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I respect God, but don’t fear Him – Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings says his connection with God is based on absolute respect and love and not fear as many Christians do.
Mr Rawlings is of the opinion that harboring fear could lead to hatred as it is imperative for Christians to display high morals towards their creator instead of anxiety and bitterness.

The former military ruler equated his relationship with God to that of a father and child arguing that it was more important for children to love, which will lead to respect for their parents than to fear their parents and sabotage the bond between them.

He, however, cautioned fathers to develop a relaxed and free environment with their spouses and children instead of ruling their homes like tyrants.
Mr Rawlings said these on TV Africa in an interview with Counselor Lutterodt.

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“I find it funny when it comes to people’s understanding of fear, because I believe it generates into hate which brings about insecurity. I don’t like that. I prefer love, I prefer patriotism, and I prefer to deal with people in respect.

“These are better values. That is why many years ago, when I was asked to give a presentation at a church I got up and said I have no fear for God and the whole church was quiet.

But in my next sentence, I said I love God. In order to bring it down to their level, I had to ask the men among them a question. Whether they will prefer to be in a house where their spouses fear them, or a place where they are loved and respected by their spouse and children.”

Giving an example to back his claim on why respect was more important than fear, Mr. Rawlings said he always admire the way his first daughter Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings is able to rebuke her children with the right amount of love.

Describing her as one of the finest mothers he has come across, the former president said, his daughter had a way of restoring order among her children that should be emulated by all.

“One of the finest mothers I have come across is Zanetor, I noticed it in Iceland when I met her children and in her conversations with them. When some of them misbehave, the manner in which she reproaches them is amazing. In our time, the child would have been lashed by the parent. There is a way to bring up children without necessarily instilling fear in them.”

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