The Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International has urged fathers to affirm their children, discipline them in love and not be authoritative or too permissive.
In his virtual Father’s Day sermon on Sunday, 21 June 2020, Bishop Charles Agyinasare, who is popularly known as the ‘Nations’ Pastor’, said: “A father must be an affirmer”.
“Someone said: ‘When my father bragged on me or about me, I worked really hard’. So, when fathers affirm children the children feel so proud. God is the best father. And, so, when He sent His only begotten son, when Jesus was being baptised, in Luke 3:22, God shouted: ‘This is my beloved son in whom I am well-pleased. He was affirming his son. If even Jesus, who was a perfect man when he came down, had to be affirmed by the Father, then if you’re a father, you must affirm your children”, Bishop Agyinasare said.
As far as disciplining children go, he said in Ephesians 6:4, The Living Bible (TLB) says: ‘Fathers, don’t keep scolding and nagging at your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up in the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves’”.
“Now, if you’re a father, you correct your children but you don’t scold them and nag at them”, Bishop Agyinasare condemned, observing: “There are parents who will disgrace their children before their friends”.
He advised: “When your child does something wrong before his friends, give him time; when the friends go, then you deal with the issue. Otherwise, you make those children angry and resentful”.
“The Bible says: ‘Rather bring them up in the loving discipline the Lord himself approves’. That means there is some discipline the Lord does not approve. Some fathers say that: ‘Foolishness is at the heart of the child; the rod of correction will drive it out’, and, so, they beat their children, take a belt, a cane and beat their children till their children are blistering all over”.
“That is not the loving discipline that God approves. If you have to beat your child; you see, you’re not beating your child because you’re angry and you’re not beating your child as if you’re fighting with your child, because you don’t fight with your child. In fact, I stop beating my children when they get to the age of 12. Because from the age of 12, if you’re not careful and you want to beat them, if you hit them, they will stand and also [display signs of aggression]. So, at the age of 12, you should be able to talk to your children, and you talk without demeaning them and still make them know that they didn’t do well”, Bishop Agyinasare counselled.
Bishop Agyinasare buttressed his point with Colossians 3:20, which says: ‘Fathers, don’t scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quit trying’. “If you’re a father, you don’t have to get your children discouraged, you don’t have to make them quit trying”.
“That means”, Bishop Agyinasare explained, “That when they even fail, you encourage them to rise up because those who don’t fail are those who don’t keep trying. But the fact that your child failed that one time doesn’t mean that is the end of the child. So, encourage the child, and remember the words of a father play a very big part in the lives of the children”.
“Words are very powerful in nurturing children”, he noted, adding: “There are fathers, who, because of something the child did, they’ve closed off the child. No. Your child must know that no matter what happens, home is home”.
“As for a father, you must remember that words are very powerful in the nurturing of your children, and, so, be careful what you say to them”.
Bishop Agyinasare warned fathers to guard against being either extremely dictatorial or too liberal when it comes to disciplining their children.
“A father must discipline his children in love. If you’re disciplining your child in love, then you don’t want to be an authoritative father. Authoritative fathers have rigid rules and they demand absolute obedience. They don’t bend. They are, sometimes, inconsiderate. Authoritative fathers are extra strict. Every father must be strict but you don’t have to be extra strict. They place unnecessary high demands on the children. Authoritative fathers don’t respect the views of their children. When their children make a mistake, they punish them in anger without allowing the children to even explain. Your children must be able to explain to you why they took a certain kind of decision”, the man of God noted.
He said: “Such authoritative fathers produce rebellious children. Those children become less cheerful, they become very moody, and most of the times end up being very rebellious. Authoritative fathers don’t show emotions to their children. They don’t show to their children they care. Children under such fathers are always living in constant fear. They are always anxious. When they hear daddy is coming home, instead of running to the door to go and meet daddy, they run to go and hide. If they are doing something, they’ll be shaking. Authoritative fathers produce children who cannot make their own decisions in life. And, when you go into the lives of such children, they have deep-seated anger and they have hatred toward their parents. Such children can easily rebel when they become adolescents”.
On the other hand, he urged fathers not to be too permissive.
“Permissive fathers operate a liberal style of discipline. They give unnecessary liberties to the child and they just give gifts in a very unrestricted manner. I mean, for a three-year-old child, they can give that child a car. Their children can go out and stay as long as they want; they allow their unmarried children to spend the night with their girl or boyfriend in the same room, or even go and sleep with them outside. Permissive fathers over pamper their children. The children of permissive parents look externally happy but lack the necessary self-control to make responsible choices. The children of permissive parents treat the people around them with contempt and disregard”, Bishop Agyinasare added.
He said it is imperative that fathers raise their children in love and control.
Such fathers, he noted, teach their children. Falling on the Bible to drive home that point, Bishop Agyinasare quoted Genesis 18:19, which says: ‘For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him’.
Such fathers, Bishop Agyinasare added, “teach by example and are also an example to their children. They are also consistent as an example their children. They also train their children in accordance with Proverbs 22:6, which says: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it’”.
“Fathers must not magnify the weaknesses of their children and not overreact at the poor performance of the children in school”, he cautioned as well.