Daddy Left Home web

Daddy Left Home

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

The world continues to grow in its sophistication day by day. Responsibilities at home, the workplace, and other side hustles have all toughened their competition for the attention of fathers. Regardless of these challenges, fathers are encouraged to avoid falling prey to role crisis, for it is written, “False balance is an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 11:1). Therefore, it lays heavy on fathers to strike a balance in all spheres of their lives, including spiritual, physical, and emotional, so that families may not suffer. If any of the needs are met at the expense of others, as gangrene spreads, all become affected. This piece, therefore, seeks to highlight the father’s role in meeting these needs with more emphasis on the spiritual and moral development of the family.

As part of striking a balance, the father must ensure the physical and emotional needs of the family are met. It is the father’s responsibility to provide basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, security, and love, with support from his wife. The home should embody the phrase “home sweet home” for every family member. Amid the complexities of modern life affecting mental health, the home must be a haven. The home environment should foster love, peace, oneness, joy, and friendship, among others. The father must be present not only spiritually and morally but also emotionally and physically. The 21st-century father must cherish spending time with the family despite his busy schedule.

However, due to the high-rising cost of living across many countries, some fathers, in their quest to meet their families’ physical needs and ensure that their wives and children are physically comfortable, have unknowingly left home. Though the role of the mother in the home is crucial and cannot be overemphasized, the man remains the pillar of the family. The scriptures emphasize that the man is the head (Ephesians 5:23-28), which connotes leadership. This means that the father has to breed love, care, and provide for the family, as well as ensure that the home is a place where moral principles and the values of the kingdom of God thrive and become a lifestyle. Apostle Paul captured this well: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Also, posterity is counting on both fathers and mothers “to teach, rebuke [in love], correct, and train the next generation in righteousness with the word of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). In Judges 2:10, it was recorded that a generation arose who did not know the LORD nor the work which He did for Israel. This event alludes to a failed family system and leadership. As believers, if we neglect to spend time together as a family, nurture, and instruct our children in the ways of the Lord, they may be influenced negatively by the internet, social media, movies, books, and bad company. Providing the right information and guidance is crucial to preventing such negative influences.

The father is like the watchman of the family tower, tasked with guarding and protecting the family from predators, false teachings, and ungodly behaviors (Isaiah 21:6, 56:10, 62:6-7). As a watchman, the father cannot afford to be blind to the spiritual needs of the family. He must also be the pastor in the home, feeding the lambs and tending the sheep (John 21:15-17). Unfortunately, some fathers are physically present but spiritually and emotionally absent. Some fathers focus solely on meeting the physical needs of their families, such as providing money and paying bills, neglecting the family’s spiritual and moral growth. Our society reflects our homes; when the family’s spiritual and moral system breaks, it affects society. This is why moral decadence is infiltrating many sectors of the economy. Sodom and Gomorrah were rife with perversion, yet Lot’s family maintained its moral integrity, with his two daughters being virgins.

If the father leaves the door to his home open, the family becomes like a city without walls; the enemy invades it and plants evil seeds. Sometimes we hear phrases like “your mother didn’t train you well,” used by some fathers. The phrase reflects a misguided belief that the upbringing of children is solely the mother’s duty because the man is busy. Busy with leadership roles outside of home and fixing others while neglecting their families, leaving them open and vulnerable to the influence of the enemy. But scripturally, the man must provide leadership in the house with the collaborative effort of his wife, the ‘sofomaame’ of the family. Man is tripartite in this progression: “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). As a father, excelling in the provision of the physical and emotional needs of the family is good, but the spiritual precedes them, and it is the spiritual food that equips the family with the principles and values of the kingdom of God and unleashes them to possess every fiber of the being of society for Christ.

Why have you left home, daddy? No family morning devotion, no prayer meetings, no intercessory prayers, no discipline or leadership, and no time spent with the family. Your children are afraid to share their issues with you and prefer to talk to friends instead because daddy is never available. It is not about being so strict and yelling at the children; it is about planting the godly seed (the word of God) in them, preaching Christ, and setting godly examples for them. That is what can keep them from compromising or following the patterns of this world in your absence.

Daddy, you are doing well, but remember not to leave the gate to the family unguarded. Daddy, wake up! The wolves are after the sheep. Daddy, come back home; your absence has left a vacuum. The family misses the warmth of your love and spiritual and moral leadership.

Written by Elder Francis Gbologah (PENSA Ghana Counselling Committee Head)

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