I feel thankful attending this first school for fathers in Sarawak. This is the 7602th time it has been conducted worldwide since 1995. This school gave me great inspiration, spiritual nourishment and equipment. It was a stopover in life that I can’t ask for, letting me temporarily put down my burdens and explore the ups and downs of fatherhood with 55 brothers from other churches.
The design of this curriculum cleverly allowed me to open up and share my weaknesses with the brothers in the group and be willing to allow them to freely discuss my remarks for future reference. Although time did not allow us to do more in-depth communication, fortunately this course came with alumni allowing us further opportunities for bonding in the future.
In the school, I experienced the fact that tears are a natural and acceptable form of expression. Men are also human beings with feelings created by God. Men, in order to be strong and even live in repressed traditional families, are not willing to express their feelings to others but in our school for fathers we understood that each other’s weaknesses could be accepted. We cherished and encouraged each other.
In four nights filled with fellowship, praise, video presentations, group discussions, testimonies and other activities, I got to know more about a father’s influence, a father’s manhood, a father’s mission, a father’s spirituality and the family. In addition I learned about the four characteristics that dads need to play namely, the leader, the warrior, the teacher and the friend.
At the same time, it created an opportunity to rethink my relationship with my dad on earth, rethink the education needs of the present and to decide the part of the culture to be inherited, and which part must be discarded. I accepted adjustments and repositioning through this learning process. I also realized that if a father wants to establish a good relationship with his children, he must do two things. Firstly he must establish a good relationship with Father in heaven. Only through this, he can know better about himself and handling himself. Secondly he must also maintain a good relationship with his wife and further work together with her to lead their children to the path that God designed.
After attending this school, my wife said she observed a significant improvement in the quantity and quality of my communication with our child. I initiated a simple meeting with my wife and child every night before going to bed. We shared the daily thankful moments and appreciated the time for praying and hugging. My child enjoyed these moments very much so that he called me and waited for me if I went home late. Although the time was short for this simple gathering, it allowed our hearts to be blended in the word of the Lord. As I see my child growing up, I pray that God gives me strength and wisdom to lead my family and be a good father who is competent and righteous in the eyes of God.
Jason Tay Yeong Soon,
Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu