We had a great time last night attending the Parenting Seminar conducted by Christian couple Edric Mendoza and Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza. I can say it was indeed a blessing to listen to them and we were very encouraged to do our roles better as parents to Sophie and also we were reminded of God’s design for us as a Christian couple to reflect the Lord’s goodness thru our life and to be able to achieve that end-goal which is in everything we do it will give glory to God alone. Listening to them was like sitting before God and listening to all His wisdom being unveiled before us –especially for young parents like us.
We are so amazed to God – this event came at the right time – just when we needed it most. Although some of the things discussed were not new to us –we’ve heard about them especially those related to Marriage principles, but it is always good to be reminded again of those things because to be honest, most of the time – we mess up and oftentimes we forget those. Before going to bed last night after the seminar, Jeck and I talked and prayed about what we can do – to do our roles better as husband and wife and as Dad and Mom – and we decided, by the grace of God to really commit to it and surrender it to the Lord. On our own – no matter how hard we try – we will achieve nothing, but with God, we believe everything is possible. #ChangeIsComing – and it should start inside our home… in our family.
With regards to raising our daughter, lately we’ve been noticing a lot of developments in Sophie’s behavior, character, things she likes and does not like and a whole lot more and as a parent I am afraid that we are not doing a good job in molding her character and it has been a challenge how to instill discipline in her in such a way that she will understand and in a way that will not require us to hurt her feelings. “Oh she’s too young pa –she’s just 2 ½ years old – just let her be”, “Should we spank her?” – These are just few of the thoughts we’ve been having and to be honest, I believe it is one of the toughest challenge as a parent on how to utilize corrective discipline to our kids. And praise be to God alone, thru this seminar – we’ve heard God’s answers to all of our questions.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Bro Edric and Sis Joy Mendoza creatively used the acronym TRAIN UP to discuss the 7 Key Principles for (young parents) to deliver a concise yet powerful message that is very much needed in this modern day and age where We- as a Christian family can reflect God’s goodness thru our lives by being a good model for our kids by shaping and molding their character and values the way the Lord wants it to be.
T-hink of a plan
R-emember your roles
A-nchor your children with truth
I – mpart values through Modeling
N- urture Relationship
U-tilize corrective discipline
P-ass on a vision and pray
Think of a plan – Parents should think of a plan how they want their kids to grow –know what your end goal is and look on ways how to achieve that goal.
For us – our desire is for Sophie and our future kids to grow up to be God-fearing, loving and compassionate, full of wisdom and a responsible adult – that in whatever things she wants to do and pursue it will give glory to God.
Becoming an achiever academically may be a plus but it is not our main goal – more than medals and trophies – we want her/their character to be more like Jesus (Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52).How to achieve it – will be thru applying the next points
Remembering our roles – this one hits the bulls’ eye! True enough – to be able to be a good parent – we as Husband and wife should first do well on our roles. The bible has made a clear instruction on this in Ephesians 5:21-23. I like how they stress on “one another” – this means its vice versa it’s not just only the husband or only the wife – both should submit to one another in reverence for Christ.
Wives, I know it is a struggle sometimes to do full submission of yourselves to your own husband – sometimes you think you are more right – your ideas are more perfect, it is better than the husband so it should be the one to be implemented in the household – but NO! God clearly intends us wives to submit to our husband as you do to the Lord. We should be an encourager, no.1 supporter and cheerleader for our husband – this will help them also to become the best leader of our household as v23 said that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior. Bro Edric – mentioned a phrase that the former US President Harry Truman popularized which is “the bucks stops here” – in application, the Husbands being the head would stand on the context of this phrase which means by being the Head, they are ultimately the one responsible for this family – there should be no passing the buck or no pointing fingers or no passing of responsibility. It is important also that there should always be trust and respect and we should always pray for our spouse.
