What does your faith teach about the values and expectations
Answer: From the Bahá’í
point of view, parenthood is a shared responsibility. The Bahá’í
conception is that the governance of family life is neither patriarchal
While parenthood is a shared responsibility, the Bahá’í sacred writings
indicate that the mother, who has the earliest nurturing contacts with
the child, has the preponderating moral and spiritual influence on the
child in the long run.
However, Bahá’u’lláh (the Glory of God) (1817-1892), the
prophet-founder of this youngest of the world’s great religions, has
assigned specific tasks to fathers who are followers of his religion.
In the Kitáb-í-Aqdas, his most sacred book, which contains his laws and
ordinances, he revealed: “Unto every father hath been enjoined the
instruction of his son and daughter in the art of reading and writing
and in all that hath been laid down in the Holy Tablet.”
This passage should not be read as confining the acquisition of
literacy exclusively to the father; mothers naturally share in this
The concept of fatherhood in Bahá’u’lláh’s Book of Laws extends beyond
biological paternity. He greatly praises the act of adoption, of
raising another’s child as if he or she were his own.
Above all, if a father is to create a loving and lasting bond with his
children, he must be a credible role model. He must show proof of moral
rectitude and transmit to his children the ability to distinguish
clearly right from wrong, according to the standards that he has
attempted to inculcate.
Although he should not neglect to educate them in the ways of his
faith, he should do so without inflicting the injurious pathology that
is bred of religious intolerance and fanaticism. He should, to the
extent possible, expose his children to the salutary teachings found at
the core of all the world’s great religions.
Fathers could do their offspring a great service in teaching them to
think creatively and to investigate the truth independently. This
practice will free our youth from blindly imitating inherited harmful
prejudices of race, religion, colour and class. -