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Good Parents are “made, formed through prayer”, Catholic Bishop in Nigeria to Youth

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria's Oyo Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The youth who aspire to become parents in the future like Mary and Joseph ought to know that good parents are made and are products of mentorship and prayer, a Catholic Bishop in Nigeria has said.

“We must teach our youths that good parents are made, not born. In order to be a good parent one day, one must be formed through prayer, knowledge of the word of God, information and mentorship,” Bishop Emmanuel Badejo said in his message published Wednesday, November 24

Unfortunately, Bishop Badejo noted in the message published on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), “many youths might not ordinarily enjoy that possibility. So, Churches, families, schools and society must come to the rescue.”

For the current society to recover from the present challenge of “pervasive youth delinquency”, criminality and restiveness, the Nigerian Bishop further said, there is need for good parents to step up and take the responsibility of nurturing the youth into responsible parenthood.

“There is no school equal to a decent home, and no teachers equal to honest and virtuous parents,” he said, and added, “It is not only a worthwhile venture for good families to form good parents for their children; it is also a life-saving enterprise, for they will reap what they sow.”

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The local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese said that the Church has a duty of guiding the youth in understanding the relationship that exists between parenthood and the love for scripture, prayer and obedience to the word of God.

“Constant reference needs be made to how obeying God’s word helped Joseph and Mary to excel as parents,” Bishop Badejo said, and added, “The Church must teach young people that life is sacred and inviolable and that every child is made in the image and likeness of Almighty God … With that, they will understand that nothing must take priority over the care and safety of children.”

Joseph and Mary were “sterling examples” prioritizing the care of their child over everything else when they left all they had and fled with the baby Jesus to Egypt in order to protect him from harm, he said.

The Local Ordinary of Oyo Diocese who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) said that schools are also good places to nurture the youth into responsible parenthood because of the knowledge imparted about life and the larger society.

“The local community too can help by providing the models of good. As is often said, ‘couples bear children but whole villages nurture them,’” he said, and added, “We have evidence that this was the case during the time of Jesus because when they went to the temple for the feast of the Passover, Jesus’ parents lost track of him because they had naturally assumed that he would be among their relations and acquaintances.”

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Bishop Badejo urged the youth to also take a personal initiative towards responsible parenthood by seeking for information about parenting from the appropriate sources and right people.

He cautioned the youth against negative information available on the internet and urged them to focus on the positive content that will inspire them into becoming good parents.

“The internet is replete with good and bad sources of information. Young people must learn to patronize the authentic, positive ones,” the Nigerian Bishop said, and added, “These are some of the institutions that must teach young people the virtues and the principles of good parenting which I strongly believe are among the best tools for restoration of the world.”