By NBF News

Ugoezi is a poor carpenter. He lives in a small village in Umahia. He has been married to Ezenwa for six years but they had no child. After sometime he married Remi, all in the search of a male child who would continue his lineage. After nine months, Remi delivered a beautiful baby girl. This was not enough for Ugoezi, who was now in his early fifties.

He went to the neighboring town and married Hauwa, and through her, God gave the family a baby boy. His joy knew no bounds as he concentrated more on Ifeanyi, his only son with the hope that he would soon become a proud grandfather. Before Ifeanyi could complete his secondary education, he developed interest in the seminary.

When his father got wind of this, he didn't like it. He wouldn't stomach it at all. But Ifeanyi was obdurate. He has chosen to be celibate. What would you do if your child chooses to be celibate? Family Line spoke to a number of parents on the issue. Below are their responses. Excerpts:

Hmm! It's a serious matter, but I will not question God because He gave him to me. So if it is God's will, I will let him be. There is a certain Bible story on one Jephta who made a vow with God that whatever comes out to meet him on his way back from war would be sacrificed to God and he did not hesitate to sacrifice his only daughter. Although I would want him to get married so as to continue my lineage, but man proposes while God disposes.

I will liken it to the story of Isaac in the Bible where his father wanted to sacrifice him to God, being the only child and son. If a father and his son could agree to do this, how much more my own son who is not to be slaughtered, but just to serve God? At least, he will still be alive, or what about those who have everything in the world but have no child? In a nutshell, I would not want to be a stumbling block in his way because I was not there when he made a vow with God.

It is God that gives. If we fail to do God's work, He could raise stones to replace whoever would not praise or serve Him. Stones in this context are not the physical ones we see or know. It means He could raise people we see as irrelevant to take up His work. The story of Eli and his family is a case study.

Wow! God tells us in the Bible that we should go into the world and multiply. So, I will make sure he should understand that he could be a pastor or an Evangelist but definitely not a Reverend Father! I want to see my grandchildren.

I will support him with all my strength if it is the will of God for him. But if it is a way of being lazy or unfocussed, I will not allow him. You know nowadays many people in the guise of serving God are lazy. They see 'emergency visions' to become general overseers of sorts. Such people are not called by God. In fact, God does not have their name registered in His Church and you later see the implication of their worldly desire as time passes-by. This is Nigeria where many funny things happen, and at the end of the day, they blame it on poverty.

Who am I to stand in his way to serving God? Definitely everyone wants to see his or her grandchildren, but it does not work out all the time as we expect. If being a clergyman would make him live a worthy life, pleasing God, I will not mislead him. After all, our major purpose on this planet earth is to do the will of He who created us.

To be candid, it is so dicey. As human beings, we would find it hard. Just a few people can summon courage like Hannah, giving her son to God totally. The truth remains that even sometimes the spirit might be willing, but the flesh is weak. In other words we may want to be celibate, but our parents, especially fathers object to it.

I will not allow him, because I also want to see my grandchildren. I am not saying he should not work for God, but there are so many ways to work for God. They don't necessarily entail being a reverend father or a eunuch.

This is serious! Although I don't think it's important to be celibate to serve God, it is, however, a prerogative of every individual to choose which religion to belong. In Matthew 19, Jesus taught his disciples about celibacy. He said: 'Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.'

Culturally and traditionally, it is 'bad' not to have a male child who would carry on one's lineage, especially in an African setting. To some, it is a good idea for an only son to remain a eunuch, but I totally disagree with that line of reasoning.

According to Islamic injunction, specifically the hadith, Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) said he who has attained the age of marriage and does not wish to marry, is definitely not among his followers. I think it is not ideal in Islam.