During our morning prayers, I overheard my husband say the words, “Father, your presence is all we need today”. Those lines are not new but today, they stopped my own prayers and my thoughts began to wander, as I stopped to ponder on those words.

Father – a parent figure; Presence – a state of mind or physical location.

When we finished praying, I decided to drill my husband on the obvious.

Me: Why is God’s presence all we need for today?
Idorenyin: (wondering look on his face that screamed ‘Seriously’)
Me: Just flow with me, we are going somewhere
Idorenyin: His presence guarantees our safety, direction and provision
Me: Exactly! and that is what our children deserve from us as parents; I exclaimed like I just had a light bulb moment.

That dialogue gave birth to today’s article – ‘Are you there?’. The answer could be Present, Absent, Absent but Present or Present but Absent.

Present – physically and emotional there;
• Absent – not available;
• Present but Absent – physically present but emotionally distance or absent.
• Absent but Present – physically absent but present through other media like written words of instructions.

I will like to dwell on ‘Present but absent. Is it possible to be present but absent, oh yes! I have experienced each one, so I speak from experience. I have had days when I had to be physically absent from my children for work or pleasure. I have also had other days where I was right there in the living room with my children but while my body was there, my mind and attention was trapped somewhere else…maybe Instagram or WhatsApp chat, who knows. So while my little ones chatted away, my responses gave me off as being present but absent.

My children are a bold bunch and I suspect they must have called me out a few times. God bless them for keeping me accountable.

One of the key responsibility of a parent is Presence. Like my husband prayed, a lot of times, our presence is all our children need to guarantee safety, provision and direction. I will say it again, you cannot outsource or delegate your presence to your spouse, sibling, relative or staff. As long as you are alive and well, your physical, mental and spiritual location should be where your child is most of the time, especially in their formative years. How else will you train up a child in ‘the way’? You can only shape and reshape if you are there to observe a deviation that requires redirecting. When these children are old and trust me, the time goes by faster than you think, you can release them to the world, knowing fully well that your training will guide them through life.

Question for Us – Where are you? Present, Absent, Absent but Present or Present but Absent!

Parenting is very important to God, no wonder children are asked to honour their father and mother that it may be well with them – the first commandment with a promise.

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:2‭-‬3 NKJV

It is our prayer that as you embark on this important work of parenting God’s generals, you will be Present and honourable. God bless you!

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  • Irene Jima Aduduabasi Michael


  • Affiong John Abakasanga

    This is very practical and a great reminder to us parents. I have 2 girls who need answers to every question they ask. As such, I am there or my husband is there to give them the best response from God’s perspective. I find it difficult to leave my children with a relative without my presence. Our presence is much needed in training our children. Thank you my Pastors for this reminder. God bless you.

  • Faith Patrick

    Good day Ma, I don’t know if it will be possible to give practical ways on how to honor your parents. Thank You.

    • Hello Faith, we will plan to share something on this soon. Thank you for reaching out to us.

  • Oryiman

    This made my day. Sometimes we’re carried away with other life struggles and we find ourselves in the category of ‘Present but Absent’.

    Most important lesson in the article for me is the line where it says “…you cannot outsource or delegate your presence to your spouse, sibling, relative or staff.”

    Very important.

    Be blessed always Thelma & Idorenyin

  • 👍🏾 Nice one. So relatable -‘been there done that’ moments as I read through. Thank you for sharing!
    As a family we hold dearly to Exodus 33:14 – asking, thanking God for His presence being with each of us personally each day, wherever we go, ensuring all is fine for us.
    Your writing makes me see that each of us too, like papa God need to ensure that our children feel and know our ‘presence’ in a ‘personal’ way at all times. It doesn’t matter what they do, wherever they ‘go’ or whatever their age. That’s how we know we have learnt the ‘train up’ task.

    • Thank you for the scripture reference highlighting the importance of Presence……

      And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”
      Exodus 33:14‭-‬16 NKJV

  • Anita Udom

    Most times, we fall under the category of present but absent. It’s awakening for us. Thank you

    • Thank you for your comment. I pray that we become better parents to our children



    • Thank you for your comment, we are happy to be able to share our thoughts on parenting.

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