Child Protection and Preparation for Marriage: Fundamental Issues to Consider: WHO ARE WE?

Welcome to this page today. Sure we were able to spend quality and meaningful time with our children yesterday. I know as primary and secondary caregivers, we very well know that genuine relationship with our children demands time. I pray the God will continue to guide us as we journey on in giving our children a future and a hope through proper training, which begins with example.

Permit to spend a little time here today discussing the fundamental issues, I believe couples, who prepare for marriage should consider as it relates to child protection.

I think the first thing I will like to share with couple is what it means to protect children. Children are protected when they are raised by sound, conscious and informed primary and secondary caregivers. The child is a tripartite being, spirit, soul (mind, will and emotion) and body. Our child protection plan is far from being complete until it has holistic enough to ensure the protection of children spirit, soul and body.

I think the first question couples who are about to marry and are committed to bringing up protected children must ask and answer is WHO ARE WE? I am a strong and unrepentant protagonist of the truism that for child protection to be effective, it must become a culture of the primary and secondary caregivers. What is culture? Culture simply refers to dominant value system of persons, families, private and public institutions and nations. Whether we accept it or not and whether we know it or not, humans and the institutions they create and function in are creatures of values.

Kindly note that I will use the word, ‘culture’ and ‘values’ interchangeably as we hold this important discussion.

Therefore, permit me to submit that people do not get married, values do. Also, people do not raise children, values do. The foundation of child protection is therefore laid with the values of the man and woman, who are coming together as husband and wife.

Our dominant values will never be far away from our childhood experiences, the interpretation of same as we assume the age of accountability and how much of our experiences we have taken deliberate, purposeful and consistent efforts to seek reorientation from.

Please note that except the man and woman, who seek to be joined together in marriage are compatible in values, they cannot have a settled and united home and until a home is settled and united, it cannot receive a child and bring him/her up properly. The child’s interpretation of an unsettled and divided home is simple: broken home.

Therefore marrying parties in considering compatibility of values must revisit their personal history from childhood, the families in which they were raised, knowing that each party is as good as his/her childhood. If your childhood was pleasant, you must deliberately affirm the positive dividends. If your childhood was unpleasant, you must understand that it has negative and seemingly incurable impact and it does not repair itself. One must employ knowledge, skill and attitude to deal with an unpleasant past. To do otherwise is to delude one self. It is like being aware that what was planted for you was cocoyam and you seriously believe that you will reap cassava.

Therefore in answering the who-are-we question, patience plays a major role. Sincerity and skill play another major role. Patience will help parties to take a critical look at their past from childhood and do proper analysis and establish in clear terms the impact of their upbringing on them today. They must consider positive and negative impact. Positive impacts are to be affirmed while negative impacts are to be dealt with properly. Parties may require the helps of experts to be able to deal with issues of their childhood. They must never shy away from it.

Please note that parties are not doing this exercise with the conclusion that they want to take inventory of the past and fix it so that they can end up together. Not at all, parties must the clear understanding that they are doing the exercise with the open mind that they will like to end up together but even if their findings show that they cannot end up together, it still be considered a successful exercise, embarked upon in the best interest of themselves and posterity.

Why is compatibility of values critical to marriage and child protection? I submit most profoundly that value is critical to marriage and child protection because we raise children according to our kind (values). About-to-wed couple, take it or leave it, each of you will raise children according to his/her values. Where your values are compatible and positive, the child hears only one voice and his/her spirit, soul and body are being fixed in one positive direction. Where values are not compatible, the child hears double or multiple voices and he/she becomes confused from childhood.

A confused child is robbed of his/her dignity of human person; he/she deals with serious esteemed issues; he/she is prepared for a life of abuse and misery. Another issue that if you are not compatible about the values of child protection, it means both of the parties will not jointly protect the child. For example, a person, who experienced childhood abuse, has the very high tendency to abuse his/her own children, if he or she does not seek help in the direction of healing. The principle is very clear, ‘hurting people do hurt others.’

A child will also need someone to believe, marrying couples must deliberately present themselves as that ‘someone.’ Please note that the word, ‘someone’ here refers to one voice and one value. Oneness is inevitable in raising protected children. The couple must become one for the success of their marriage and for the awesome and highly-rewarding responsibility of raising their children properly.

Are you ‘someone’ that the child can believe for his/her peaceful existence and protection? I charge you never to proceed to marriage until you answer this critical question. The peace of our posterity is worth all the caution, except marrying parties have settled it that they do not intend to have and raise children.

Permit me to sign out at this point. It has been a long talk. By the grace of God, I look forward to resuming this talk tomorrow. Hope you found it enlightening today. I invite you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

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