|Palacious: Fatherhood is a gift of responsibility|
Guardian Lifestyles Reporter
Published: Jun 21, 2012
Fatherhood is a precious gift God gave His people. To be presented with the responsibility of another’s life and well-being is a feat to take seriously from the moment one takes up this title. If more men took their role seriously and provided for their children as they should, the country would be in a better state. And getting men to see how essential it is to get back to the basics of praying, protecting and providing in their homes was the message that Archdeacon James Palacious left with the congregation during the Father’s Day service at Holy Spirit Anglican Church.
“Being a dad is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it is not something to do just because you can, Father Palacious told the congregation. “It is easy to be a father, but it’s another story to be a dad,” he said.
The Anglican archdeacon said men are willing to father children all over the place but forget that the real work comes in raising the child in the right way. He said men have to be everything their children need no matter what life may throw their way.
As a provider, he said a father should aim to meet his children’s needs, and that it’s not so much about giving into their every whim, but teaching the value of what they do have and giving them what they need to succeed. He also said providing did not mean financially, and that being a good father also means providing for the emotional and psychological needs of children.
“Good fathers make sure their children know who they are — that they are special and important. Their daughters know they are beautiful and loved. No one else has to come and tell her so. Your sons will know where they stand and what it means to be a young man. They will not be confused or wonder where they belong and seek bad company to fulfill their need to fit in,” said Archdeacon Palacious.
The priest encouraged the men in the congregation to also provide the template their sons should be emulating and their daughters should be searching for when they look for a husband one day. He told them that a good father figure should be able to encourage their children and build up their self-esteem and confidence so they are sure of themselves and not at the mercy of the opinions of others.
“Fathers today need to step up and do what they are mandated to do by God. They are to be there for their children and should not be sidetracked into thinking providing financially will suffice,” said Fr. Palacious. “Children need just as much to have a sense of love and belonging from both parents.”
He said many fathers today are doing their job, but that there are more out there not taking up the mantle.
Fr. Palacious also said that being able to protect children is also a good sign of a good father. Ensuring that children aren’t polluted by the world via the Internet, television or even other family members is something a parent needs to do to raise a child right in this media-driven world. He told them that the job of the
father is even more rigorous today because it is easy for children to be influenced, and that it is not easy to control all elements in society which is why fathers should be vigilant and not dump the responsibility of raising children on mothers or other family members.
The Anglican priest also said that setting the right spiritual example is an essential part of being a father and that protecting and providing are all well and good, but ensuring children know how to walk in Christ was even more important. He said fathers should make it a point to pray with their children, and attend church as a family often. And that showing rather than telling is the best way to instill the right values, and to really get children to understand the value of spirituality.
Archdeacon Palacious said God meant for fatherhood to be a privilege within marriage, but that most children are born out of wedlock. He said the child who lives with married parents is a statistical anomaly.
“There is no surprise that the country is going in a downward spiral. We are not doing as God ordained and not all men are living up to what He expected of them. You have to be there more than financially. It is not enough. The greatest things that shape your child cannot be bought with money,” the minister told the congregation. “In my family we use the three ‘F’ words — free ... family ... fun. It’s just about spending quality time. Not harassing your children or stressing out over life. Just have a good time and let them feel loved. This can be a ride in the car or a visit to the beach. You should want to spend time with the kids. They will remember that more than the hundreds you spent on a game or the endless hours you worked to provide for them,” he said.
Fr. Palacious said men should be thinking about the legacy they will be leaving behind for their families. He said when their children look back on their youth, that fathers should want them to remember the good times, the fun occasions, the morning prayers and life lessons. And that they should not want their children’s only memory of them to be of them working and never showing up to important events in their lives.
“Everyone leaves behind a legacy. You never know when the Lord may call you, so it is best to utilize the time you have to set the foundation you would want your children to build upon. No matter how old your child is, it is not too late to try to set things right and guide them in the ways they should go. God gave fathers a responsibility to be heads of the home and a staple in their children’s lives. So to me it is very wrong to shirk this duty,” said the priest.