Handling your parent’s weak moments
I am the first child of the twenty-one children by my father. Four other women had ten children for him, while my mother alone gave birth to eleven of us. If you like, call it a football team. My grandparents gave birth to four children with my father, being the only male among them. Because of their strong Christian beliefs, my grandfather refused to marry another woman outside Dorcas, my grandmother.
After my parents gave birth to me, the seven children next to me all happened to be females. But my father’s Christian foundation was not as strong as that of my grandparents. This made him have twenty-one children. Thank God that later in his life, he saw that he made a mistake. He repented and decided to walk the Christian walk.
My father was not a poor man at all. But feeding, clothing and paying the school fees of twenty-one children was never going to be a tea party. The man loved education. All of my mother’s eleven children turned out to be university graduates. So, when I finished from University of Ife in 1980 and got a job, he expected me to help financially. Instead, after sometime, I informed him and my mom that I wanted to get married. They did not stop me, but the excitement was not there. I borrowed a wrapper from a friend, while I went to my father’s room and took one of his hats and a walking stick. That was how I dressed on the day I paid Carol’s bride price. I looked like a man from Ethiopia dressed up in Nigerian traditional attire.
When the bride price paying team and I returned to his house, my father asked me after all had left, how many hats or walking sticks I had bought for him and yet, I had the boldness to wear his hat and use his walking stick. That made me sad but not angry. I knew it was frustration, due to the heavy financial load he was carrying. I knew it was a moment of weakness and not wickedness. I could hardly eat that night. I did not tell Carol or any other person what my father said to me. Why should a child be angry with his or her parents, when the Bible tells children to honour their father and mother, so that it shall be well with them? I did not want to behave like Noah’s middle son, who saw his father’s nakedness and in laughter or anger announced it to his two brothers. I saw my father’s behaviour as his moment of weakness. His, was financial frustration. Unlike the middle son who went to announce his father’s nakedness, I behaved like the first and last sons of Noah, who covered their father’s weak moment.
Normal parents show much love and spend a large part of their lives labouring for their children’s success. Children should correct erring parents in love and deep respect. It is not proper for a child to get angry, redefine relationship, disconnect, rebel or announce to family friends and foes how bad their parents are just because of some weaknesses. If such a child does not change his or her ways, something worse is likely to happen to them much more than what they did to their parents. It is difficult to find a child, who disgraced his parents as Absalom did, to live long like a king David or to die the peaceful death of a king David. Honour your father and your mother that it may be well with you. (Ephesians 6:2-3). Love you.
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