During our morning prayers, I overheard my husband say the words, “Father, your presence is all we need today”. Those lines are not new but today, they stopped my own prayers and my thoughts began to wander, as I stopped to ponder on those words.
Father – a parent figure; Presence – a state of mind or physical location.
When we finished praying, I decided to drill my husband on the obvious.
Me: Why is God’s presence all we need for today?
Idorenyin: (wondering look on his face that screamed ‘Seriously’)
Me: Just flow with me, we are going somewhere
Idorenyin: His presence guarantees our safety, direction and provision
Me: Exactly! and that is what our children deserve from us as parents; I exclaimed like I just had a light bulb moment.
That dialogue gave birth to today’s article – ‘Are you there?’. The answer could be Present, Absent, Absent but Present or Present but Absent.
• Present – physically and emotional there;
• Absent – not available;
• Present but Absent – physically present but emotionally distance or absent.
• Absent but Present – physically absent but present through other media like written words of instructions.
I will like to dwell on ‘Present but absent. Is it possible to be present but absent, oh yes! I have experienced each one, so I speak from experience. I have had days when I had to be physically absent from my children for work or pleasure. I have also had other days where I was right there in the living room with my children but while my body was there, my mind and attention was trapped somewhere else…maybe Instagram or WhatsApp chat, who knows. So while my little ones chatted away, my responses gave me off as being present but absent.
My children are a bold bunch and I suspect they must have called me out a few times. God bless them for keeping me accountable.
One of the key responsibility of a parent is Presence. Like my husband prayed, a lot of times, our presence is all our children need to guarantee safety, provision and direction. I will say it again, you cannot outsource or delegate your presence to your spouse, sibling, relative or staff. As long as you are alive and well, your physical, mental and spiritual location should be where your child is most of the time, especially in their formative years. How else will you train up a child in ‘the way’? You can only shape and reshape if you are there to observe a deviation that requires redirecting. When these children are old and trust me, the time goes by faster than you think, you can release them to the world, knowing fully well that your training will guide them through life.
Question for Us – Where are you? Present, Absent, Absent but Present or Present but Absent!
Parenting is very important to God, no wonder children are asked to honour their father and mother that it may be well with them – the first commandment with a promise.
It is our prayer that as you embark on this important work of parenting God’s generals, you will be Present and honourable. God bless you!
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