SHEPHERD: 8 Lessons on Parenting

I posted on my Facebook this morning from church…

What is the acronym SHEPHERD stands for?

I was reading the church bulletin and was attracted to a writing by Pastor Kwan on “Shepherding the Heart of a Child”. In it, he shared 8 valuable lessons, each represented by an alphabet in the word SHEPHERD.

Shepherd 8 Lesson on Parenting

What is the acronym “Shepherd” stands for?

I also believe these lessons are applicable to parents who desire to see their children growing up in the ways of the Lord. As such I am going to extract the 8 lessons from the writing in the bulletin and share them on my blog.

Seek the Lord in much prayer for each child. As we pray for them earnestly, the Lord will surely give us wisdom and insights to their spiritual needs. It is also important to teach our children to pray. It is often through their prayers that we get to understand how they feel and perceive spiritual truths. (Ephesians 6:18)

Help our children to understand the warnings given in God’s Word. Warning prevents a child from hurting himself and hurting others. It is always important to tell the child the consequences of wilfully disobeying God’s instructions. God’s warning given authoritatively will influence their attitudes and their behaviour for His glory. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Encourage our children by teaching them the promises of God. We need to communicate hope and courage through the many promises found in the Bible. Remember that our children do have many peer measures and emotional struggles in our materialistic society. They need God’s promises to fight against worldly ambition and inferiority complex. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)

Plead with them to act wisely and responsibly. This kind of approach is reserved for special cases and occasions. (Proverbs 23:26)

Hear intently a child’s complaints or questions. Do not ignore them when they express their frustrations and ask questions. This is perhaps a window of opportunity that God has given to us to lead them to trust in God and to search deeper into God’s Word.

Express your concern by correcting them. Correcting will indeed help our children to understand God’s standards. It teaches our children to assess their own behaviour and conduct against God’s given standards. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Rebuke a child when he has sinned against God. It is best done in private and with a loving heart. (Proverbs 27:5)

Devote much time in the study and meditation of God’s Word. This is the only way to be an effective teacher or parent. (Psalm 119:98-100)

Contents extracted from Church Bulletin Vol 43 #45, 14 April 2013.

Oh God, Make Me Into A TV!

Sunday is always my best day of the week. After a prata breakfast early this morning, I was off to church with my wife.

What I am going to share with you in this blog is an article written by Pastor Kwan in this morning service bulletin.

Pastor Kwan Writes…

This is an interesting story that I received recently in my email box. It is a story worth reading and pondering over.

A teacher from a primary school asked her students to write an essay about what they would like God to do for them. At the end of the day, she read one essay that made her very emotional. Her hushand, who had walked in, saw her crying and asked her, “What happened?” She answered, “Read this. It is one of my students’ essay.”

Boy watching television.

Oh God, make me into a TV!

‘Oh God, tonight I ask you something very special. Make me into a television. I want to take its place and live like the TV in my house. Have my own special place, and have my family around me. To be taken seriously when I talk. I want to be the centre of attention and be heard without interruptions or questions. I want to receive the same special care that the TV receives even when it is not working. Have the company of my dad when he arrives home from work, even when he is tired. And I want my mom to want me when she is sad and upset, instead of ignoring me. And I want my brothers to fight to be with me. I want to feel that family just leaves everything aside, every now and then, just to spend some time with me. And last but not least, ensure that I can make them all happy and entertain them. Lord, I don’t ask you for much. I just want to live like a TV.’

At that moment the husband said, “Oh! Poor kid. What horrible parents!” The wife looked up at him and said, “That essay is from our son!”

Parents must not underestimate the powerful influence of the TV and how it can control our lives. We have not doubt that some of the TV programmes can have negative effects on our children and also on our lives. It hinders meaningful intimate relationships with our family members when we give priority to watching the TV.

Besides the television, there are perhaps other modern gadgets and preoccupations that will also draw us away from spending quality time with our family members. It could be the computer. It could be our smartphones. It could be our hobbies or even our careers. Whatever they may be, the important lesson for us to learn from this story is how we ought to spend quality time with our loved ones. Indeed, we must not allow the things of this world to take priority over our relationship with our family members and also our communion with God.

Loving Your Children The Right Way

I do not claim ownership to the below story. Someone emailed it to me. I am sharing the story with you hoping to bring encouragement to make your day just a little bit brighter – as “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” – Proverb 17:22.

Mother explaining to her child

The most important thing is your child learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?” The youth answered, “None”.

The director asked, “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?” The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.”

The director asked, “Where did your mother work?” The youth answered, “My mother worked as clothes cleaner.” The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, “Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?” The youth answered, “Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.”

The director said, “I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.”

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother’s hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The director noticed the tears in the youth’s eyes, asked, “Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?”

The youth answered, “I cleaned my mother’s hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes.”

The director asked,”Please tell me your feelings.”

The youth said, “Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.”

The director said, “This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.”

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop “entitlement mentality” and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent’s efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead?

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are vacuuming the floor, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. On a Saturday morning, let the child washes his own school shoes. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow grey, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.