Honour thy father and thy mother 

I spoke with a gentleman who sent a message to complain that he has been abandoned by his wife and children because he refused to move abroad with his wife, he insisted that he wanted his wife home by his side, in disobedience the woman moved abroad and the children in anger abandoned their father to die without love, care or respect for a man who gave them everything, a man without whom they will be nothing today. According to him it all started when his eldest daughter got married and started having children, his wife had to travel each time to do the traditional omugwo, a traditional period when a mother is expected to go and help her daughter who has just given birth with the new baby.

Having borne 3 daughters for him, these visits became frequent and long since the daughters got married in quick succession and were having children simultaneously. Sometimes she will be gone for months and years, on one occasion she stayed abroad for two and half years without seeing him. He said she is gone again for an undisclosed length of time and he is afraid he may be dead by the time she gets back. This poor man is seventy three, diabetic and alone with a young house boy who helps clean the house.

He is forced to cook sometimes because the small boy can’t do everything at the same time. I felt sorry for him, his wife has failed him. To the children, do not try to separate your parents, they made a vow before God to be there for each other no matter what until the end. Wifely duties are until death parts you, there is no holiday or leave. He should not have been left alone. It is not good for man to be alone Genesis 2:18. A wife’s place is beside her husband, in sickness and in health for better for worse, for richer for poorer until death parts you.

One of the greatest fears a man habors through life is being old, sick and alone, abandoned by a family he gave his youth for, people he sacrificed everything for. This fear is real especially as it has been seen to play out very often. This is more rampant amongst the igbos. A man brings up his kids, sends them abroad to further their education, toils day and night to keep up the expensive foreign education and upkeep. They graduate and decide to settle abroad. They start having kids and suddenly mummy has to go and help watch her grandkids.

These trips become very frequent and the woman is sometimes gone for months and years without any thought for her husband’s upkeep, care and emotional well being. Many men who did the right thing by giving their children everything have been so betrayed by the same children aided and abated by their wives . Most of these men have died alone, abandoned by the family they sacrificed everything for. This miserable death is followed by an expensive and elaborate funeral to celebrate a great dad, a celebration coming too late and in futility.

In the story above, the man’s wife is insensitive to have agreed to be separated from her husband for that long, especially in his present state of health. Marriage is about companionship not only now, especially in old age. Growing old together is one of the wonderful perks of marriage, it is is the reason why all of us husbands and wives, tolerate and forgive each other no matter what. It is the reason why some of us endure pain and anguish in marriage, the fear of facing old age alone is one of the reasons we remain steadfast in marriage. A great injustice has been served to this man by his wife, his daughters and regrettably his three sons whom I expect to understand that one day not too far in the future, they will be where their father is today, alone.

I feel sorry for the children who let this happen, they have not only disobeyed God and forsaken a parent, they risk their fathers curse. Fathers are everything, I personally feel very uncomfortable whenever my dad is left alone for long, I make extra effort to make sure I call him more often and try my best to provide everything he needs during my mums absence. I ensure my mums absence from home is brief whenever she is forced to tend to the needs of my sisters.

My mum will not even agree to stay knowing my Dad is alone, she is usually in a hurry to leave when she visits, we are sometimes not happy she can’t stay but we understand she has to do her duties as a wife to our father. I love my mum to death, she loves us unconditionally and has loved us that way from birth, but what is a mother’s love without the security of a father’s providence and protection? Both parents are equally valuable and extremely important, children should and must be aware of this. None of them should make you abandon the other no matter their history, divorced, separated, estranged, it doesn’t matter.

My duty as a child is to care for both parents together or individually, if they have issues the children must remain impartial. The men should be particularly careful about usurping the authority of their fathers because they feel they are now of age, made their own money and are now independent, this is callous and insensitive. You will be him someday and will have a taste of your own medicine.

Personally, the same respect and fear I had for my dad when I was under his roof still exists now that I am under my own roof, nothing has changed, as the first child, when an important family decision is required, I lean completely towards what he says even when I don’t agree with him because I cannot be wiser and more experienced than him, if I feel strongly about the disagreement, I approach him with my reasons and respectfully too, final decision still rests on him. Do not emasculate your father because you have become his provider, money is not everything, show of love and respect will prolong his life and yours too.

