One of the words I heard very often as a child was the word ‘strict’ used so many times to refer to my father. I too soon realized that he was a very strict man. He had a reputation for being straight forward, uncompromising in his beliefs and very orderly. You only needed to have one encounter with him to know this. Even in his eighties, his lifestyle has remained unchanged. I am sure that some of my attitudes and behaviors today, can be traced back to him.

Photo by Immortal Snapshots from Pexels

My father would often tell us that if we think he is strict, we should have met his father. We heard so many interesting stories about my grandfather but one of them always stood out. If my father or his siblings committed an offence on Sunday, being the Sabbath Day, my grandfather would postpone the discipline and on Monday, it would be meted. He held the values of his Sabbath Day but at the same time, he would not let an offence go unchecked. Grandpa was a Pastor, Dad is too. I come from a generation of Pastors and this apple did not fall far from the tree. I would have loved to meet my grandfather, I often wonder if he would have been one of those grandparents who spoil their grandchildren, but from the stories I have heard, I doubt it. I am sure the phrase ‘Spare the rod and spoil the grandchildren‘ would have followed him to the grave. He was a disciplinarian and was particular about the way he raised his children and my father in his own unique way walked in the shoes left for him. He even had a rod of correction (ROC) for each one of us with our names clearly labeled on it. Each time, it was to be used, we would each sort and bring our factory reset stick (aka ROC).

Many years back, when we all used land lines, long before cell phones became the ‘thing’, I was sitting with my father and the phone rings, he answers the phone, hands it over to me and says “the call is for you”. I collected the phone and it’s a girl on the other end. By the way, I was probably about 14 years old then. He stayed there and did not move while I took the call. As you can imagine, that was the shortest call I have ever received. It was more of a ‘hello’, ‘okay’, ‘thank you’ and ‘bye’. After the call, my dad looks at me and says “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Book, and all others will be added to you, including a woman”. While that seemed like a weird thing to say coming from a father, I got the message that some things are more important and deserve all our focus and attention at each stage of our life. But more interestingly, I also learned that he had the Bible so implanted in his heart that every example he would use came from that source. He also taught us humility as a way of life, he did not just teach us, he lived it!

My wife recalls that her dad always said, ‘His word was law’. Those were his words on marble. She goes on to recount that without a shadow of doubt, she knew who was in charge and trusted that he will not knowingly lead her and her siblings in the path of danger. In the good old days, the sign ‘Beware of Dogs’ had many underlying meanings including the indication that within these walls lies precious jewels that I am willing to protect with my last breath. A father acting out his unique expression of ‘God’ness, as he plays the role of protector and provider; becoming a little child’s closest resemblance to Black Panther, Captain America or Iron Man. My father in-law is an amazing man, anyone’s wish for a father in-law. I watch him give of himself to those he calls his children, even bleeding in the process and yet looking for ways to do more. Sometimes you wonder what is wrong with him? But then I realize that deep down, it is the father nature acting out. Anytime, I look at his children, I can clearly see him in them.

A Father’s presence (negative or positive) is expressed through the lives of his children.

Every father has a responsibility to leave his imprints on his children. A constant reminder of whose hand guided them through life – “A Father’s Hand”

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenasfrom Pexels

A father’s relationship with his children is one of the most important relationships that exist. Fathers are the first image of God their children see and this often affects how they see and relate with God as they grow through life. The good fathers of old talked less but were present and modeled lifestyles worthy of emulation. A friend recently told me that while his father was not the talking type, he always remembers walking into the room every morning and seeing his father on his knees. That image is implanted in his memory for life. We fathers of today seem to talk more, but we should balance the talk with our presence to enable us model the talk. As I remember the story of the dying man’s wish, I encourage fathers not to sacrifice their responsibilities at home in exchange for the pursuit of money and other distractions of life.

With the current trends of negative world events such as rape, hate, racism amongst others, I can not help but think that what we have today are more men with children than fathers. Fatherhood is a responsibility, not a title you get for birthing a child. It is an intentional act with eternal value. God is looking for men like Abraham who will ‘command’ their households after Him and teach their children to walk in the way. More than ever before, the world needs fathers to rise up and teach boys to be Men and girls to be Women with a consciousness of their self worth and full knowledge of Who they are, and Whose they are.

My grandfather did well with my father and I will let you be the Judge on if my father did well with me. I am certain of one thing, it is my responsibility to raise my children in the way and I am committed to taking daily steps to achieve this goal. I believe that the examples I live out will put my son in a position to do same. To all of us fathers and prospective fathers, we owe it to our sons to make them into the men that God wants them to be, but more importantly, into the Fathers that God wants them to become.

Note to self – If your child were to turn out exactly like you, will you be proud of the person you raised?

We love to hear from you, so don’t forget to like, leave a comment, follow us and tell a friend. Keep your eyes on who you are becoming.

Have a great week ahead.


  • […] can read the full story here. We will love to hear from you, so don’t forget to like, leave a comment, follow us and tell a […]

  • Iboro Daniel

    It’s nice, touching and inspiring, a well scripted phenomenon and indoctrination to accomplish a fruitful upbringing.
    Thank you Thelma and Idorenyin .
    God bless you

  • One of my earliest memories is sitting on my father’s lap and before dinner, and looking at pictures in the giant family Bible while he answered my millions of questions. He was always home for dinner, except when he travelled or had to work late (which was very rare). To this day, I always feel safe when he’s around.
    Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who step up fulfill their God given responsibilities. We see you, we love you. Thank you.


