By Canon S Sebastian Campbell
HOW tragic it is to have a Mother’s Day! Just as tragic, I suppose, to have a Father’s Day. It takes two to tango. Sin has caused the separation. Isn’t it ideal to celebrate Parents’ Day, or better, Family Day?
God has never ordained to have the family separated; no one unit should ever stand on its own.
In my own life experience, I can never think of Mummy without Daddy. Both held ‘the fort’ together; they were always there for us.
Married and under the same roof, working and playing together, worshipping as one on the Lord’s Day and at weekday mass. Feeling the pain of each child and wiping tears from every eye. Upholding education among the chief of all rules, only next to worship and daily recitation of prayers, steeped in the lifeblood of good manners. Today, along with my 10 siblings, we celebrate and praise God for planting us in the ideal, God-centered family where one felt the presence of God.
In comparison to today’s standard, we lived in poverty and didn’t even know it. Love outmatched material gain, and for that we praise and glorify our great God.
In the real world though, we know there is another side. Many experience a grave imbalance in family life. It is so unfair that so many mothers bring children into the world without the assurance of a father in the home. Seventy plus per cent of children being born out of wedlock has a severe social implication that warrants intentional address.
Then, too, there is the problem of the ‘deadbeat dads’. Again, we need intentional address, because unfortunately all of society suffers as victims of the product of such realities.
Society must demand more for the family. We must unashamedly begin by celebrating the ideal family, thank God for the many among us who succeed with the challenge of a balanced family. We should uphold such unions as exemplary; celebrate and use such as role models.
Some moral code of conduct must be in place for role models, hired by us, to come up to scratch and know that much is expected from them. We must insist on the ideal as the standard and stop celebrating low-down immoral behaviour.
The government in partnership with the church can only bear fruit of promise and healing. Dialogue as to the way forward is of urgent necessity so that at least our people will know that our two largest partners, church and state, are consistent on the ideals and standard of family life.
It is sad that in our recent history politicians, other public officials and the ‘influentials’ are noted for ‘multi-families’ and children scattered all over our landscape.
Hope is here; let’s pray that help is on the way. For too long we have accepted such behaviour as normal. Today we suffer the consequences.
As partners, government and church must look at our youth and community centres with a view to providing and outfitting them with trained caring personnel and employing those ‘pearls’ of our nation – the mothers and fathers who are on the ‘junk pile’ of life – and incorporate them into our rescue programme. No effort must ever be spared in building strong families or we will be forever doomed in throwing away money on the backside of life, like in our prison and industrial schools.