We rejoice with all men and fathers as we commemorate Father’s Day 2023. We offer thanks to God on behalf of all fathers in this Diocese and beyond for the gifts of life, health, and family.
Father’s Day 2023 offers us another opportunity to celebrate our place as family heads and nation builders. Surely, without fathers, there will be no nation. Fathers are founders and burden bearers of families. They also offer direction; steering mothers and children in the direction that the family should go.God boasted about our Father Abraham, that he would command his family to follow the way of God (Genesis 18: 19). God expects the same from all fathers in all generations.
As we celebrate this year, let us reflect deeply on our God-given roles in the family, and also in the society. Apart from being the initiators of new families, fathers are fluences in homes. What this implies is that homes tend to lose their stability when the father does not occupy his place as head of the family. When this unfortunate situation occurs, the consequences are many – for the mother, for the children, and ultimately for the larger society. In our particular case in Nigeria, we are pained to observe the consequences of the failure of godly parenting / fatherhood in the lives of our young people (especially young men). Due to the fact that many fathers abandoned their duty posts, our society has had to endure embarrassing outcomes in the form of widespread delinquency amongst our youths.
However, all hope is not lost. We call on all fathers to rededicate themselves to the ideals of true fatherhood, and to become ambassadors and campaigners for positive change among men / in the society. The word of God says,
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2Chronicles 7: 14
Fathers Day 2023 is another opportunity for us to call attention to the need for this change, and to encourage one another to become responsible husbands and fathers.We are not unaware of the many challenges of daily living in our nation Nigeria, which make it harder for people to live up to the ideals that they themselves know is good for them and society. Nevertheless, we call on all fathers (in fact, all persons) to remain firm in their resolve to live Godly lives and subscribe to the best of family values. It is only as we return to this narrow way that we can hope for a better society. Everything we need to be victorious over life challenges, God has given in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8: 37).
Once again, Happy Father’s Day to all our men!
Many happy returns!!
The Most Revd J. O. Akinfenwa D.D, Ph.D Lord Bishop of Ibadan Anglican Diocese