father gives children a sense of who they are, he said.
raised without a good father figure are confused about their identity and
lack a sense of self worth, he said.
breakdown of the society in the inner cities of America is a symptom of
the failure of fathers to do their jobs, he said.
young men join gangs to find a sense of identity, of belonging, and the
young women get involved with men, often older men, trying to fill the
void created by missing fathers.
Kay and Olu moved to New York after attending grade school and high school
in Nigeria, they were shocked by the prevalence of divorce and the breakdown
of the family.
divorce rate in Nigeria is a fraction of what it is the United States,
Kay said, although it is increasing as the nation becomes more westernized.
twins also found a stark contrast between the role of husbands in America
and in Nigeria, where fathers are the undisputed heads of most families.
Kay and Olu said they believe the feminist movement in the United States,
while doing some good, has hurt families by stripping from men their role
as the heads of the household.
are afraid to assert themselves, afraid to be men," Kay said. Women also
are hurt by that, he said, because they need their husbands to act like
wives challenge the authority of their husbands, and don't see them as
capable heads of the home, Olu said, men withdraw and find their purpose
and fulfillment outside of the family, he said, leaving a void in the lives
of children who need their guidance and direction.
don't like the monster they've created," Olu said. "And we talk to men
in their late 40s who look back and don't like the path they've taken."
the other hand, the feminist movement did some good, he said, by making
men aware of the value and importance of women, correcting the misconception
in some that women were inferior, and pointing out the inequity of men
being paid more than women for the same work.
essence of the biblical teaching, Kay said, is that in Christ there is
no male or female, all are equal, but that God has established order in
the family with different roles for husbands and wives.
is controversial to say so, even in many churches, he said, but the biblical
role of the husband is head of the household.
husband and wife get out of their God-given roles, there is disorder and
other problems," Olu said.
said the biblical model for husbands and wives is Christ and the church.
Christ is head of the church, but never forces anyone to obey him. He loves
them unconditionally, and they freely submit their lives to him in response
to that love," he said.
a husband gives himself to his wife fully, and loves her unconditionally,
biblical submission will be her natural response, he said.
who demand submission create resentment in their wives, he said.
Bible also instructs husbands and wives to submit themselves to each other,
contrast between American fathers and African fathers is how they view
their role as mentors, Kay said.
should be generalized mentors for their children, laying a foundation upon
which future mentors can build, he said.
whose fathers have not mentored them in practical, intellectual and spiritual
areas go into the world with deficits which must be filled before they
can go on to maturity.
mentoring principle goes beyond the family, he said.
in Africa, Asia and South America tend to be collectivistic; American society
is individualistic, he said.
an African village, everyone is watching out for the welfare of everyone
example, it would not be abnormal in Nigeria, Olu said, for someone to
say to his neighbor or friend, "Have you read your Bible today?"
America, that would be considered intrusive."
Africa, Christian leaders take their role as mentors seriously, and are
always looking for ways to invest themselves in the lives of young people.
Taiwos have self-published two books, "The Progenitor Principle, Why you
must leave a legacy behind," and "Uncovering the Hidden Stranger Within,"
available from WinePress Publishing, Enumclaw, Washington.
speak... at churches in the United States and in Africa as Vision for Life
Ministries Inc. on issues of identity, vision and purpose, and the worth
of the individual.
Sherman, World religion writer,
be reached at 581-8398 or via e-mail at
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