What Our Children Taught Us About Life and Faith
My wife and I are mindful of our responsibility to teach our children matters about life. We ensure that we are present through every experience and milestone that they go through so we can help them process every reason for their victory, comfort, failure and pain. We admit that we are “obsessed” of ensuring that we teach our
I remember this song of a famous group here in the Philippines, the Apo Hiking Society. The song’s title is “Batang Bata Ka Pa”. It may not be familiar to “Millenials” but the song rings out a number of truths about life, kids and young people:
“Batang bata ka pa at marami ka pang kailangan malaman at intindihin sa mundo (You are so young and you still have a lot of things to learn about life).
Nagkakamali ka kung akala mo na ang buhay ang isang mumunting paraiso lamang (You are mistaken if you thought that life is like living in a paradise).
Makinig ka sa aking payo… at malaman ng maaga ang wasto sa kamalian ( Listen to my advise that you may know the difference between what is wrong and what is right)”
Those who were already alive when the song became a hit had too much of its message…..which explains why we became too protective of our children! We believe that if we can properly guide our children, they will be spared from
Days before the joint birthday celebration of my two elder sons, I was reflecting on our journey as parents for the past 7 years. My wife always tells me that though the journey was not and will never be perfect, she is always grateful for the privilege of rearing our kids. I realized that in our quest to teach and train our children, we end up learning too. Those learnings are not mere tips for parenting or strategies for dealing with toddlers. I am talking about matters that matter in life. It is unacceptable for any parent to claim of not seeing his/her purpose in life. The fact that the Lord blesses one with a child is giving that person a purpose: BE A FATHER.. BE A MOTHER.
Our kids taught us the value, wonder and beauty of life. None of us can really bring life into existence. Conceiving is only possible because God allows that child’s existence. It transcends physical condition and has everything to do with God’s sovereignty. Life is never an accident. Life is God’s creation. The blessing of an offspring is something that none of us really deserve. It is only by God’s grace!
Our kids taught us to prioritize family time and family love. Our kids are very vocal that they always look forward to spend time with us. In the morning, Ezekiel always makes us hesitate to leave for work when he would say “I like Tatay here”, “Mommy house lang” and “Don’t leave. I love you!” . At night, we cannot lay our head to rest without allowing Elijah to tell his stories first for at least 30 minutes even when we are late from work… again, that’s 30 minutes of non stop story telling with questions not yet included (most of them would be about dinosaurs and their existence).
Our kids taught us child like trust on God. Elijah sleeps peacefully at night after laying all our burdens in prayer. He may not really understand the gravity of the challenges of life but He knows that God is bigger than all those challenges. Is it not the kind of faith that God wants us, adults, to have? To trust in the vastness of His glory and His limitless abilities! Prayer is so automatic to our children that even when looking for a lost five peso coin, they will start with a prayer.
Our kids taught us about simplicity and Godly contentment. One thing that I notice is that our children had more fun playing with broken toys than with brand new toys! They let their imagination help them find ways to make something out of dilapidated toys. While we may tend to occupy ourselves at times finding out how to acquire something, our children never complained playing with their old toys over and over again.
Our kids taught us that their identity is not defined by what others say about them. The only physical approval that they seek every time is our approval as their parents. Affirmations coming from us such as “very good”, “good job” and “keep up the good work” always brighten up their faces! We are thus reminded that our identity rest solely on what God says about us: precious, loved and cherished.
Our kids taught us that happiness and the joys of life is not always based on financial and monetary gains. They do not need to earn to be happy. We may be the ones working for them but still we are reminded that “we can be happy without worrying about money” ( sounds like a nursery rhyme). Our kids always find a reason to smile and bless us with their giggling.
Our kids taught us to live for others and not only for ourselves. The sacrifices that parenting entails changed how we view life. There is indeed an unexplainable reward that comes from sleepless night tending to our infants, forsaking “me time” in exchange for “kiddie playtime”, forgetting about shopping for items of personal use in exchange for milk and diapers…. and almost always choosing Jollibee or Mcdonalds over Japanese Restaurants. Their sickness is our burden and their tears are our pain. Their joy is our treasure and their victory is also our gain.
Our three boys may be our most treasured “possession” at the moment… but even that may be wrong after all. The truth is they are not ours in the first place….they are the Lord’s. We are merely stewards of this wonderful gift of parenting. A time will come when they will all grow up and will seek their respective purpose in life.
….. Lord willing, maybe with our grandsons…..but no longer with our boys…
…. Our kids taught us that life is temporary…
…. Our kids taught us to spend our life with people who matter the most….
During his audition for a Sunday School Ministry, Elijah placed a “Do Not Sit Sign” on
The “Do Not Sit” sign because the chair is for the only “Audience” that matters
a chair beside where he is sitting. When we asked him about it, he said it is reserved for Jesus. He further explained that he will imagine Jesus sitting there and watching his audition. We were so blessed to know that he is conscious of the fact that the “audience of One” must be the primary purpose of why he wants to serve in the church…
Then I remember the song “Batang bata ka pa at marami ka pang kailangang malaman at intindihin sa mundo… Yan ang totoo (You are so young and you still have a lot of things to learn about life).
Our kids indeed do not know a lot and will still have to learn more.. But what they know at this time are valuable lessons that we, as their parents, learn from… about life….about faith.