That mean man was once an innocent boy, that prostitute was once a cute girl, that terrorist was once a cute child smiling, that criminal was once a baby in a mother’s womb, that wife beater was once a boy with loving eyes, that destructive wife was once a tender girl with gentle arms.
So much of the evil and disintegration of society are as a result of shattered homes. Children are born innocent and with blank minds, sadly many come into broken homes where they are exposed to violence, hate, suspicion, pain and attacks or are disowned subjecting themselves to the fate of exposure of bad if not good.
A child comes into the world mouldable and dependant on the people and forces around him/her. Whatever exposure the child gets while growing up, it dictates the child’s future. And once a child becomes a full grown adult, it is difficult for that adult to be moulded. The pride of adults makes them difficult to accept correction, it takes the grace of God to change an individual who has been messed up by growing up in a shattered home.
Shattered homes emerge from a shattered relationships/marriages. When the relationship between the father and mother is messed up it affects the quality of the home and the parenting of the children. Shattered homes are characterised by:
- Affairs either by one or both parents.
- Verbal, physical, or financial abuse between the parents.
- Constant fights between father and mother.
- A single parent who is allowing the bitterness in him/her to affect parenting.
- A parent or both parents being too busy to nurture the child.
- A parent/parents who are lost in vices like addictions.
- Parents who disown their children and the child becomes an orphan.
Children are affected by all these. They notice when something is wrong and because they longed to find a loving home to grow in but found darkness and rot, they will look for channels to find meaning and guidance in life since the parent/parents have failed.
Parenthood is more than paying fees, buying a home, expecting good grades. Parenthood is loving, mentoring, teaching, nurturing that child into an adult by being present and hands on. Parenthood is making sure the child grows in a protective environment that exposes the child to values and wisdom, that the parent/s be the strongest life-giving voice in the child’s life.
Are you a parent? Look at your child, look at the relationship between you and your spouse. Is there anything you are doing that is contrary to good parenting? Have you neglected your role?
Are you a single parent? Remember that being a single parent doesn’t mean your home is a broken home. It’s not a must for both parents to be there to make a good home. You can choose to be a single parent who raises the child/children with love, dedication, time and smiles; or you can be a single parent who avoids the child/children, doing the bare minimum, watching your children pass quickly through life as you live with anger and bitterness.
If you are a single mother and the father disowned you, don’t despise your child. Love on that child, understand the child will notice there is no father; don’t avoid that fact but walk your child through the questions. All the child needs is attention, love, clarity, hope, a support system and an enabling environment. Children are more understanding when they are empowered, bring the best out of the child.
If you are a man interested in a single mother, don’t come in and cause mayhem on the wonderful work she has been doing as a single mother. Be a blessing to the raising of the child/children, not the reason why the family breaks. If all you are bound to do is mess up her existing family, leave the single mother alone, she needs peace of mind to continue being a good parent.
Did you grow up in a broken home? Are you grateful for having parents but feel you grew up in harsh conditions devoid of love? Are you angry about how your parents raised you and failed you? Have you healed? Forgive your parent/parents, heal. Now that you are an adult, unlearn the wrongs you were exposed to, learn what it means to be a real man/woman and when you get a family, don’t break it.
Are we mentoring the young, are we safeguarding the future by nurturing the children of today? Or are we a bunch of hurting adults failing the innocent children who need us? Only a mature adult can raise a child into a full grown adult. Are we reacting to the symptoms of broken homes by punishing the adults, jailing them, labelling them, casting them away and hating on them for their wrongs? Or are we addressing the root cause, are we loving on the child before the child becomes an adult who is a menace to society and is self destructive? Closely knit and loving families with parents as their pillar rarely produce adults who are disjointed, unstable or corrupt.
Before you get married, and as that child grows inside your womb, remember how important your good parenting is. Don’t fail the family you start, don’t fail your child. Let God help you.
**Don’t Just Know**