What if today was my last (as a parent)?

Standard

I tucked my son into bed last night, as I usually do. But as I returned to my room, I felt that there was something heavy on his heart that he may want to talk about, so I returned to spend a bit more time with him. I’ve learnt that there are times when it’s those quiet moments before sleeping that children do spend time thinking about ‘big questions’ and some of our most meaningful heart-to-heart talks happen at that time (though it at first seems like a mighty inconvenience to parents).

So I lay down next to him, wondering how to get him to share with me.

“I was thinking… if you and mummy die, we’d have no one…”, he said.

Unlike Barney, I didn’t have a happy, chirpy, positive response for him. I just hugged him and we both let our tears find their way down our cheeks.

It is true, isn’t it? If my wife and I die, who would be there for them? Maybe they’ll be sent to welfare services to be fostered into other homes. I don’t have the confidence that the assembly or assembly members would ‘adopt’ guardianship over my children. Who would want them, all four of them? What would happen? Would they be separated? Would they be abused? Would they be able to cycle and play together? Would they be able to sing and play together anymore? Would they be abandoned? Will there be any more joy? Their lives will never be the same again. What would happen?

There seemed to be a little disappointment in him that I didn’t have a near immediate answer. This one required a lot of sensitivity… without sacrificing reality.

I finally answered, “Son, you’re right. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We can’t be sure of where we will be. But that doesn’t mean we have to be afraid. We believe in the Lord Jesus, and He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. What ever happens, good or bad, we believe and trust that He is preparing us for it. He is able to, He has, and will, take care of us. The bible also says, ‘Cast your worries upon Him, for He cares for you’, so yes, I’m as worried as you are, but lets tell it to God coz He cares for us. And if you believe in Jesus, and I believe in Jesus as our Saviour, if we are separated by death, we’ll meet again and never be separated again.

Wasn’t the best reply, but it was the best I could muster. Good enough to get a kiss from my son. We prayed and cast this issue before Him, coz He cares.

As we hugged each other to sleep a different thought went through my mind, one that is the actual point of this narrative – as a parent, if I knew that today was the last day with my child, what would I do differently? Would I nag or scold as much? Would I shoo them away for asking me, “what is Monday?” Would I be as annoyed by how slow they eat? Would I kiss, hug and play with them more? Would I be more patient? Would I take the time to go for a walk with them?

What if today was my last day as a parent?

P/S: As I drifted to sleep, the Lord laid this verse on my heart, and it gave me some confidence.

Philippians 1:21-25. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.

Advertisements

So much for fellowship

Standard

Saw a group of young people come to a church and excitedly head for a table. I (naively) thought to myself, “wow, they must have waited all week to see and talk to each other…”

And then they whipped out their phones and tablets and buried their heads in them.

So much for fellowship.

20130402-084810.jpg

Full disclosure : my son went to join them! Haha!

Can I trust my kids with Barney

Standard

Yes, you know who I’m talking about. The pink dinosaur so many millions of children have grown to love.

The perfect and problem free world of Barney

The perfect and problem free world of Barney

You can call me paranoid but my spider-sense is tingling regarding this ancient predator-turned-friendly dinosaur (he’s a Tyrannasaurus Rex, by the way, the cute dino that just happend to tear a guy in half in Jurrasic Park). To be fair, I’m not only wary of this guy, but also anything that wildly popular in society, which is also popular among Christians. My bible teaches me that there’s little agreement with what’s fun in the world (which is controlled by Satan), and what pleases God, and Satan’s no.1 mission is to drag people away from God.

So when so many Christians don’t give a second thought about letting their children watch Barney (and I was one of them!) I just thought of taking a more critical look.

It’s hard to get past Barneys giggles and his friends’ bad acting, but maybe as Christian parents we should try to get ‘inside the Barney suit’ and see if the values being promoted in Barney videos are in agreement with the bible?

I can already hear some Christian parents coming to Barney’s defence, maybe saying “what’s the harm with some humour and good morals and silly sing-alongs?”

I guess not much. I mean, can anyone out do Larry the Cucumber in Vegetables for his silly songs? But try this for an example:

I was listening to the first song on Titus’s Barney VCD. They had all been invited to a party and they wanted to have a good time. So, Barney starts of in a song that goes

Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you. To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.

I’m just not comfortable with some guy in a dino suit teaching my son to sing to the sun. I would never to do that, and I would never teach him to pray to the sun, rain, trees or anything that is part of God’s creation. Mankind was created in God’s image, and with that was the ability to be aware of the True and Living God. It is to Him we should be praying to.

Not only that, you may or may not know of the occult deception of ‘mother earth worship’, where children and people are being taught that the Earth has feelings, emotion can feel pain and has a personality, and has energies that we as humans can ‘tap into’. The Egyptians prayed to the Sun (ra), and various elements of the earth and this is being heavily taught in today through the new age movement. The Emergent church is also embracing this ‘earth and self-centric’ spirituality as it liberates them from the confines of the Word of God. So singing a song to sun does not seem so ‘harmless’ now, does it?

There’s another song that goes “You can count on me.”

Sorry Barney, but the Bible teaches that I should put my trust in God, and not man (let alone a T-Rex with good intentions!)

The other thing I’m not comfortable with is the way Barney ‘evades’ real issues, and problems with ‘positive thinking’. Positive thinking is the unbiblical psychology of “all things are possible with me” instead of the biblical “all things are possible with God”.

Turns out I’m not the only one with some concerns, I found article written a someone who’s not a christian and was written at a time when web pages were still written in plain HTML! Here are some excerpts:

What’s so dangerous about Barney? In a word, denial: the refusal to recognize the existence of unpleasant realities. For along with his steady diet of giggles and unconditional love, Barney offers our children a one-dimensional world where everyone must be happy and everything must be resolved right away.

His often manic attempts to rescue a youngster from distress (“What can we do to make Kathy happy?” “Are you still scared?”) teach his young audience to resist or flee painful emotions, an approach that only guarantees their persistence.

Full article here

So I’m just sharing my concerns as a Christian parent, be aware, very aware, not just of Barney, but of anything thing, person and media your child is being exposed to on a regular basis.

Discernment is important, watch what your kids watch (even if its really annoying to your adult mind), and if you see anything that needs explaining from a biblical point of view, explain it to them. Let them sing the other songs if they don’t collide with biblical teachings, but where they do collide, gently tell your kids to not sing them.

p/s: someone suggested that the Montessory syllabus has new age teachings in it, but I haven’t confirmed this. Let me know if you can substantiate that claim.

Home schooling anyone?