By Owuor Kuyoh:
On my way to and from work every weekend, I almost always stumble onto the same scenario. A mother, with a child on her back, and three or four other kids in successive height and age – if they stand next to each other they form a flight of stairs…and when they walk hand in hand…you guessed it, an escalator! Ok, game face on. For the longest time I've always asked myself; “Where is the father?” It disturbs me when I stand outside the church and I see a woman, purse and bible in one hand and her poor excuse of a man in the other in his beach shorts and sandals still trying to catch up with time coz his mind is still on last night's events. We all have a friend , a sister, a cousin, struggling to raise that child coz the man thought this is just a game and you can reset it if it goes wrong. Where is the man? You look at that picture and deep down inside you know it's incomplete. And you know why. You can't say it but you know it. Everyone does.
There is no father. There is no man.
Why? He's still a child.
When I was a child…
A lot of my childhood friends went through circumcision, and of course, we would wait patiently for the next victim so we could come to your house and taunt you endlessly to ride a bike…fun times! As always your dad would parade you in your leso or kikoy and sing like a sampled beat how “You're now a man!!” From then on, tears were abolished, the kitchen was a bio-hazard zone and you did “manly” things now…like wash the car and order your sisters and pee while standing. You got very weird advice from your uncles and older brothers on all manner of things. Weird…and creepy…and nonsensical! Truth – being circumcised didn't make you any more a man than shaving all your hair made you Michael Jordan. You were still a child. You are still a child and I'll prove it to you. Your hair grew back Michael Jordan.
…I talked like a child, thought like a child, reasoned like a child…
I can't count the number of times my friends were found in a scuffle all because one had called the other this offensive derogatory Kikuyu term that relegated him to “small boy” status. Well that's what the truth was and still is. Real men don't fight, small boys do. You're irrational, you're selfish, you play games with toys, you throw tantrums, you're always right, can't handle the truth, when things go wrong you cry for mummy. Everything is about you. You're the life of the party. You just don't tell jokes. You are one. And the cream of the crop? Your friends are small boys, just like you. You get advice from them, wasting time on boyish agendas. How does a child offer a fellow child advice? Then at the end of the day, you call yourself a man? Coward. Shame on you. You need a higher spiritual and moral authority, who's been there before; who did it, made mistakes sometimes but learnt well enough to teach you different. For a long time in my life, I fell in this category. I loved playing games! No end in sight. Ducking from authority that sensed my boyish tendencies and my manly potential like it was hide and seek. I hurt people, scarred them for life. Looking for the latest toy and treating girls like the same. I disgusted me. I knew what to do. I needed to change.
When I became a man…
Part of the reason many fathers are harsh towards men their daughters bring home is because they fear the guy's capability, his intentions. Deep down they know how sinful he is. He sees himself in this guy, how he treated other women and it horrifies him, terrifies him that this man will do the same to his precious princess. Some of you have idealized women, because of that you think you can treat her as you please, make promises you know you'll never keep, putting someone's precious daughter, God's child in harm's way. 1Tim 5:2 says “… treat younger women as sisters with absolute purity.” If you won't do it with your sister don't do it with her .You want to treat women with honor? Go through your iPod, laptop, phone etc. Delete any music, video, picture or statement that refers or depicts a woman as a bitch, a whore, a slut, or any other derogatory term, delete it now! In its place put in any other thing that doesn't espouse this quality. Do it. Be a man.
For the longest time my definition of a man was “what a woman isn't”. So anything that I saw mum do I didn't. It was plain and simple. My mum hugged so I didn't, she said molly-cuddly stuff so I was rude and brash. She played with my sisters so I beat them WWE style. I was a fool. Later on in life I came to realize we are all made in the likeness of God so we have the same emotions, feelings, passions and we express them in masculine and feminine ways. It's no surprise these days when my eyes become sweaty once in a while.
…I put the ways of childhood behind me.
A real man is a leader. Leadership is for men, not boys. If you lay claim to a life in Christ, then you are called to lead. A man failing to lead is a man leading in failure. In this area if you are a failure it erodes all your dignity. It robs you of all masculinity –treating a woman in a dishonorable and disrespectful way. It doesn't matter who she is; your mother, your sister, your wife or the one you're playing games with. You're a failure. Put away your toys and stop sitting with boys all the time. You have two choices; you'll either chase women or lead men. A leader takes responsibility for his future. Find a man, a group of men who love God, their wives and their children. Learn from them, pursue them, ask questions, and observe them in their element. Start acting your age and not your shoe size.
For gender parity, I have an excerpt for the ladies! There are no good men! They're all the same. Yes? No! It's the men you meet and attract; they are all the same. What's the common denominator in all these men? It's you. Enter my rudimentary fishermanomics; How does a fisherman determine what to bait his hook with? Or what net to cast out? What he's fishing for. It's plain and simple, you catch what you've baited for. If you dress, act, behave, think, and give the impression of a woman with no care in the world, you'll attract a man who cares for nothing in the world. Act like a commodity you'll attract men who'll use you, abuse you, break you, try to fix you and throw you away coz they have the new model (pun intended). Carry yourself as a woman of purpose and principle, unshakeable faith and surround yourself with people of this caliber and you'll most probably attract the same. Ok I've said enough. Girls, class dismissed.
…then I shall know fully as I am fully known.
I'm not the perfect man. I still make mistakes, still hurt people, and still do childish things sometimes. Being a real man isn't supposed to be easy. It's a lifelong sacrifice, a learning path that must lead to Christ. And that is the essence of it all. If you're not leading your girlfriend, your wife, your sister, your mother or any other girl in your life to Christ, you're failing. You have a choice to make today. You'll either make men or ruin women. Put those toys away, put on your pants and man up. When someone asks “Where is the father? Where is the man?” You should be in a position to stand up and say. “Here I am.”
Be different, be extraordinary. Be one of the few good men.
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