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you”. This is a clear instruction from God on how to treat our parents, we are not only expected to give them money or buy them things, we are instructed to honour them, that means, care, love unconditionally, respect obey and celebrate them, God made the fulfillment of this instruction a condition for our own longevity. Take heed and obey, God’s words are never empty and his promises are yea and Amen – Sir Stanley Ekezie

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40 comments

  1. Much as I agree with what you have written, however abandonment sometimes is a function of what kind of relationship the father had with his children and his wife. Providing everything does not mean he have his wife or children what they needed most – relationship, friendship and love. If this is lacking, it becomes easy for the family to move away. I don’t believe anyone who had a special bond with their family will ever be abandoned by their children or wife. Look closely and you may find that he didn’t invest his time and love into their lives. This is where men miss the point. You may train your children in the best universities, give them every worldly gift or opportunity, but if you don’t invest love, affection into that relationship, it crumbles at the slightest chance.

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  2. In as much some men may not have like you said invested their time and love. I still don’t think it’s Ok to abandon a father. Some of them did jobs that took them away from their families and some may not have been nice for no reason. I believe a man who was able to provide for his family should be appreciated, if not for anything else, for providence. The family must recognise this. God’s instructions on taking care of parents was not conditional. He says we must do it for our own sake. The man has fulfilled his own part which is to provide for his family, he may not have given love like you said, does that make it Ok for him to be left to die alone? A child may need to chart his own course, but a woman’s place is with her husband and vice versa.

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  3. Stan Ekezie I don’t disagree at all, just merely pointing out that there could be extenuating circumstances. No one should be left alone – young or old. Relationship is what makes life worth living. We all need someone.

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  4. Bros Stan Ekezie, I somehow agree with Ojiugo Wachuku. Some men were uselessly unavailable for wife and kids when they were young and active, forgetting that old age will come. Some women can’t wait for this kind of excuse to leave the man, after being emotionally or physically tortured for years. I don’t support revenge though, but sometimes and with some circumstances, I do…..

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  5. Ukachi Ukonu I know my sister, but while the woman has issues with her husband, what of the kids he trained, they may not have amounted to anything with his support and providence. I don’t believe any child should turn his/her back on a parent no matter what. Accommodating, feeding and training a child is enough for that child to show appreciation.

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  6. You maybe right u know. But I know kids are traumatized seeing their mum emotionally down or always crying. They develop hatred from there. I have not been in that shoes but I have seen young pple now (2 friends actually) saying they hate their fathers cos of what he caused their mum. How can that be handled? They only can tell what had happened. Pity.

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  7. @stan Ekezie, u have said it all. No matter wat reason, its only a foolish child dat will abandoned any of his parents. I’ve seen where a wife turns adulterous, yet she will be forgiven and considered especially by the children. It is in culture of women to be selfish especially when it comes to Omugwo. 80% of women are like DAT,but it should be the duty of the children to remind their mother her duties to d father. The first Son,and First daughter shouldn’t allow such unfair play on their father no matter d I’ll relationship they might have shared wit their Dad. Like u said,they are playing with their future, even if the father didn’t course them,God himself won’t 4give dem. I’m a first Son and first child of my family, I do not let either of my parents go astray in their duty to themselves as couples.

