In the 70s, 80s and early 90s, there was no social media, the world wasn’t as fast moving as it is now so married men watched DSTV in-between the thighs of house helps and other mistresses. I doubt I know someone without a stepsibling; even I have a couple myself. It’s like the norm of the age; if you didn’t have a step, you weren’t trendy and your dad was dolu. Not having a step back then is like not knowing what #Onaapo means now.
Generous spermination isn’t the only fault our fathers had. Many were tyrants. They ruled mothers and children like colonies. How dare you tell me ‘eh’?! Some were like that man who slapped his son for no reason. Son’s eyes welled up with tears he hadn’t budgeted for “But, but, but what did I do dad?” With a scowl on his face, dad said “Just in case.”
There were drunkard dads who were sober fewer times than they were hungry. There were abusive dads, who beat mum and kids like he was avenging the havoc his primary school teacher wrecked on him. There were all kinds of dads. Don’t get me wrong, not all dads were like that and even those like that had sweet sides. Also there were mums who were just as flawed, and this is really about the vices in our parents.
There were dads who were hardly home. They checked when the next eclipse was, then came home to celebrate. There were dads who wasted opportunities and squandered wealth, dads with no good friends, dads who retired miserable, dads with such a sad ending or an anticlimax ending, if you like. If you didn’t have one, you probably knew one.
And we were the children disgusted by the things they did. We swore in our hearts that we’d never turn out that way. We’d never treat a woman like he treated mum, we’d do better, we’d amount to more, we’d be better men, no matter the cost. We’d never be like our fathers…at least their bad parts. But oh see, see how many have slowly started exhibiting traits of the things they despised the most in their fathers.
It’s almost like the same song different party. You know the worst part? We aren’t even men enough to admit it.
I’ve come to realize that criticizing someone or hating something he did does not absolve you of doing the same thing at a later date. Even your determination to be different is not enough to guarantee that you will be better. You know that folksong about the pig answering to her kid about why she had such a big snort? “My mommie, my mommie, wey tin make your mouth big oo?” and mum answers “my pikin my pikin, you go grow come see.”
It’s so easy to become the thing we criticize, and there are millions of proofs for this. That’s why they say things like ‘Like father like son’, ‘Crabs don’t give birth to birds’, ‘the apple doesn’t fall too far off from the tree.’ It’s a pity isn’t it? To realize that ‘Oh goodness! This is what I hated to see growing up; mum and dad always arguing.’
The only thing powerful enough to safeguard us from that is grace. His grace. Fam, there’s no other way around it, because unless the Lord builds a house they labor in vain that build it. You are not enough. Your will is not enough. You need Him. Otherwise you’ll do a self audit years from now and shock yourself with how much you’ve become that which you hated.
The good parts of our mums and dads, let’s amplify in our lives. But the parts that scarred us, let’s seek God’s grace to overcome. You know why this is so important? For the sake of our children. For the sake of posterity. Let’s be better so that they will be exposed to a different, better normal from what we knew. Let’s be in the position to give them the kind of foundation which will make them legendary fathers and excellent mothers. Let’s not pass on the hurt or the temper. They shouldn’t think it’s normal to sleep around or disrespect mum. If they do, you are a failure.
The only way to safeguard this is to invite God to help us be the best men we can be, for our wives and our children and cling on to the things he teaches us through His spirit. That’s the only way, will you take it?
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