    Great and inspiring message to me. I remembered how weird my daddy’s discipline used to be. His discipline brought out the woman from the girl I was. My daddy of blessed memories would never allow me dress indescently, attend parties, go out with any uncle, let alone stay out late. I used to HATE his pattern of raising me up,but TODAY I AM A BETTER WOMAN WHO WAS RAISED BY MY DADDY’S WEIRD WAYS OF TRAINING.
    Though I may not use dad’s method, but I will make sure that I train my CHILDREN to be the BEST version of me in future.
    Thank you so much my wonderful and Spirit filled Pastors for this write up. God’s blessings rest on you today and always.

    • We don’t always like the discipline when it is being given, but when we look back we are grateful that our parents did not leave us alone to some of our ignorant wishes and demands.

  • Chidi

    This was a good read and spoke to me directly. I’m reminded that it’s not just being a successful husband but a Father figure to my intending kids..I pray for Grace to live an exampliary

  • Joy

    “Fatherhood is a responsibility, not a title you get for birthing a child. It is an intentional act with eternal value”
    This statement is the highlight for me.
    Thank you for the read.

    • You are welcome. We are glad that the statement stood out for you.

  • Aniekeme Ukpong

    Great and inspiring article once again. I am challenged once again to leave a good legacy and example for my children and even generation unborn
    More inspiration team


    The long-awaited read finally came through. Thanks lifeandbecoming for the weekly dose of wisdom, goodness and sauce. Always worth the read and time. Just to add to the wealth, I am humbled and honored to say that I am blessed to be in the company of great men. From my father to my sister’s father-in-law, to my brother-in-law to my fiance and my younger brothers who are amazing male figures (grandfathers, fathers,husband-2-be, and uncles)… I know my children’s foundation is secured. I find safety in the knowledge that these men of quality and repute who are always uncompromising in their resolve, God-fearing and men of integrity continue to be and will make good role models and examples that my children will emulate. I have been blessed to have been groomed and grow with them. Their contributions and presence has indeed been valuable. The world needs more grandfathers, fathers, father-in-law, husbands and uncles like them. Men who are inspirational leaders, examplery mentors and spiritually sound. Men of truth and the word. More grace fall on you. May God continue to bless and keep our fathers.

    • Great to know that all the Fathers around you have provided the right training, mentoring and example. It is indeed a blessing. Amen and thank you.

  • nkure

    St Paul said ” in the world you will have many teachers but only one father” . Fathers are unique. They deal with real life issues not being sentimental in any way. I have come to realise that, so I push my children especially the boys to their father . A son that is raised by a good father faces the world with boldness and confidence. You will never know the love of a father until you become a father. I give it up to all the great fathers out there. Your candid effort in raising total children will not go unrewarded. God bless all the good fathers Amen!

    Note to mothers, a son that is raised by us majorly can not match a son that his upbringing is more of the father. Let’s learn to piont them to their father for better and deeper advise. We need emotionally stable sons. I hail all good mothers

    • Fathers do have a strong influence on their sons. They just need to channel that influence the right way. Thank you.

  • Udy

    Your note to self is a sobering one. I have always found it enlightening when I read the books of Kings and Chronicles where the bible says “and he did evil in the sight of the Lord just as his father before him”. After reading your piece, my heart is renewed in my commitment to be a powerful example to my children of what a godly man looks like. Our children will certainly speak about us to their friends. O let it be in glowing terms of “what an exceptional man he was”!

    • Indeed. That is what every father looks to at the end of the day, that when our children remember us, it will be the good legacy we left for them. All other things will fade away.

  • Chidi

    This was a good read and spoke to me directly. I’m reminded that it’s not just being a successful husband but a Father figure to my intending kids..I pray to God for Grace to live an exemplary life!

  • Toosh Baba

    What a striking piece to read today. I enjoyed it. As strict as some fathers are, they are fun too..“Seek ye first the Kingdom of Book, and all others will be added to you, including a woman” every son can relate to this. I also couldn’t help but perceive the the endearing love of a father in every paragraph, but most importantly, the responsibility fatherhood demands. Even when tough love is needed. I’m also happy for admonishment in and through this piece. Fatherhood indeed is not a title but crucial responsibility EVERY man must understand. Above all, live and lead by Godly examples. I pray I’ll be an amazing one someday. Thank you.

    • The most important thing in fatherhood is love the right way. Let the love of God flow through your heart, and that’s all you need to get it right. Thank you

  • Nancy Abraham

    Chai!!! “if your child were to turn out exactly like you, will you be proud of the person you raised?” That’s a very big question for me.
    Recently, my husband declared a fast and it was my responsibility to ensure that my children(ages 16, 7, 3, & 2yrs) partake and break at their respective times. When my mum heard of the fast, she quickly expressed her disapproval of “forcing children to starve”. I had to remind her that my siblings and I were about these ages when she used to make us hold fast for longer periods, recite lengthy memory verses and even join the children choir in church. As much as we ‘hated’ my mother’s parenting method, we now see that the motive was sincere. Parenting is a deliberate, conscious decision to painstakingly do the work it requires. May God help us all.

    • Thank you. Interesting that sometimes we need to remind our parents how they were to us when they enter the grandparents shoes.

Leave a Reply

Follow My Blog

…Get new content delivered directly to your inbox

© 2024 Lifeandbecoming