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  8. SIR STAN YOU KNOW THERE IS ALWAYS PLANTING SEASON AND HARVESTING SEASON INLIFE .YOU DNT EXPECT TO SOW CASSAVA AND RIPE OFF COCOAYAM .WHATEVER YOU SOW INTO PPL LIFE IS VERY LIKELY WHAT YOU WILL GET BACK .TODAYS CHILDREN ARE NOT LIKE THE YESTER YEARS KIDS WHO PLAY IGNORANT TO DADDY AND MUMMY RELATIONSHIP .CHILDREN ARE MUCH MORE CLOSER TO THEIR PARENTS NOW THAN IN THOSE DAYS. The relationship between parents and their kids now is much more inter woven than before. No child is happy wen her mum is not happy .and when women get it rough in marriage the society Re very quick to console us with words like,(thank lord you have daughters one day they will marry and omugwo will keep you off this problem you are seeing today ,just hang in it will soon be over ,I for one hear such things every day ) if the kids are boys you will hear things like ( just make sure they understand everything ,if you husband doesn’t treat you well your sons will ) so many things we use in consoling ppl esp women wen they have marital issues plays out not positive at last. Instead of digging deep into marital prob and providing concert solution we use deception to mend it.the result Re these thing you have written .most men are not caring for their family any longer.I know a man who drove his family back to the village for the past 4 years he doesn’t care weather the kids feed ,cloth ,go to school even when they are sick and adimmitted in the hospital he doesn’t come to see them .this the 8 month of the year he has not set his eyes on His kids .yet he is in Lagos enjoying .you don’t talk of his wife cos he makes sure he blocks every means of communication BTW both of them yet she and her kids live in his house in the village .the lady suffers Cry’s every day for the past 4years plus I’ll health yet the man has refused to bulge .I wonder why a man should be this mean and heartless .what do we expect for him from his wife and children in the nearest future ,definitely not love ,care .but abadonenent

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  9. My question is if mum was not a quasi nanny will they have time for her. Sir Stan Ekezie Ksc the truth is that. They could have had both mum and dad over there. I have seen so many people here using their mothers worse than house helps. Honoring your parents is not tied to their pre or post behavior prior to your adulthood. Also most of these fathers no matter how horrible contributed in some way to their upbringing. Solution bring mum and dad over

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  10. Zika Anoka Moghalu thanks my dear sister, that’s all I am saying. No matter how insensitive he was he had a choice to abandon you or stay. If he stayed and contributed towards who you have become today, you owe him.

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  11. Well no matter what vengenance rests solely with God..its not usually easy to forgive an erring father but in all things let us allow the fear of God to lead and guide us…grace can make love to grow in our heart…it is our duty to care for our parents even if it entails taking both of them abroad

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  12. God said we shld honor our father and mother , he did not say honor them when they do good and abandon them when they are not good . He commends us to honor them and there is a reward that awaits those who obey that commandment , May God help us to obey him in all things no matter how difficult it might seem at times . This is a beautiful write up and encourage u not to relent . It should be a food for thought .

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  13. Sir, I lack words to appreciate you for this expository teachings. Though my mum died when I was still in the University, I was not really in a capacity to care for her the way it should be but the little I could was well appreciated and that fetched me mammoths of blessings from her sick bed few hours before her demise. For my father who is hail and hearty, your teachings from this day, has become a blueprint for me to be a better son to him. THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU.

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  14. I do not support such act but seriously speaking some men believe that caring for one’s family is provision of financial needs. Their families never enjoyed their affection and presence. I know a woman and her children that the husband does not see anything wrong living alone overseas for years without coming home even when he does he practically spends it with friends and comes late to sleep. All the same a godly woman should forgive and stay with the husband and care for him as she made a vow before God,”For better or for worse”.

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  15. I know of man from Enugu whose wife kept in this position, he just jejely found a young lady brought her inside his matrimonial home and knew her carnally(lol),the wife had to run back home.

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  16. You made so much sense.
    My mother died 2010.my father is 80. He is not planning remarrying. We are handy. We love him. We care for him. We are everything to him. My mother did not stay anywhere long without running home. My first baby, my father travelled outside the country so my mother can stay for 7 weeks to put me through.
    How can my mother neglect my father. A man who loved her UNASHAMEDLY. who provided for her within his means. Who though my mother was a high-flying business woman was not intimidated but praised her and supported her. As for his relationship with us, we cannot describe it in words. First time I saw my father quarrel with my mother was when he was served food before we were. He shared his meat. Shared his life. We bonded. Stan Ekezie Ksc remember in Imosu then everyone knew my father;he visited me. My father visited us in our schools. He visited me in law school and whilst I was reading law. God forbid I am asked to choose between my husband father.
    My brother you have to sow to reap.
    Let the men understand that while they are following all the work or women in the world and breaking hearts of their wives, there is pay back time.
    Some irresponsible men have made their wives sole breadwinners all through their marriage. The children see, the children know. The children have come to value their mother more.
    Any woman who leaves her husband for long period is because the husband was a mean man. In the meantime, the Bible warned PARENTS DO NOT PROVOKE YOUR CHILDREN TO ANGER.

