Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For Our Kids...

I have this friend whom I always tease about always being stressed up over her kids for the slightest bit - that she'll 'si' for 'her gia' (die for her children). Parents love their children.... to a fault. And that's how we're made. So that babies (who are totally helpless) can survive. Parents will move mountains for their kids. This is one of God's truly awesome order in life...I guess in part also to mirror the relationship that we are supposed to have with Him... that God the Father loves us, His children. That He'll do anything to save us. That we need Him.... but I guess this part we tend to forget.

A parent will go to great lengths, no... all lengths for their kids. Their kids are their source of joy and pride. Many reasons for that, I guess. Their kids are supposed to carry their legacy... Our kids will be what's left of us in this world someday. One of my favourite songs is Martina McBride's, In My Daughter's Eyes. That's how many of us will see our kids... our legacy, we see who we might be in them.

And therein lies the problem too....

A parent can agree to many things (in fact, anything) for the sake of his/her child. Janji, his kid turns out alright. A parent will drive his kids anywhere to get good tuitions or teacher, anytime... they'll even hang around to wait for 2 hours (or even longer) for their kids to finish their classes. Every parent worries about their kid going astray and in those worrisome years, they'll do anything to keep their kids on the path.

Parents will bolot the best places for their kids. My friend tells me of this in her son's school. It's common practice that mothers bring food for their kids during the school break. What happens is these mothers will reserve an area for their kids in the school canteen and will then and refuse other kids a seat even though the space is there. As a result an area of exclusivity is created.... in the school canteen! We too are creating our own versions of little emperors and empresses.

In church too we see leaders keeping silent or 'reserving' certain areas of service for their children. As a result some kids get left out... somehow, there is this selfishness in each of us when it comes to our kith and kin. Cos we want to feel proud to see our son or daughter up there.... acknowledged. We want them to feel needed, of use, etc, etc.

But something from the Scriptures came to mind lately... one of Jesus agonizing in the Garden of Gethsamane, when He asked whether the cup of suffering could be taken from Him and His subsequent crucification on the cross; when He uttered this, "My God! My God! Why has thou forsaken me?" The Father denied his Son on the cross so that there is victory; that we gain life... that's what probably sums up my Christian faith for me. Redemption from my sins, the act of God the Father denying His Son, for that seemingly moment of eternity. There is no Christian faith if Christ did not die on the Cross. And this is where I begin to draw the comparisons sometimes of our actions as parents sometimes...

In church, when we make 'exclusive' certain roles for our kids (this often happens in smaller churches), or when we stop trying to provide that sort of opportunity to train the young who are not ours, we deny them their 'redemption'. Kids need affirmation. Many need extra prodding. They need to know that it's alright to not to be able to play perfectly their musical instruments, for example during worship sessions. They need to be acknowledged; that their presence is just as welcomed as the church leaders' kids... even honoured. That sort of feelings that we all seek.... acceptance, a sense of belonging, etc, etc. Yet very often, in this particular area, our faith is not translated into actions. We show our selfish side by not denying our own children the stage. And perhaps that is why too Paul said that it is better for us not to be married if we want to be effective in serving him.. so that we remain focussed.

I am brought back to my very own MYF counsellor who remained single. I understand his commitment to us much better today in relation to what Paul said in the Bible. For those 4-5 years (the 15-20 year-olds we were); while we remained under his charge, we were his children. He favoured us as every parent would his kid, cos having no kids of his own... we were his. As a result, each of us had that sort of opportunity that you would expect a parent would want his kid to get. Us, parents always find it difficult to deny our own kith and kin.... it's just so difficult. There is just this 'ga-gi-gor-ga-gi' (in Hokkien means take care of ownself) that will definitely rear its head....

But there are also instances where we'll deny others for our kids sake. Either way, the compelling reason is the same... their kith and kin. I can't say that it's wholly bad but I see a lot of negative too, especially when one in the position of authority does it. We fail ourselves and our flock. Or in some other cases, when one's feelings become the wall that blocks out everything else including reason.

For our kids... sometimes I think matters of faith becomes a tool for our own selfish purposes. I've lost friends over the matters of faith. I've had moments of cynicisms because of its portrayal by people I look up to; because of the kids.... si hor gia.

Easter thoughts...

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