A Man

By Isaiah Oyemade

The futuristic realm is the dwelling place of fathers. A place where they are meant to be, by sacrifice and responsibility. To be up there isn’t easy, neither is the burden of trying to look out for everyone beneath you as the man of the house. We are told so much about being the boss or on top that we forget the big “BUT”, which is, that there is more to it than the eyes can see or the ear may know. Life conveys a special place for the men of this world, not for the sake of superiority but that of responsibility; a God-given mandatory task that we all must uphold and adhere to. Being a man is stressful, both for those who see it so and those who don’t think it is so. There is much to gain in terms of power but to whom much is given in the case of a man, much more than that is expected.

I have not been there yet, but I know it’s not easy, you have to make and train children who grow up to be their own persons, questioning the things you say or do, whether you like it or not. At some point, they leave the four walls under your roof and you realize that they have become, their own masters, and all that can come from you is blessing, prayer or advice. Your baby girls that are eventually taken from you; grow to become the virtuous women that every man wants, and you have to think long and hard just to ensure they don’t make the wrong choice.

     A lot is placed on you from a young age, where you are regaled with tales of how you are the man and protector of all that’s around you. You have to rise to the occasion, worry about everyone, and work hard to ensure that they are all good, notwithstanding other demands that may be placed on you. As a result of all your responsibilities, you are hardened, yet, underneath that stony face is a heart that is as soft as foam and as easy-going as the sea

      You are angry but you hide; she has just had a bad day and you must make the tears stay within your eyes as you wipe it off with your smiles and giggle good vibes. God knows you and calls you to stand on the sure watch for your family, your wife is there too, but when she goes to sleep, you stand there still. It hurts to hear your wife in the labor room scream and shout out your name as if you caused it all, yet you can’t share the pain, it hurts and all you want is for her to deliver the child(ren) safe and sound. Your heart pounds and your soul melts off, you can’t stand the thought of losing her or the child or them both. Your entire world is her and the kids, they go and you could consider death is a worthy foe. Too hot, too much, they talk about being good fathers and you sit there, trying to find a way that could help you master it all, just for them.

      Tough life, with God making it tougher, not for the sake of being wicked but for you to grow as the journey is long and the tribulations are still much to come. Arming yourself with bullets and guns, fighting hard and standing strong, for your beautiful wife and the kids you have borne together for long; the weight of a man is quite heavy for even him to bear.

      It’s not about being a man or becoming one, no one is ever ready for it, we learn along the way and become more of ourselves every day. Being a man is an everyday trade, a job you can’t relinquish. You will hunt yourself for your mess-ups in life and that of those around you. I don’t mean to scare you, I’m still learning the business myself, being a manager is way different from being a man. You want to be a good one but sometimes you don’t get it right and that’s okay, the point is, you try again till you get it. Being a man is a lifelong dream and a lifetime job, never easy but essential and very necessary. You must learn to work and love hard work, not for you but for those who look up to you. God made man first for a reason, not to show power or first-class status but make us understand the principle of who we are.

      The workers in the vineyard of our family, we may get all the prizes but we know who it truly belongs to, and we acknowledge her and God as well. We are just a front, the first line of action, the one who never runs but stays to fight till the very end. We look up to God and they look up to us, so getting our stuff together isn’t a fantasy or a word of affirmation, it’s a commanded responsibility endowed on us by God. We can’t mess it up as the lives of generations are at stake. No one becomes a man in one day, we take our time to get there and we will, just as long as we trust the process and build the required skills. Emotional intelligence and growth, a person who people can see not because you are perfect but because you thrive to be better even with your multiple flaws.

      The man isn’t a man because he knows it all, but because he has imperfect knowledge and an insatiable desire for understanding the things he doesn’t completely know. He would be there through the good and bad, weighing matters, making sound decisions and taking action. He forgives easily, letting go, for others to be able to find comfort in him as he works hard to ensure others have their desired comfort.

Instead of saying, “Be a man”, let’s start saying, “become a man”, as this shows that there is work to do in becoming; sacrifices to be made, troubles to be endured and resilience to be built.