I’m afraid that I may not make a good father
Posted Sunday, June 3 2012 at 17:17
I am in my youth and the greatest pain in my life stems from my father; he has been the provider, which I applaud him for, but he has never been a father to me.
Growing up, especially in my adolescence, I felt the need to be with men who would nurture or initiate me into manhood, mostly because I am the only male child in a family of five children.
I was able to meet and spend time with several men whom I can say have greatly contributed to the man I have become.
However, due to the fact that I was initiated into manhood by different men, I feel as if I have no consistency as a man; I picked a little bit from here and there.
Sometimes I can be really responsible and at others I border on the other extreme. Sometimes I am proud of the man I have become, and sometimes I detest myself.
I am currently looking for work, and trying to keep myself occupied with other pursuits, but I feel the need to settle down, have a constant source of income, get married, and have children.
I worry about whether I will succeed in my quest to become a better man with these two sides at war within me.
As a man, I know I must provide, yet because of the way I have grown up, I know that simply providing does not mean you are a good father; that it is important to build proper relationships with one’s children. My greatest fear is turning out to be like my father.
Kindly advise me how I can come to terms with my myself and become a better man in order to build strong relationships with my children.
When God created family, he set aside special roles to be played by the man and the woman. The fact that one is your biological father does not necessarily mean you will learn from him.
Children fail to learn from their fathers due to several reasons, including a father’s absence, physically or emotionally, the character of the father, which could be unattractive to the child, and differences in the home that make it a hard learning environment.
Coupled with this could be the rebellion of a child towards learning. In his book, Life Without Father, David Popenoe, wrote: “Growing up without a father may be a root cause of many social ills; from crime to academic failure.”
As a child grows up, the partnership of the father and the mother in his or her life helps to bring stability and positive learning experiences.
But you have realised that father is a name that has to be earned beyond providing the basic needs of a child, and that one does not become a father in a child’s life without working hard for it.
I would, however, urge you to be grateful for the fact that your father provided for you. In an article I read somewhere, a new Pew Research survey (2010), showed that 69 per cent of respondents agreed that a child needs a father in the home to grow up happily, 27 per cent disagreed, while four per cent were not sure.
And this is the debate in our country today. Irresponsibility on the part of men has left a leadership vacuum not only in the home but also in business and at the workplace.