Stand in the gap, fathers!

MOTIVATION: Ashley Thaba

THE Bible has a plan for literally every aspect of our lives. This plan is for our personal benefit and the benefit of our society. One particular plan of God is outlined in Titus 2. It’s a long chapter so I won’t quote it, but I really encourage you to go read it! The premise is older men should be pouring wisdom and practical daily tips for a productive and godly life into younger men. (same goes for ladies but today I am focusing on men).

My husband and I frequently lead parenting and marriage seminars around town, and a recent conversation in a marriage seminar got me thinking about the lack of disciple in young men we see in our society. As a professional parenting consultant, I also have a Facebook forum where I freely offer tips to parents to encourage them in their role as parents. I then used my Facebook page, Mom to Mom: Parenting Consultations to voice my concerns and encourage the 4 000 plus readers that frequent that page. What happened next astounded me! Over 23 000 liked and shared the post I wrote within the first day. Clearly I struck on an issue that resonated with thousands. I decided to use this column as another forum to share this word of encouragement.

My genuine prayer is that we will have men who will come together for the good of our country and selflessly offer their love and support to those young men that are in their families, their churches, their neighbourhoods, etc.

Here is the essence of what I wrote on the post that went viral.

I am sitting at home alone because my husband, Percy, took my son, Caleb, to watch a big soccer match. He frequently takes Caleb and they do “man” things together. All day Thursday over the holiday, I mean from 7:30am to 7 pm — he took Caleb to the farm and the two of them built a chicken coop. Last week, they were slaughtering a chicken and goat together. On Fridays, Percy takes him to soccer and cheers him on at practice. Every morning, they get up together and clean out the brooder where the newly hatched chicks sleep and give them fresh food and water. Caleb beams with pride and joy when he is useful and helpful to his father! You can see how proud he is! Percy is intentional about spending time and pouring into our son. He is intentional about bonding with the girls also but in different ways and right now I want to talk about the father/son relationship.

What I am about to say I hope will not come out wrong. I was leading a marriage workshop today and one of the ladies was commenting on how, as a single mother, she feels her son is missing some of the masculine touch a man could bring to his life. From a strictly objective psychological perspective, statistics prove that boys do miss out on something without a father or at least a very strong father figure in their lives.

Here is my challenge to you men.

Can you identify a single mom and volunteer to go play soccer with her son, to take him to the farm with you, or in some intentional way bless that mother by loving her son? Surely some of you have sisters for whom you could really pull up your socks and be intentional about playing a father role in your nephew’s life.

If your children have age mates whom you know are being raised by a single mom, could you and your wife be intentional about having that son in your home and include him in activities with your own children?

Could you identify a little boy or young man at church and make a point to greet him and ask him about his week? Is there something you can pray for? Does the little boy have a big school match coming up that you could go support him or a big test that you could help him study for? Does the young man have a woman he has his eyes on that you could take him out for coffee and offer guidance on how to enter into a healthy relationship? Even if it is just greeting him at church and showing interest — it is something!

Today at the marriage workshop, one of the ladies said men are not good at commitment and being good dads. But then, as we chatted we realised that most of the people in the room were raised by single moms. Maybe our men just don’t know how to be a good dad because they have never seen it modelled.

Those of you who are blessed to be in healthy marriages, invite the young men into your home and pour into them! Share life with them. Let them see what it can look like! If one by one, you and I can pour into the boy child and the young man who is starting to think about starting a family, we can make a difference and conversations like I had today might not be so common anymore.

I hope what I am saying makes sense. I am not trying to point fingers at the single mothers, but rather challenge the healthy men to disciple the men and boys around them to rise up and lead our families! Remember the old African proverb — it takes a village to raise a child!

And let me just say for those of you fathers who are doing your best and pouring into your children, you can’t begin to imagine the priceless gift you are giving your children and us, the community, who will have to live with the child you nurture. Thank you so much for your service — your loving selfless sacrificial service to raise sons who will bless us as a nation in the generation to come!

Send questions to askthaba@gmail.com or Facebook page – Talking with the Thabas.

Ashley Thaba is a popular life-coach, team-building facilitator and motivational speaker. She is also the author of Conquering the Giants and Dive In. You can view some of her works on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.

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