A-nchor your children with truth – I love this phrase that was on repeat last night which is “Obedience brings Blessings” (Ephesians 6:1-3) – and we are going to apply this in our family as well. When I was growing up as a child and while attending Sunday school at church – I was once taught about this scripture and this has been my guiding principle in life and I will pass this on with Sophie and my future kids as well. The study of God’s word should be prioritized in order for our kids to develop convictions that are anchored on truth. Let them know that God has a plan for them, to prosper them and not to harm them (Jeremiah 29:11); that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28); That blessed are those who does not walk in the step of the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take (Psalm 1:1); that in whatever they do – do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and a whole lot more. We as parents should instill in our children God’s words so that as they grow they will have it implanted in their hearts and live by it.
I – mpart values through Modeling – Here we’ve got to really do well with our behaviors as an adult because believe it or not – our kids observe us a lot and they are good at imitating us –so if we are showing rude behavior, disrespect, easily angered – don’t be surprised that one day they will be doing the same. It is a parents’ responsibility to be good role models for our kids and by that we are imparting good moral values in them. Bet it is not a walk in the park – it was never easy and to be honest, I mess big time on this one. I failed in controlling my temper at times and being impatient is also a major hole that I need to surrender to the Lord. But by God’s grace, I/We commit to do well in this – to strive to be more spirit filled so we will be guided by Holy Spirit how to react on situations and what actions to be taken. We will be exhibiting our passionate love for God so that Sophie and our future kids would also do the same and last but not the least – we will show humility and authenticity in our interaction with other people, amongst ourselves and our kids.
N- urture Relationship – “Date nights are important” – Oh yes!!! Sometimes we tend to neglect our spouse because of so much busyness in a lot of things (careers, hobbies, and even our kids). It is healthy for husband and wife to always set aside a time for exclusive date nights to be able to nurture the relationship and spend quality time with each other. On the same point – parents should always spend quality time with our kids because even for small gesture of paying attention to their needs or affirmations whenever they did something good – means a lot to them. Don’t miss out on those magic moments and continue to nourish your relationship. “Ektrepho” which is the greek of “to nourish” was also a quotable word last night J
U-tilize corrective discipline – this is a tough one – because as a mom I hate it when I see my child cries and ergo the thought of spanking her really scares me. But it has been a burden in my heart on how will I teach Sophie to obey and I know the bible allows spanking but at the back of my mind perhaps there is still another way. But praise God because last night the Lord clears my mind and my heart on this matter.
Proverbs 13:24 says “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” I like how Bro Edric explained this passage and even gave some pointers on how to execute it.
First – let the child learn and understand what it is to obey – once they know and understand it when do you start spanking?
(1) Start when you see defiance (you should distinguish and discern what you call mistake of the mind and mistake of the heart)
(2) Never spank out of anger – if you are angry or irritated you have to back off and cool down first before you do the spanking
(3) Use a distinct rod – don’t use just anything you can grab next to you – you should have a distinct spanking rod (there is even 1 with Proverb 13:24 in it)
(4) Use one command – this means don’t do counting… say “okay 1, that’s a warning, 2, 3,4 you will get hit by 5” – this will make your child think that oh I can still defy till 4 and will only get punished when it reach 5.
(5) Explain first – you have to let the child know why you have to do this – ask the child what is the disobedience he/she committed
(6) Spank (and make sure it hurts)
(7) Embrace after
(8) Make restitution
Bro Edric also mentioned that spanking would only be applicable for certain age – in his experience, it was stretched till their child reached 5 years old. After that they are doing other punishments like withdrawal of privileges and natural logical consequences.
P-ass on a vision and pray – This one is reflected in Psalm 78: 5-7 (He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
These are the gems that we’ve learned in last night’s Parenting Seminar – I thank God for the lives of Bro Edric and Sis Joy for allowing themselves to be an instrument of God to share this words to us. Indeed, becoming a parent is difficult but it is rewarding and all the hardships are worth it. Remember that we are not raising children but raising adults who are men and women of God and to see them grow up to become one is an achievement of God’s command to us being entrusted with these precious gifts called CHILDREN.