A Father’s Duty (Part 2)

“…At a time when the deep fear and popular lament of many a parent is for how their kids will turn out well in a world that daily finds new ways to profane whatever is considered sacred, the account of Jonadab and his descendants should renew our hope in the time-tested truth that the office of the parent is the most powerful office in the world for shaping the future.”

The first part of this article introduced us to Jonadab – a man who passed his values on to his kids who in turn passed them to their own kids, such that generations down the line, those values still stood firm in the face of very siginificant pressure.

For many parents today, being able to perpetuate their values like  Jonadab is a desirable thing. It is however important to quickly establish that many of us mix up what may be considered as real values with what is merely a growing up experience.

My friend (lets call him) Peter comes from a relatively deprived background, but has made good. Now he struggles with the idea of whether it is necessary for his kids to have a difficult life in order to  become successful. You might hear him say something like, “I washed my cloths with my hands when I was your age” as justification for not wanting his kids to use a washing machine. He is of course oblivious to the fact that his own parents probably washed their clothes by slapping it on the rock in the river 10-kilometers from their home and not in a bucket from a running tap like he did.

This mindset is faulty. What people like Peter don’t realize is that, a hard life is not a virtue in and of itself. We see how this idea crumbles easily when applied to something like using a TV remote for instance. Shall we all insist that our kids get up every time to change the channel just because we didn’t grow up with remote control devices?

As we look at Jonadab and wonder how we can pass down our values to our kids like he did, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t equate to having our kids repeat our experiences: No, we are not trying to create Xerox copies of our own lives. Our focus is on the things that so mattered to us that we were willing to choose to live those experiences.

Look out for some of those things in Part 3.
Mean time follow @woleolabanji


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