A happy and blessed birthday to my firstborn of three, Mauricia with much love.
It is easier to build strong
children than to repair broken men. —Frederick Douglas
How I wish sometimes that my sharing here could be more lighthearted, and I am working on that. But it is almost as though I am forced to address the very serious topics all the time based on the requests and 'conversations' engaged in with others. Looking/listening to the news on a daily basis can be a horrific experience, and you can see from the nature of the sad and many times shocking stories that many of the underlying issues would have their root causes in the home.
And all of this should lead us to understand even more than before that the healing of our nation has to begin in our homes, as the Safe Home Project that I spearhead continues to promote.
Parents, we have such a huge responsibility to our children to ensure that they turn out to be well-rounded and strong adults. But not enough parents seem to be taking this role as seriously as we should be doing. Every day, I look around and witness so many incidents where children are being treated as possessions instead of people who will one day become adults. And we seem to be missing the mark that these future adults will have the future of our nation in their hands as well.
We bring these children into this world to love, protect and guide with right values and morals. However, what my generation was taught to be wrong is now universally accepted as right. So the moral values have been traded for careless parenting.
I am not saying that all parents today are irresponsible – not at all. God forbid that this was the case – because then 'all fall down' for sure. But the scale tips to the other side dangerously. How can we not see that cause and effect is evident in the results that we are getting on a daily basis? Things do not happen just so; they happen because – what we sow, we reap. If we do not do the necessary pruning, our children will go wild as we see happening all the time now.
So do we want strong children?, or do we want to continue to 'raise' children who will be so weak and wild at the end of the day that we will be ashamed of what we did to them?
Parents, it is never too late to turn things around. If you see the signs of a troubled child; if you observe that something is wrong; if you realise that we have set wrong examples by our own inappropriate behaviour; we can change that by becoming better parents so that our children are better behaved, and by extension much more responsible and stronger.
So we may think that we have all the time in the world to make things right by example. But it seems like it was just yesterday that my first child/daughter was born. Today she celebrates her 36th birthday. And I am still wondering when that happened. Thankfully, because of the examples of the parents of my generation, I was able by God's grace to see Mauricia turn into one strong young lady. Mind you, it is not that she had it easy with life handed to her on a silver platter, because that was far from it. But as I have said so many times when sharing with other parents—in group sessions or one-on-one conversations —my children were raised on prayer, love and more love.
You will not imagine how many times I have had to ask myself if some parents really love their children. Apart from the details in the sordid stories in the news, I witness some irresponsible situations all the time which only suggest that many parents do not care – truly care – about their children at all. I am not telling anyone how to run their home; how to feed and clothe your family. However, I am recommending that we all strive to raise strong individuals now than to have to hold our heads and bawl later on, and all the while trying to fix the damage that perhaps could have been avoided.
Take the families that have produced well rounded adults as motivating examples, and at least try to find out how they did it – and do so now, please. Asking for help to get parenting right or at the very least manageable – is not wrong – it is all for the preserving of a life.
So let us walk on water because weak faith panics, growing faith prays and seasoned faith walk son water in the midst of the storms.