Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The 2023 Awka Anglican Diocesan Synod has ended with a call for parents and guardians to consider the proper home building as the primary solution to some of the issues troubling Nigeria.
This call is coming at a time when the country is experiencing unprecedented inadequacies stemming from crime and insecurity including incessant ritual killings, kidnappings, robberies, banditry, and corruption, among many others.
The 4-day programme which was held last weekend at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State, held that effective discipleship remains the right foundation for building a peaceful society ruled by peace, unity, and love.
The synod pinpointed failed homes as part of the canker-worms eating the fabrics of the society, noting that part of the problems in the land is the failures of parents to live up to their moral expectations and duties in society.
It said different individuals that are terrorising the country and world today were raised in different families, where the parents are not performing their biblical duties.
It said the family is the first point of contact for the child, hence where the child is raised is always the first place they learn how to interact socially before being exposed to other institutions.
Delivering a homily on the Synod theme, “Running the Christian Race: Implications for the Family in Perilous Times,” Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Revd. Joseph Akinfenwa said the remedy to the perilous situation of society is a home-building and the enthronement of patience, forgiveness, and love into families.
The Bishop who described the family as a vital institution and the basic building block of society said God, in the beginning, instituted a family when he created Adam and Eve to live as husband and wife.
The Bishop said each family is built around the lifetime union of one man and one wife. He called on parents not to spare the rod when the child errs and urged them to stand solidly behind each other to discipline the child.
Recall that Archbishop Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, the Archbishop Province of the Niger, during his Presidential Charge at the Synod harped on the import of relationship and discipleship to family spiritual growth. He noted that the re-dedication of homes to effective discipleship is critical to eradicating evils in society.
He said families are like trees, whose branches grow in different directions. Thus, when the homes are godly, it will reflect in the society and the society will equally be godly.
Bishop Ibezim who spoke to journalists shortly after the Synod Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, urged parents to be careful with their lifestyles at home “to prevent raising Pharisees as children in their homes.”
His said: “The synod focused on families, how discipleship can take place within the family. The major problem we have in our country today is that the family units are in disarray. When family units are in disarray, you cannot talk of a peaceful society.
“We encourage the church, especially the congregation that is made up of father, mother, and children. The essence of this synod is to remind the people that running the Christian race must be in the context of godly living within our various families.
“Parents must take up their responsibilities. Many husbands are not leaders in their homes and have failed in their responsibilities. Many women have, as well, failed in their motherly roles, making the children to no longer live in fear of the Lord.
“Parents have a very good role to play in the family and society at large. This is to prevent raising Pharisees in our homes and releasing them into society.
“The Bible said the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When the son and daughter cannot pray, then they are lost in the world; and so you see all manner of immoral behavior and vices taking place in society because the family unit had collapsed.”
In the same vein, a guest preacher in the arrival service, and Bishop of Langtang Diocese, Rt. Rev. Stanley Fube, urged parents to maintain an exemplary lifestyle in their neighborhood irrespective of the challenges of the time.
He said, “As a Christian one must live a life that is worthy of emulation; not on spoken words, but based on character.”
He said that remains the only way of improving the family, church, and society at large to be habitable to mankind.
Rev. Fube who specifically urged parents to shun bad life and unchristian behaviours, noted that such a lifestyle is capable of ruining the future of the younger generation and generations yet unborn. He, however, admonished parents to be alive to their responsibilities of raising their wards in the fear of the Lord and to be Christ ambassadors.
The Diocesan President, Mothers Union and Women’s Guild, Mrs Marther Chioma Ibezim, said Awka Diocese used the synod to rebuild homes, families, and marriages that may have not been getting things right. She appreciated God for the successful Synod and hopes that the lessons of the Synod will help rehabilitate many homes and the society at large.
Ikengaonline reports that Synod is the highest decision-making body of the Diocese during which representatives of the Churches in Awka Diocese assemble annually with the Bishop to discuss matters of national interest and those affecting the order and good government of the Diocese and the society.
The 2023 Synod honored the Diocesan Music Director, Georgie Ezenwa; Diocesan Deputy Chancellor, Justice Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN); and Napoleon Onyechi, for their services, commitments and support to the church.