By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI
(Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence)
“Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man, so are children of the womb. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” -Psalm 127:3-5
The main aim of God creating man and woman was that they should come together and “be faithful and multiple, and replenish the earth… (Genesis 1:28).
Even though, both man and woman are expected to achieve this, the burden is more on the women than her mate. This is the reason why a woman will move Heaven and Earth to have children whom she calls her own.
A woman with infertile womb will, therefore, resort to all sorts of efforts to be fertile. She will visit medical centres, herbalists, juju people and spiritualists. When all these spots fail her, she becomes so desperate that, she may stoop so low to steal other women’s babies, as evidenced by the numerous reports in the print media of child stealing.
If women are synonymous with children, it becomes a huge puzzle and an irony that some women maltreat their own children. Some subject the little Angels to physical torture, such as pouring hot water on them, beating them mercilessly, starving them, spraying their eyes with pepper, using hot iron on them, all in the name of punishment.
Others too, throw their babies on refuse dumps, into gutters, pit-latrines, cesspools etc. The more avaricious ones sell their babies such as a woman who was recently reported to have made an attempt to sell her two-month old baby girl for GH¢8,000 (Daily Guide of Thursday, July 4, 2019).
There are three main identifiable groups of women who maltreat their children: Those who maltreat their children as punishment for some sort of wrong-doing; those who abandon them in order to be free to have fun with men; and those who abandon them on the altar of poverty.
Women in the first group ant their children to behave well against the biblical warning to parents to “spare the rod and spoil the child”. This, however, does not mean punishment beyond sanity. Serious punishment such as scalding the child’s skin is not meant and will, definitely land such parents in the unfriendly arms of the Law. Besides, it can maim the child for life.
Those in the second bracket, who abandon their children just to be free and promiscuous life with men should realize that old age is ahead of them. There will certainly come a time when their succulent breasts will sag and hang like a stalactite, their mountain-like behinds which shake like water in a basin balancing on the head of a small boy or girl will no longer be appealing to fastidious men because of loss of firmness.
This will naturally affect earnings. It is during this period of loneliness that children are useful, but, alas, the mothers have no such useful children, as due to neglect, they either have no gainful jobs or have become a thorn in the flesh of society: some might have, even, died on refuse dumps, in gutters and pit latrines.
The last group of women who abandon their kids due to poverty have no good reason at all. They can present their case to the Social Welfare Department, which is all ready to take over the child. There are also numerous Non-Governmental organisations in Ghana which deal with such cases.
Children are indeed, future roads of parents. When they are taken good care of, they can look after their parents in their old age, when the latter have no strength in them to work for a living.
Recently, there was a reported case which confirmed the usefulness of children should their parents take good care of them.
According to the story, a family lost their land through litigation, but their son, now a lawyer, resurrected the case and won back the family land.
Parents must shed a gallon of sweat to bring up their children in a responsible manner and reap the benefits in their old age.