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Be Strong And Grow In God’s Image, Likeness’

Be Strong And Grow In God’s Image, Likeness’
September 10
15:41 2017

The following is a message from the Methodist Church in Fiji Men’s Fellowship Department secretary Revered Buisena Raivoka on Father’s Day. 

According to some accounts, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington State on the west coast of the United States on June 19, 1910. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.

Ever since that day the celebration of Father’s Day has been recognised internationally.

The Church also incorporates Father’s Day as a Sunday to observe and reflect and acknowledge the roles of not only fathers but all males in our families, communities and society as a whole.

Christianity has taken its cue from the Bible in regards to the celebration of Father’s Day.  The Bible is very clear of the role of all fathers and men and that is to love, care, provide and to worship and fear the Lord.

However, it has never been easy to try and elevate the father figure in societies today due to the many incidents that have distorted the very purpose and meaning of this important role.

The ODPP reports on sexual offences is an example of this.

In 2016 alone, there were 16 people charged with a total of 46 separate incidents in May. The offences were rape (29), attempted rape (1), defilement (2) and sexual assault (14). Of the 16 people charged, two are pastors involved in serious sexual offences.

There were 25 victims of the 46 separate incidents.

There were a total of 18 victims under the age of 18 years. Of these 18, there were 11 rape victims and 9 sexually assaulted victims under the age of 18 years.

There were 11 sexual offences that occurred in domestic relationships. There was one serious sexual offence that involved a 4-year-old and the accused person was the father of the victim.

All these crimes were inflicted by men who are fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, husbands, pastors to the victims.

While fathers and men are being chastised for the sins some have committed, the Methodist Church in Fiji, continues to observe, acknowledge and stress the important role males and fathers play in society.

The Methodist Men’s department has themed this year’s Father’s Day: “Be strong and Grow in God’s Image and Likeness”.

It illustrates:

1. The focus is to ensure that men are nurtured spiritually to be able to elevate the Church and encounter the changes of this modern world.

2. Men are encouraged to fully understand their savior Jesus and commit their faith in Him and to grow in his image and likeness (Gen. 1:26).

3. That all men live to understand their status, identify as men in their homes in the church and in the society.

4. That all men honour and respect God’s creation.

These are important focus areas which we believe will help elevate the image from how fathers and men are being negatively portrayed by society.

While sharing the Church’s perspective on Father’s Day, it is also important that we realize and acknowledge hard working fathers in whatever profession they belong to, who have sacrificed so much in ensuring that families are safe, businesses function, security is provided, peace is achieved   and children are raised in a safe and promising environment.

We should also take time to acknowledge fathers who are disabled, in hospitals around Fiji and also in corrections centres.

Those who are not with their families due to special circumstances, like peace keeping duties in the Middle East, education and work commitments overseas.

The Methodist Church of Fiji will continue to commit to helping fathers through their various ministries and programmes. We plead with fathers around our nation irrespective of our pluralistic make up society to be faithful to your marriages, to commit into raising your children through education, spiritual nurturing and love.

The fabric that holds our society together is our families. Let us create a healthy and safe environment for our children by protecting our families and stand to implement God’s calling to us as fathers and men of integrity and of principles.

We wish all males and fathers a blessed Fathers Sunday and pray that the almighty God will bless our role and guide us for He is our great Heavenly Father.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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