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  17. Yes great testimony of ur Dad. But no matter how limited a father’s relationship with the children was,its still not a reason for children or wife to abandon their father, it an act of foolishness. It will definitely attract punishment from God. Also remember dat ur father is a physical God u can see, God has given him dominion over his family, he can course. A wise man or woman should always avoid d course from their parents especially the father. As for d Woman, remember the promise u made to God in d alter,”for better for worse.” Ppls do not understand the meaning of “” for better and for worse

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  18. I am not in support of those who abandon their fathers.

    But won’t it be better that your children love you and are caring for you selflessly than because the Bible asked them to?

    That man starving his family, beating his wife and flaunting all his yellow pawpaw up and down, can you please tell him, it is easier to be loved because of what he did than because the Bible said, ‘for better for worse. ‘

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  19. Yea,its tru. Our prayer is for both wife and husband to be responsible to each other. But at worst senerio, do not judge, honour Gods instruction.

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  20. Amaechi Festus nobody should tell a responsible woman to be with her husband. Even if you give my mother all the gold she will never leave her ‘darling’s husband alone. At a time people who want to give birth were invited to have the baby with them where she can look after you and look after her husband.

    Once she sent money for me to come home and give birth. Of course j did not because I wanted my husband to participate in the process

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  21. When he dies the wife and children will return to bury him. What he should do is to find a mistress close to his age and enjoy the rest of his life. Cheers

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  22. Uzoma Ugoji , Not everybody can adopt to such lifestyle and its not worth it. Honestly somebody like me can’t indulge in dat one oooooo. I’m used to one soup. Lol

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  23. Amaechi Festus, thank u. I don’t want to talk more than saying thank u for ur comment. I wonder why someone would think enjoying life with a mistress is ultimate, and waiting for burial day. Am outta here…

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  24. Chinyere Iwuala Obi-Obasi, Ukachi Ukonu I know a man, a very close family friends whose family did the same thing to, they claimed he was adulterous and mean to their mother, but he provided and trained all of them in school. On his death bed he called all of them together and told them what their mother did, she was sleeping with his boss behind his back and he caught them red handed, because of them he let her stay because he didn’t want them to grow us without a mother. He never remarried but never had a normal relationship again. He died shortly after, the kids were traumatised even more for abandoning a man who did so much for them. The first daughter committed suicide a year after his burial, no one knows if it is related to her father’s situation. The moral of the story is that kids should stay out of their parents problems, a lot of men may not tell their children the reason for a problem with their mother. Children should remain impartial and let parents sort their issues out. Nothing is enough for a child to abandon a parent, especially one who provided shelter, food and education. Ask people who’s fathers or mothers absconded or abandoned them when they were young. As long as they endured each other to stay together and train you, you owe it to them to take care of them in old age no matter what

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  25. Anybody who does not take care of his parents is inhuman because we must honour God.

    However we can make it easier for the people by doing our best.

    This example you gave is one off.

    There are children who witnessed these wickedness first hand.

    They watched their father pound their mother. Some even ask their mother to run away. Some stopped their father from beating their mother.

    Some fathers married second wives and third and stopped to take care of their children.

    It is horse before the cart.

    Garbage in garbage out.
    What you sow is what you reap.
    Sow wisely!

    As for children love all the same because God is love!

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  26. Sir Stan Ekezie Ksc…..Nice write up ..bro….subject to critical analysis…in the sense that….No one lives on earth forever.We shall all die one day. both the old,or the young.A woman leaving the husband at home to attend omugwo and staying in the daughters house has not done anything wrong…but Nigerian mothers are the ones that abuse this privilege…A white woman will never do that. This should even stop.During the time of staying in the inlaws home is when they start generating controversies that later result to divorce among the couples…My question is what of those that their parents are dead..?…who does omugwu for them.?…Alternatively if the mother wants to stay away long she should provide another wife for the old man..Papa…lol….No matter the sort of love you have for your old parents,you cannot live with them forever…However ,you cannot leave your children who are growing up and concentrate on the old people totally…They have lived their lives and are preparing to see their maker…Both old and young are equally important.It is all about rationalising….

