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How did God?

August 10, 2011

Obedience Ark

How did God make the trees?
How did God turn on the sun? the moon? Can He fly? where is the switch?

Those are Zarah’s questions last year, while we were waiting at the bus stop.

Last week she asked these questions:
How did God make my teeth? my nose?
How did God make Himself?

I tried my best to answer as biblically as possible, but then she asked me more questions.
Where is God? How did God get to Heaven?
When am I going to Heaven?

That’s when fear caught my heart! And I said, only God knows!

Then of course ,she said the unevitable.

I want to go to Heaven, Mommy! I held her close to me and said, yes, I want to go there too, but in God’s time.

Yesterday, was a public Holiday and my brother, SIL, 3 year old niece and almost 2 year old nephew came to our house. The night before, I prepared some coloring pages for them (the story of Noah’s Ark). The cover of the DIY coloring book is a black and white drawing of a rainbow, with the words “God’s Promise” and God’s Love at the bottom.

Zarah, my daughter was able to tell the story of Noah in her own words (bad men, Noah being the only good man, the unstoppable rain, the flood), so I only have to reiterate God’s Promise and God’s Love. That the rainbow is a sign of His promise that He will never again drown people with flood.

She also helped me to prepare a fruit salad (from apples, pear and cheese – of course from grass-fed cows and a squeeze of lemon).

How did God teach Biblical principles to children?
In parables, using simple words.

I found great Bible Study Lesson plans from here.

Nanay is particularly happy yesterday too. Last Sunday, I almost did not go to church, but she encouraged me to go. She told me that we go to church not to be seen by people, but to be seen by God, as a sign of obedience. And for once, I asked a very immature question ” why do we have to go, Tatay (my father) is not happy about us going to church anyway. Tatay should have been the one leading us spiritually, but instead he mocks us, what is the use of going to church, when in the end you will be mocked by the very person who should have lead you to know God more”. Nanay said, “you have come so far to where you are today, is that still an issue for you? You go to church to obey God’s commandments and to worship Him. It has nothing to do with your father.”

I thought to myself, this is what I have been waiting to hear from either or both of my parents for so long. That they be the ones holding my hands and teaching me how to pray and be closer to God. But I received the hand holding instead from a grop of Sunday School teachers when I was 9 years old. Then at about 11 years old, my mother pulled me away from Sunday School as it is taking too much of my time and that I was being “brain washed”. With God’s Grace even when I strayed from the teaching of my childhood teachers, I was able to turn around (just like listening to a familiar voice in the dark). How did God manage to let Himself known to me, despite the lack of parental guidance? That, I guess is a miracle. He sent me people at every step of the way, to let Himself known to me. And I know, that even if I do not consciously teach Zarah about God, she gets to learn about Him, in her own special way. The realization that I am inadequate and that God alone can fulfill some of the emptiness in my heart is a precious spiritual gift. All I have to do now, is to pass that spiritual gift to Zarah, though she will be receiving spiritual gifts of her own. How did God do that? I really do not know.

After discussing death with one of my favorite bloggers (CT Chang),

CT Chang wrote in his blog:
Likewise, as a Buddhist I am also preparing for the day. Buddhists are taught to contemplate on death. When we leave this world, we will leave behind our loves ones. The important question for me is what kind of relationship did you have with your daughter when you were still alive?

What a thought provoking question, if I die today, what could one say about the kind of relationship I have had with my daughter while I was still alive? OR to be more precise, how did I help her be equipped to not only survive but to thrive without me by her side?

I realized that in the Bible, there is one person who had an unbelieving father, who was taught by his mother and grandmother. This person’s name is Timothy.

Let’s take a look at two people who taught the Bible in the right way:
Lois(the grandmother) and Eunice (the mother). They appear in 2 Timothy. Lois was the grandmother of Timothy and Eunice was his mother. Timothy’s father appears to have been an unbelieving Greek (Acts 16:3). Both Lois and Eunice taught Timothy from the scriptures (2 Tim 1:5).

5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also

Their scriptures would have been the Old Testament to us. Both women made a great effort to make sure Timothy understood the scriptures correctly and when he finally heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, it meshed with what he knew of God from his Jewish faith and the lights came on for him and he became a believer. In 2 Timothy 3:14-15, we see Paul talking about the faith that his grandmother and mother taught Timothy:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

So what if I do not teach Zarah properly? I know she will have to learn anyway, it will probably the hard way (just like how I learned it the hard way). But really, should I really let strangers teach my own daughter? Should I spend my time in organising Mission Trips to faraway lands and neglect my own child in the process? Is this really what God wanted when He said, “take up my Cross and follow me?”..

Some blogs, that help me get over with the guilt of stepping down from my leadership role in the church to spend time with my daughter (as a way of worshipping God):

It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions, but not for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive Read more about Motherhood as a Mission Field here

Jesus and a child

As Christian parents, we have a responsibility to nurture and discipline our children. Like most parents, we want well behaved children, but even more importantly, we want our own children to grow up in the Lord. Our main goal as parents is to pass on our faith to the next generation.
Read more about Biblical perspectives on Attachment Parenting here

“Dear Lord, may You continue to make Yourself known to my daughter. Thank you for lending her to me. I want her to act in certain ways because of internal motivation, because she understand these are the good things to do, because it makes You happy and indirectly makes her happy too. Not because she is afraid of punishment or expecting a reward of some kind. Though I would like her to live in awe and fear of you, may love be the dominating force to Trust and Obey Your words. Guide me every step of the way as an effective vessel of your Words. AMEN!”

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