|File size||585 kb|
|Category||Family and Friendship|
Before reading On the Outside Looking In: Hope For Separated Fathers Who Want To Be Good Fathers by Akili Kumasi, I earnestly had never considered myself a child of divorce. There were so many other challenges in the midst of my upbringing that - up until this very day – the fact that my parents divorced when I was teen had been erased from my mind. After reading this book, those memories resurfaced. I remember sitting in the courtroom horrified as I was placed on the witness stand and asked specific questions about my parents that ultimately helped decide who got what, who would pay what and with whom I would live.
This memory prompted me to highlight this statement from Kumasi’s book in which he pleads emphatically with readers: I strongly encourage everyone and anyone who can - if you can avoid divorce or separating children from living with both of their parents - please do anything and everything you can. Most importantly, for those who are not in a relationship and do not have children yet, before you even get to the question of separation, be careful not to get into any relationship that you are not 1,000 percent sure of. If you are not sure, do not gamble with the lives and generations that follow. It is not worth it.”
I must say, I agree.
In On The Outside Looking In, Kumasi tackles an age-old subject concerning the impact of fatherlessness. Using biblical and statistical research, he discusses the impact of absent fathers and the need for men to do whatever is necessary to maintain strong, Godly relationships with their children. What separates Kumasi’s book from many others on this subject is that he leads readers into a rarely discussed topic surrounding this issue: “How can separated-fathers restore relationships with their children and become integral parts of their lives despite the challenges that they may face as men?” Then, he presents practical and biblically sound solutions. While this book is written specifically to men, I strongly encourage women to read it as it sheds light on the subject of fatherhood and fatherlessness from a Godly, mail perspective without shifting or placing blame on anyone. Rather, it is a cry to release the past, walk in forgiveness and forge a path of reconciliation.
Kumasi is not simply dishing out advice and religious candor. Rather, he shares intimate details from his own life in such a way that readers will be immensely touched, convicted and challenged to allow God to supersede human will or emotion that sometimes prevents people from making the decisions or taking the actions that they know in their innermost being they must take.
In On The Outside Looking In, Kumasi also outlines what Godly fatherhood looks like. While many books have portrayed this as being a super spiritual experience, he teaches it from the perspective leaning into to the Lord to walk out seven endearing principles of fatherhood: love, nurturing, discipline, commitment, responsibility, closeness and consistency. He also outlines some powerful “dos and donts” of fatherhood. This section is invaluable in helping fathers avoid classic, common mistakes with rearing their children. He even addresses best approaches for healing and building healthy relationships with mothers that quite honestly, seals the Godly wisdom offered in this book for me. There is even a section dedicated to dating, marriages and step-parenting!
Readers will not feel as if they are being preached too; but rather, they will feel as if their own father, grandfather or father figure has sat them down to talk with them because they love them. There are moments in On The Outside Looking In when tears will flow – not because of a sad story being told, but because every man, woman and child can identify in some way with the plight of separated-fathers or separated-children.