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  27. IN THE UNITED STATES, MOST OF ALL THESE STUPID, OLD, EXPIRED WOMEN, WHO COME FOR OMUGWU, COME HERE TO LOOK FOR BOY FRIENDS, AND ABANDON THERE HUSBANDS AT HOME. THEY ARE THE CAUSE OF 90% OF MARRIAGE BREAK UPS IN THE USA. I AM TALKING FROM MY OWN EXPERINCE, FROM MY EX MOTHER IN LAW.

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  28. My dear I beg to differ. If your mother inlaw can come to your house and course you and your wife to split, that means your marriage was already heading that way ini the first place. Even the man’s mother comes and stays as long as she wants and that one is even the reason for so many breakups in the US. When she comes, she begins to look into everything the daughter inlaw is doing, how she spends money ( that she probably works her ass up for), how she is preventing her son from sending money home and what have you!!! What would your old dad be looking for outside, just because his wife went to do OMUGWO for 1-2 years????? And please, NOT every mother who comes to do omugwo in the US, comes to look for boyfriend. Some have self control.

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  29. Hugh Okoro habaaaaa my brother no be all of dem dey do as you talk ooh. My mama don stay here for 5yrs and my marriage still dey wax strong.

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  30. OGE, MY SISTER, U ARE BLESSED.. BUT I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT. THIS MOTHER INLAWS ARE SOME THING ELSE. U GO TO NIGERIAN PARTIES IN ATLANTA, HOUSTON, NEWYORK, U SEE THEM DANCING LOOKING FOR YOUNG MEN, WHILE MOST OF THEM HAVE EITHER KILLED THERE HUSBANDS OR ABANDONED THE OLD MAN IN NIGERIA TO ROT AWAY. A FRIEND OF MINE ONCE TOLD ME THAT HIS MOTHER IN LAW WAS ASKING AFTER ME, THAT CAN HE FLY HER OVER TO SEE ME. TRUE TALK. THAT SHE IS JUST 61 YRS OLD. MAKE UNA SEE ME SEE TROUBLE OOOO.

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  31. Ndubuisi Ekomaru, Our parents are not expecting their children to abandon their lives and live them, the trained you to be independent and have your own family. However, what they expect is for us to take care of them, constant calls and occasional visits when necessary should do it. Provide for those who can’t provide for themselves. Given back a fraction of what they gave you in terms of love and care. That should do it

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  32. Stan Ekezie Ksc..My brother things have changed..lol…They cannot expect that because when they were young, there was no internet, x-box,laptop,…whats up, mobile phone, twitter, facebook..video call.etc lol…Why can’t we build old people’s homes in Nigeria…as they have in the Advance world?…My parents are still alive, and aging…You don’t expect me to leave my business,my kids,and stay with them 24 hrs…I always call them , render some financial help as I can…but they have to do the rest for themselves….and wait for their maker to take them back…any time the maker want…

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  33. Ndubuisi Ekomaru My own parents are alive as well, and I try to look after them the way they did me. It’s not possible to be physically present all the time, but the calls and checking up on them is all they need. I speak to them almost on a daily basis, it doesn’t cost me anything to make them feel loved and appreciated.

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  34. My brother your piece is a good one.Ur example about the man you know who was unfairly treated by his wife and kids abroad is also apt and a true story.But in looking at the issue of care and love for parents,we must also appreciate the fact that in life generally circumstance dictate and provoke the kind of action and reactions people make.You may have or been having a brilliant relationship with your family which can only be a good thing but there are a good number of people who have not.Not because they don’t want to or have not tried to,but for some reason it hasn’t been.It’s all well to suggest that it is right to so do but it is also important to embrace the fact that certain situations are hard to deal with and we must continue to try to contain them

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