(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Akobe, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kabba has reiterated that children are gifts from God and are bestowed on parents so that they can prepare them for the kingdom of God. Speaking on the theme for the 3rd Session of the 8th Synod, “Raising Godly children: Our responsibility and pride (A focus on the family)” held at the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, Kabba, the Bishop said parenting is a serious responsibility that carries grave consequences. He explained that upbringing of children is squarely the responsibility of parents, who according to him, chose to participate in the act that produces children and are thus responsible for them; not the government, schools or Churches that had no part in bringing them into the world.
Bishop Akobe observed that many parents do not want to accept their responsibility as parents and so they expect others to raise their children, including baby-sitters and day-care centers. He cited the High Priest, Eli in the Bible as an example of a father who did not play his role in the raising of his children; noting that a father must take an active role in parenting and lead by example. The cleric pointed out that the world is in urgent need of Godly and well brought up children, who are obedient, humble and respectful. Hence, he called on parents to train up their children in the fear and ways of the Lord; teaching them to always be obedient to God’s will.
He said, “The aim of bringing up children is not to fulfill certain obligations, but to create temples of the Holy Spirit.”
The Bishop of Kabba Anglican diocese stressed that God’s word is the standard that parents should use to raise children who are God-fearing; challenging fathers to make family devotion a priority in their homes. According to him, “the foundation for both a great marriage and successful parenting is to love the Lord supremely above every other love.” Thus, he charged parents to focus on training their children to serve God, so they can receive eternal life, rather than bombarding them with physical advantages that neither makes them godly nor happy. To accomplish this, Bishop Akobe said “parents must give their children many things that money cannot buy, such as quality time, love, instruction in God’s word, guidance in dealing with life’s problems, an example of godliness, and training in moral purity.”