Today, I feel urged to talk about fathers. The word father simply means a male parent of someone. A look at some ancient Hebrew shows that Hebrew nouns for most words are descriptive of the kind of action of expected of them.The Hebrew word for father is av, which literally means the one who gives strength to the family while mother is em, which means the one that binds the family together.

When we look at the role of mothers in the family, we can all testify that most mothers fulfill their task of binding family together. This process actually starts at the time when they conceive.For the next nine months the unborn child is more or less part and parcel of the mother’s body. As a result, it becomes very difficult to detach the mother from the child of her womb afterwards. In the early stages, mothers are always close to their children, taking good care of them and loving them. Even in cases, where the biological mothers are not there, you will always find a lady who mothers the children.

On the other hand, when we look at fathers, we get a different picture altogether. There are a number of ways a father can use to give strength to the family. A father should be able to provide love, food, clothing, peace, joy, security etc. for the family. A certain preacher said a father is supposed to nourish and sustain the family.With this, all of us can acknowledge that the absence of a well-functioning father in a child’s life has a negative impact in the later developmental and behavioural issues of the child.

The obvious end result is that if the child is a boy, he will grow up into a bad father. This may lead to generations upon generations of bad fatherhood.The big question to those of us who call ourselves fathers is: Do we give strength to our families? If some of us have children out of wedlock, do we sustain and nourish them? Do we follow up on what is happening with them. We might be having one or two issues with their mothers, but the bottom line remains you must sustain the child from your loins.

I must also point that some mothers do not help our society because they hide the identity of the biological fathers of their kids. As a result, we find an influx of kids, whose fathers are still living and wealthy, begging on the streets.This is very common in Africa!Ladies, out there, please help our society by locating the fathers of your kids so that these men should take up their responsibilities.These days there are DNA tests which can be done to prove cases of fatherhood.

The other thing that I don’t like about African fathers is this mentality of continuing to bear kids when they know that they are old and that they will not manage to acquire the resources for raising and sustaining these kids. These fathers usually shift this responsibility to their older sons and daughters, who by this time will have just started working and maybe just married. This is very bad because it erodes the resources of these young men and women which were meant for the sustenance and nourishment of their families. I have discovered that some younger families have marital problems because of these elements. My advice to old men is that you must stop this child bearing business as soon as you see that you cannot sustain the kids.This will help our society!!!