In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25 NKJV)
This scripture paints a picture of anarchy at this point in the history of Israel. There was chaos and people were doing horrible things, there was no sense of right or wrong, anybody could do whatever they liked. There was no restraint and it was a time of total lawlessness.
Where There is No Vision….
This also validates the scripture that says “where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). It is a succinct representation of what is happening in our society and communities now. A leader provides a sense of direction, he/she leads the way for others to follow. A leader guides the people that are following him/her to make the right decisions and to do what is right. This underscores the importance of having good quality leadership because the quality of the leader will eventually reflect on the quality of the people that are led.
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Am sure you have seen gardens or flowers that are so beautiful, aesthetically appealing, and very nice to admire. The simple reason why these gardens or flowers look this beautiful is because someone has invested time, energy, money, etc. to tend it and make it look beautiful. Some of that effort will include trimming the flowers, removing weeds, preventing insects/pests from destroying the flowers, watering and fertilizing it consistently over time to make it flourish. Now if you decide to abandon these flowers and not tend or care for them in any way, you will also certainly not like anything about them. The beauty and appeal will either not be there or you won’t like what you see. The potential to be beautiful is there but it has not been worked. These unkempt flowers could become a suitable place that harbors and breeds all kinds of dangerous pests and an eye sore too.
Am sure you’ll agree that this analogy is comparable with what happens to our children?
When there is no leader to guide and lead (trim, water, fertilize etc.) children, they do as they please (growing over walls because trimming has not taken place). Everybody becomes a lord to themselves and they do as they please. It makes the community become a jungle of total chaos and lawlessness. This depicts the situation that many families (the primary unit of any society) are dealing with today. The situation in our society is almost a direct reflection of the situation in our homes. When you listen to (or read) the news and hear of weird and absurd things that happen, it is partly because our homes have lost the leadership that is needed to raise children properly. The fathers are either absent, disengaged, or uncommitted to their families. And because there is no leadership in the house, the children grow up doing things and living their lives as they wish.
Numbers Don’t Lie – See the Evidence
The statistics of families without a leader (i.e. father in this case) are shocking and it has opened the gates to a lot of vices and social problems that have prevented so many people especially children and young people from attaining their full potential.
Studies have revealed deeper issues that are associated with children who grow up without a father (or father figure) in their lives. National Center for Fathering compiled summaries of different research studies that showed at least 20 million children in the U.S are living in fatherless homes. Families without a father are 40 times more likely to raise children in poverty, children without a father are times more likely to abuse chemical substances. 71% of substance abusers come from homes without a father, 80% of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
Good News! There is Hope…
The good news is that all hope is not lost. No matter how bad the situation is with your child/children, there is hope for them and they can get back on the right track. It all has to start with a commitment from the father to be involved with them and to take on the responsibility of being a father to them.
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Being a good father to your child/children is the fundamental way of gaining back your authority to provide leadership in their lives. You the father must also forgive yourself for neglecting your children and commit to being a better parent henceforth.
There are great resources that can be useful in this new endeavor and resolve that you have made to be a real father to your child/children. The rewards are priceless and the fulfillment derived from bringing up your children excellently are beyond measure.
Above all, you have to trust, depend, and submit yourself to God. Once you have surrendered and totally dependent on God, your children will become subject and submissive to you and God will give you the grace to be a good father for your child/children.
Please share in the comments below your experience in raising your children.