Oh, how we love our children! Every day we help with homework, transport them to and from countless after-school activities, wash their clothes, and worry about what they eat. We are concerned about who they’re with and what they’re doing. We shower them with piles of the latest and greatest of everything. Our children are the center of our lives, our homes, and our schedules. Yet today’s children are often hurried, frustrated, ungrateful, and overindulged. Confused parents are left asking, when did I lose control? Meanwhile, kids wonder who is in control.
Hello, I am Mr. Caleb Choi, the new Bible teacher and Chaplain at GAA. I am a husband of one wife and father of two beautiful daughters. My wife, Erika, teaches the 5th and 6th grades here at GAA. As a parent, the topic of being a good parent is near and dear to my heart. It’s a topic I am constantly reading and studying about. I’d like to present some ideas I have gleaned on how we as parents can find a better way of loving--a way that is both biblical and down-to-earth. By practicing the principles discussed, I hope we can bring harmony to our homes and move toward the final goal of raising responsible, loving adults who also citizens of the kingdom of God.
The first step in being a truly great parent is to admit we simply can’t be a great parent--without help from God. That truth is both humbling and freeing, as it opens up the door to incorporating sincere, effective prayer into our parenting role. Yet, before we think of how we pray for our child, we should remember what Hannah did. Her story is recorded in 1 Samuel of the Bible. She had been unable to conceive a child, and when she finally did (miraculously) give birth…she gave her child back to God. She relinquished her child into His care. “I prayed for this child,” she said, “and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD” (1 Sam. 1:27-28).
I love this story because it reflects a truth that we parents often forget: Our children don’t really belong to us. Some parents believe they own, or possess, their children. They see a child as something for them to mold and form. Too often, what they have tried to instill in their children is that the parents’ needs, feelings, beliefs, and standards are all that matters. If the parents are successful in this, they’ve helped their children develop into emotional cripples, unable to separate their own identities from their parents’.
We must understand that children are not our possession. We’ve been entrusted with their care and, in the natural progression of life, they will be relinquished at a given point in time to form their own families. Actually, you will relinquish them in many different ways all through their lives as they progress toward maturity. Understanding ahead of time what this process entails makes it much easier to handle.
I believe today’s real heroes aren’t found on the baseball fields and basketball courts. Nor are they found in government buildings or the boardrooms of big businesses. Instead, the real heroes are good parents who work within the walls of their own homes with God’s guidance to make a difference in the lives of their children. Let’s talk about this more in another issue of Angels’ Message.