’s self-interests. A good example of this is e when Jesus submitted to His Father’s will and plan in the Garden of Gethsemane. When you as a father prioritize the family rather than pursuing your own, you are declaring that you love your family. Remember: every second you give to your family is a very valuable investment. Treat the time with your family is as important as your business meetings, and you will see and experience the benefits in the future.
Communication is very important in a family and must be built and sustained from the early years of marriage. Children who are trained to have a good communication with their parents will always feel comfortable to share their true feelings and hurts with their parents, even when they are grown up.
First, a wise father understands he must listen to his child more and not quickly draw his own conclusions, which eventually will make a child reluctant to communicate. Create an open and friendly atmosphere and avoid being authoritarian and selfish. Talk to your children in a simple, easy to understand way. There is a wise adage: “Enter the chicken cage with squawking and enter the goat cage with bleating.” Get to know your children’s world, build a close relationship with them, then they will hear our voice instruction rather than the voices and the teachings of the world.
Children are a wonderful gift that the Heavenly Father entrusts to us to be nurtured and raised lovingly, according to His way and His will. It is critical for us not to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, in order that we may raise up godly offspring who contribute positively to society in so many ways.
Becoming a better dad is not easy. But let’s stay positive and optimistic. Build meaningful friendships with other good dads. Do your duties responsibly, and always believe that as you sow so shall you reap, even when times are tough.