Rev. K. Richard Tonnonlah
Pastor – In – Charge, David Gueh UMC
A Methodist prelate has emphasized the characteristics of a good man as pre-requisites to being a good father. The Rev. K. Richard Tonnonlah, Senior Pastor of the David Gueh Memorial United Methodist Church in Paynesville, suburb of Monrovia said functioning and taking responsibility as well as thinking, acting and working like a man are among pre-requisites to being a good father.
Preaching on the theme, “A Good Father” with text from Joshua 24: 14-18 during Father’s Day celebration Sunday at the church, he said good fathers are those who have learned to lean on Jesus in times of difficulties and troubles, adding “The best thing you can ever do is to be a good husband and a good Father to your Children…”
Quoting Apostle Paul in the New Testament book Ephesians 5:23, he stressed that the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and saviour of the body, but quickly reminded, headship is not being the big boss; it is loving leadership.
Rev. Tonnolah explained that in God’s wisdom, he has given each family a head rather than two, therefore, fathers’ headship is not a privilege; it is a responsibility that one must perform as the head of his family.
Citing examples of two powerful men in the Holy Bible who led the people of God, but had problems taking care of their families, he said Prophet Eli was head of the Temple of God, but could not run his family – I Samuel 3:13; and King David could run a kingdom and lead men into battle, but could not run his children – I Kings 1:5-6.
“What is your pastor saying on this Fathers’ Day to the fathers of David Gueh? I mean do not put anything before your family. Your family is your responsibility and charge to keep. Fathers of David Gueh, God is going to ask you how well you managed the charge I gave you to keep and not how many houses, cars, or TV sets did you put in the house for them while you are doing something else on the other side.”
During the ceremony, Father Jerome Sumo was sashed, crowned and certificated “Father of the Year 2016/’17”. He said the decisions that fathers take today, will determine how healthy their families will become tomorrow, adding, “My people, if you are leading as father, not children father, or feather, the Lord Jesus will bless many because of your fatherly headship in your community.”
He said the people of Israel told Joshua when he decided to stand as father in his home; “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! – Josh 24: 16. “Fathers, what are you leaving behind? Your influence never dies. Good or bad, right or wrong never dies. Are you a godly influence on your family or negative-ungodly? Enoch lives in an ungodly world, yet he walks with God. Fathers, yes, we live in an ungodly world, but we can walk with God, and be a Godly father”,
He reminded that the wife is the glory of her husband, which means if she looks bad of in the street, it is the husband’s reflection, adding “Therefore, let us encourage all fathers to treat their wives as they will treat their own bodies. God has given you and me charge to manage our family as head and He (God) will ask us to give an account of our families.”
Rev. Tonnonlah also stressed, a Godly father is a man of prayer, and in order to be a good father in an ungodly world, he should keep on his knees and walk with Jesus, for the days are evil. “Mothers, children, Christians are you walking with God? Or are you going your own way? Remember as a Godly father or a child of God, never walks alone, always walk with Jesus and he will direct your path. Are you ready? I can only hope and pray that you will give Jesus a chance to lead you as you lead your family.”
Father’s Day is celebrated universally by Christians in June each year just like annual Mother’s Day in May. The day was first celebrated in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas. This celebration has been going for 106 years now.