This week our people and country of Solomon Islands will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Solomon Islands Family Protection Act.
I must take this time to wish our people, government and country a blessed and joyful congratulation, and wish every family God____s blessings for the years ahead.
In an era where we see tonnes of struggling families affected by injustices, torn apart by wars, poverty, famine, hunger, disease, negligence and violence, there is certainly a challenge and a call for us men to rise.
I find it interesting that the crime that was grieving God in the Biblical story of Noah was violence and the increase of it within humanity.
The only way to stop it was a divine judgment.
At our induction as volunteers to help prisoners in our Auckland prisons, we were informed that the highest percentage of crimes committed in NZ is violence.
The piece of advice from the Australian High Commissioner____s office for all of us in your paper is absolutely true.
Violence must be stopped now, anyway and anywhere.
Here are some Biblical tips over the years that have helped me as a man and wantok from the Solomon Islands in my commitment to serve my wife and our five children.
I understand that there are families, parents, men and women that are struggling for freedom from violence and are in need of help and support.
I pray that these Biblical tips will be an encouragement to all parents, especially men and bros in the Solomon Islands.
1. Love your wife, the mother of your children.
From the Bible; Ephesians 5.25 “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church”.
Colossians 3.18 “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them”.
From Scripture men (husbands and fathers) are advised to love.
If you want to show your real love for your children – love their mother.
Let the children see that deep down in your heart you desire to embrace and nurture love towards their mother and them.
Let them hear and see your passionate view about your wife, their mother – see her as above rubies.
2. Don____t exasperate or embitter, but train and instruct your children.
From the Bible; Ephesians 6.4 “Fathers, do not exasperate (frustrate) your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”.
Colossians 3.21 “Fathers, do not embitter (provoke) your children, or they will become discouraged”.
Be interested in what they love, their giftings, talents and hobbies.
Work with them in family and school projects.
Reward and encourage them when you see them doing well and overcoming challenges.
Pray with them.
Let God and your children know you love them by your words and deeds.
3. Encourage a men____s meeting – meeting with other men to encourage and pray with them.
From the Bible; Nehemiah 8.13 “On the second day of the month, the heads of all families, along with the priests and the levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law”.
As a husband, father and a brother in Christ, I____ve enjoyed times of fellowship with other brothers in God____s family.
In our family church we are doing this fort-nightly.
Times where we meet as brothers in Christ to have dinner together, praying, worshiping, testifying of what God is doing in our lives and families, checking on each other for any family in need of help, looking out for more helpful tips and having a Bible study together giving attention to the Word of God.
4. Encourage daily family devotion and talk.
From the Bible; Deuteronomy 6.6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”.
Communication in the home and family is very important.
For those who have a full time job, this can be a challenge. Set aside a time each day to do this and keep this time as a priority.
Family devotions and talking together are geared towards ensuring that your children____s hearts are aligned with the family principles and teachings that you uphold at home.
For us, violence is a no! no! Let your children know and understand this daily.
5. Encourage a rewarding and complimenting time for your wife and children.
From the Bible; Acts 11.23 “When he (Barnabas) arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts”.
Always look out for ways to compliment and reward good character and jobs done well and faithfully.
Wantoks, give praise and compliments to your family.
Try to make it an aim to give your wife and children at least one compliment a day.
When my wife compliments me it makes me feel like superman!
6. Encourage discipline and correction in love not out of anger.
From the Bible; Hebrews 12.5-6 “My son, do not make light of the Lord____s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves”.
As a pure blooded Solomon Islander and wantok, to be honest it is very challenging to discipline your children.
Where do we draw a line?
Whatever the measure and line is, never discipline your children with anger, but like God to us discipline them in love.
Make sure you let them know why you discipline them.
Let them know why there are consequences for bad behavior.
Don____t forget to pray with them and to have a quiet heart to heart moment with them after discipline.
7. Don____t feel condemned when you blow it or when you fail. Humbly ask for help.
From the Bible; 1 John 1.9 “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.
Failure is not final nor our mistakes the end of the world.
We learn from our mistakes.
If anger is the root cause of violence at home and in the family.
Please, please, please ask and call out for help.
Don____t hide away and expect your problems will disappear into the mist and cloud.
In New Zealand there is a popular billboard that says: ____VIOLENCE IS NOT OK BUT IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP____.
It is always an encouragement reading this message as you travel. Go on wantoks, ask or call out for help when you are in need.
I hope these Biblical tips and my experience will be of help to you.
I pray that as our nation and its people celebrate and mark this legislation of protection for families this week.
Our voices will be firm and heard from shore to shore, island to island, through valleys and up the hills, through the sermons and speeches of preachers and politicians, through the mouths of our nation____s mothers and children singing reverently; ____no more violence.____
By JONATHAN ANGIKIMUA