by Wai Hun
My parenting journey as a young mother started 9 years ago. I began with the unconscious mindset of helping my children to achieve the potential God has given to them. Subsequently, it dawned on me that
my focus should be on discipling them to be disciples of Jesus Christ. It is my hope that they will be believers who put their faith in Him, hear His voice and have a close relationship with Him, obey His word, and in due time disciple others. This paradigm shift has set me free from the lies of the enemies, from the expectations from myself, others and society.
Here I would like to share three lessons that have shaped my understanding of my role as a Christian mother in the initial years.
Lesson 1: Wisdom is from the Lord.
When my girl was about 1.5 years old, a friend recommended that I signed her up for a Shichida class that uses a ‘whole-brain stimulation’ teaching method for children. She had seen how it greatly benefited her kids. With good intention and persistence, I felt guilty, wondering if I’ll shortchange my daughter if I don’t sign up. I gave in to this guilt and with my husband’s agreement went to check out the class, intending to sign up. To my relief, their classes were full and they put her on the waiting list. Later, the Lord spoke, “Where does wisdom come from? Me or Shichida class?” This lesson sets to be a great reminder whenever I am tempted to be sucked into the competitive nature of this world.
Lesson 2: Every challenge is an opportunity to teach.
As an inexperienced mother, it was easy to worry and feel helpless when your child faces challenges so early in life. A simple comment like “Mom, I don’t have any friends in school” was enough to break my heart. When I realized my innocent child has started lying, it made me so upset and disappointed (Did I mention I was an inexperienced mother?). When my child complained of stomach ache and not wanting to go to school, that made me feel so helpless. So I cried out to God “Why must my child face so many challenges at such a young age?” The Lord replied, “How else will you teach her?” Looking back, the challenges gave me the opportunities to teach her who she is in Christ, overcoming rejection, learning to forgive and submit her thoughts to Christ, learning to guard her heart and her thoughts, overcoming fear, and so much more.
Lesson 3: There’s no such thing as “Best Approach” in parenting my children.
I learned this when my second child arrived. He is different from his sister in so many ways. When he got upset or hurt, he would get angry, cry and throw a tantrum. My approach in disciplining his sister when she misbehaved did not have the same intended positive effect on him; instead, I could see it hardened his heart. The Lord showed me that he was not naughty but struggled to verbally express his emotions hence resorted to physical expressions. Since then I set out to encourage him to tell me about his feelings and today, he could express it adequately. I shudder to think of the harm I would have inflicted on him spiritually and emotionally if God did not show me and if I did not change my approach.
My three kids are wonderfully and fearfully made different in terms of temperament, strengths, and
weaknesses. I need to adapt my parenting approach to matching the uniqueness of each child without compromising on my authority and principles.
Well, I have come to the end of this article, there’s still so much to share but so little space. I hope you have enjoyed this personal sharing and pray that it has somehow blessed you.