By Carol Kathombe
I have two fathers. Now, don’t get all religious on me ati we all have our Father in heaven. I have that one too. But I have two fathers here on earth. Now one may wonder how it is that I came to have two fathers. This here is a tale of how and why God blessed me with two fathers.
I am a daughter of one man and one woman; borne by blood into this world. Let’s call this man ‘Dad’. Dad raised me from childhood. Dad taught me how to make a kite and how to identify chicken bones. Dad didn’t teach me how to ride a bike (he can’t ride a bike), but he asked the neighbour’s son to teach me. Dad came to school to ask about the boy that bullied me. Dad taught me how to make Swahili pilau and how to read. Dad bought me books about history and about mythology, books about fossils and about evolution, books about medicine and about law. Dad raised me to be the type of woman that thinks for herself.
I am a daughter of one man; borne by need and intentionally chosen. Let’s call this man ‘Papa’. Papa chose me as his daughter. Papa teaches me how to be a daughter of the Most High. Papa teaches me to pray and teaches me how to be a woman after God’s heart. Papa teaches me to have daily devotion and he sends me a verse for the day every morning. Papa is different because while Dad got me by default, Papa chose me. Through his act of choosing me that I learned what it means to be God’s chosen.
If I was to compare the teachings of my two fathers, we would be here all day. I love both my fathers for teaching me from within the wells of their individual wisdom. It is from these two wells that I can share wholesome teachings with my fellow women.
Dad taught me that a woman who reads is a woman who thinks. He made sure I can read, not just by buying books but also reading with me. He asked questions and expected answers. If I didn’t have answers, he sent me back to the book to find them. Papa taught me that a woman who reads her Bible is a woman who thinks beyond the physical. He makes sure that I read my Bible by calling and following up on what I have read. He too asks questions, but he always sends me back to my Bible for the answers.
Dad taught me that a woman gathers her treasures before she gathers her men. I’d imagine this is heavily influenced by the fact that he’s divorced to my mother and he watched her struggle to recover. He taught me to have my own and wait not on anybody else. Papa taught me that a woman gathers her treasures in heaven. Not that he has anything against gathering earthly treasures, in fact he is a great adviser on earthly treasures. But Papa’s teaching leans on the fact that as a Christian, I should be just as concerned about gathering my heavenly treasures as I am about my earthly ones.
Dad taught me that a woman carries herself with respect. A woman sets standards and she upholds them. And a woman does not tolerate anybody who has no respect for her. Papa taught me that a woman carries herself with grace. A woman has standards, but she is also gracious towards those she deems below her standards. Dad taught me that standards earns you respect. Papa taught me that grace makes you respect others.
I am a product of the influence of my two fathers. It would be easy for me to choose one and say he is greater than the other. But the truth is I needed both these men in order to be the woman that I am becoming. Dad didn’t teach me anything Biblical, but he equipped me with the skills I need to read the Bible and make the decision for myself. Papa didn’t teach me anything on how to navigate this physical world, but he taught me how to lean on the creator of this physical world and keep my spirit grounded.
If I could trade one father for the other, I really wouldn’t know who to choose. For both my fathers have moulded me into the woman I am.