Monday, September 25, 2006

Christian Parents

Many Christian parents (especially those from middle-class families in Malaysia) put much emphasis on their children's education. They ensure that their children would not skip school and more importantly, tuition classes, which they have spent a lot of money on. Yet, it is a different story when it comes to the children's involvement in Christian and church activities. They are not so concerned as to whether their children are attending these fellowship regularly or involving in the ministries. They often use the chilren's academic result (report card) to gauge the overall progress of their children. As long as the children are getting good grades, it means that they are developing well. They seldom pay attention to the children's behavioural patterns or the development of their character. As a whole, these parents are sending out a clear message: Studies first, God second.

As we examine the lives of these parents, we find a similar motto governing their lives: Work (Money) first, God second. Working hard to earn as much as possible is the top priority in their lives, even if it means that they have to sacrifice their involvement in Christian ministries, even if their work robs their time of attending weekly services.

Since the development of the children's character is often overlooked, and since the parents are unable to provide a godly model for their children to follow, it is not surprising why so many children from Christian families become rebellious and godless, having no fear for God or for their parents.

When such problem arises, they will put all the blame on their children. They will not see themselves as contributors to the condition of their children. Worse still, they will conveniently pass the problem to the church. They will address the problem to the pastor or the youth ministry leader and request them to 'change' their children through counseling (as if the pastor/youth ministry leader is a magician).

Such is the mentality of many Christian parents today. It is very unfortunate that they do not see the upbringing of their children as a sacred responsiblity that God has entrusted to them.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Thinking about Him (6)


Was it an easy decision for the Son when he accepted the earthly mission from the Father? Was there no struggle within him as he was consciously and constantly aware that the mission is all about sacrifice and suffering? Perhaps we have been paying too much attention to his divine nature, his power and his majesty; that we have been guilty of overlooking his human nature and the struggles that he had to endure throughout his time on earth. The Son revealed the tremendous struggle that he was battling within him when he told the Father, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." He struggled, he suffered, and in the end he died. Such was the cost he was willing to pay in order to fulfill the will of God. Such was also the cost he was willing to pay in order to show us what total obedience to God is like. Now, he invites us to walk the path that he once walked, the path of self-denial and suffering.

Therefore, let the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "When Jesus calls a man, he bid him come and die" be our constant reminder. Let us remember the cost that we have to pay to walk this path, lest we give up along the journey. Struggle we will, suffer we may, but let us look to the Son who showed us the perfect human example, so that we may learn to live the life that he once lived.

Look to him, for he will inspire you to live on.