14 May 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Glad Tidings Assembly, Petaling Jaya celebrated Mother’s Day on the 11th of May starting with a children’s choir, followed by a light-hearted skit of unique personalities of mothers today. Despite their endearing quirks, the girls ended their self-directed skit thanking their Mamas.
“No matter what, we love you because you love us. Happy Mother’s Day!” the girls declared in unison.
Rev Mary Wong, wife of Senior Pastor Rev Clement Wong from Church of Praise in Ipoh and a mother of three children, was the speaker with her sermon entitled ‘Heart 2 Heart- Parents and Children’.
“Mothers today sometimes feel bad because they feel that they’re not doing enough for their children. Because of that, they send their kids to badminton practices, piano lessons, tuition classes, language classes, computer classes and ballet,” said Rev Mary. “But have you thought about what your children want to do and need from you?”
What Children Want!
From a survey conducted in her church called ‘Heart 2 Heart- Parents and Children’, Rev Mary shared top 10 things children love about their mothers:
1. “Tuck me in bed and share with me stories of you growing up!”
The stories should include achievements and mistakes the parents experienced as well. “When I share with my children about my mistakes and the consequences of making them, they feel transparent and tell me about their mistakes that I would otherwise not know,” said Rev Mary.
2.“Give me hugs and kisses. Play with me!”
3. “Spend quality time just with me without my brothers and sisters around.” Do fun things together.
4. “Give me nutritious but delicious food so you don't have to force me to eat it.”
5. “Talk to me about what we could do together in the weekends during meal times.”
6. “At night, talk to me about anything at all!”
7. “Let me play outside a lot.”
8. “Cuddle and watch our favorite shows together.”
9. “Discipline me because it makes me feel like you care.”
10. “Leave special messages in my desk, lunch bags and phones.”
“Children are incredibly wise because they see things in a simple way. It’s us, mothers who’re complicated,” Rev Mary said. “But children don’t want some things. Give them what they want. Most importantly, give them what they need.”
Love Goes Round and Round
While parents would selflessly fulfill what their children need, children often forget that their parents need them to fulfill their emotional needs as well.
In other words, both sides play an important role to instill a sense of security, a nurturing environment, trust and respect, a sense of belonging, good communication and love.
When all these needs are satisfied, a closer relationship can be formed.
Here are the respective heart cries and also the unique roles of parents and children according to Rev Mary*:
Children: I want hugs, kisses and attention from my parents. I wish they would spend more time with me instead of working all the time. When they discipline me, I need to be reassured of their love without rejection. And mostly, don’t compare me with other children.
Parents: I wish my child would appreciate what I did for them. A word of ‘thank you’ would be nice. When I grow old, I hope that I can count on my children to take care of me.
Children: Although I don’t quite enjoy how my parents train and teach me, perhaps I should trust and follow their advices and judgment. Like eating solid food to nurture my body into growth, I need to take ‘hard’ advices to mature in character.
Parents: More than achieving success or building a career, I should teach my child to put God first. Because when God is first, everything would fall into place including honoring me as a parent. I also need to learn from my mistakes in teaching my children and try not to repeat them.
TRUST AND RESPECT
Children: I know that it’s important to honor my parents because God says its right for me to do as a child. Obedience to my parents comes with the promise of long life according to Ephesians 6:1-4. But sometimes, I wish my parents would trust and listen to me.
Parents: I wish my children would listen to me. Although they may think I am old school, my judgment and advices come from the mistakes and pain I experienced before in my life. I only want the best for them…
Children: God placed me in this family for a purpose and I am significant. Because of that, I should bloom where ever I am planted.
Parents: From the love and care I give to my children, I want them to know that they are wanted and worthy in my eyes. Like how God initiated a relationship with me, I want to initiate a relationship with my children first and instill a sense of belonging in them. Hence, from this foundation, I hope to usher my children into building friendships with the body of Christ.
Children: When I open up my life and troubles to my parents, I fear that they would judge me. I want them to talk to me in a way that I would understand without talking down at me. Sometimes, I wish my parents would be more relaxed and not interrogate me like a criminal.
Parents: When my children are younger, they would talk a lot to me. But now, they no longer talk anymore. I try to ask them how they’re doing but they would answer me with general and short answers. All I want is to know what’s going on in their lives. If only they would give me an honest and detailed answer. I appreciate their presence more than their presents.
Children: I know my parents love me but I wish my parents would show more love and care to me like giving me a word of encouragement, a pat on my back or a simple hug. I wonder why it’s easier for them to show me that they’re angry with me than showing that they love me.
Parents: Whatever my children do, I should love them unconditionally like how God loves me! If they did anything wrong, I need to also discipline them while being ready to forgive them for their mistakes.
The inner monologues* above show how parents and children play unique roles in building each other up.
“Your parents need your love. Love them just as much as when they are old and coping with aging factors,” said Rev Mary. “Love them even when they can’t remember your name or faces because they still know what it’s like to be loved.”
Now, that is what you call love. Happy Mother’s Day!
*Information was presented in monologues to enable more palatable reading. The information was originally presented in the form of advices by Rev Mary.
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Pictures in this article are credited to Glad Tidings.