Grow up, Mom!

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

Paul challenges the Ephesian church to stand firm in all their duties as believers, focusing on having the right mindset,actions and responses to the family of believers and our community.

Having to share about honoring Christ through honoring our parents at the start of the chapter seems to imply that sometimes it is just so hard to give honor to them.

One young man chatted with me through Facebook last night about his struggles with his parents. They just had one of those big fights again and he couldn’t bear the guilt and the frustrations after it. He even ranted for almost thirty minutes about his mom not understanding him and what he has been doing.

I knew in my heart that this kid wanted me to confirm his frustrations and will side with him on what he feels is correct and right. After awhile, he realized that I am not against or in anyone’s side. He slowly understood what needs to be done and decided pray for his parents.

The struggle of this young man was my struggle before and I don’t want him to make the same mistake as I did.

By any means and of no regard of age range, when we talk back and go against their wishes, it dishonors God as we disrespect them. This is not an implied truth but a plain, clear and cut to the heart reminder of Paul.

How many times have we hurt their feelings? Our sense of knowledge against their inadequacy is a sign that we are rebelling against them. Rebellion in the heart, even not showing it to them, is still rebellion.

We honor Christ by honoring their desires for us. In all the layers of hard talks, demands to excel and even to a point, nagging at us showcases three simple truths:

1.) They want what they believe is best for us – hard as it can be, they really do. The wisdom and advise (or sometimes, commands) our parents give is for our own good. This is to instill discipline in us. No matter how harsh the words was given or how strong their emotions are is the reality that they are doing this to make sure we are on the right path.

2.) When we talk back at them, it hurts them – often times we blurt out the famous words “you just don’t understand me…” statement that often leads to an argument. They do understand us, it’s just that when we reason out to them, they already know where this talk will lead. Our parents are there to guide us so that just in case they are gone, they no longer fear of what might happen to us.

3.) When we talk back, it hurts us more – the sense of guilt, shame and condemnation is the spirit’s indication that we did something wrong. The Holy Spirit will bring our consciousness back to what He says in the written word. To honor our parents is to respect them, and especially if we still live with them. The conscience in us will bring into light the hurts and pain we feel when we fought back but also the remorse and sin that grieves God by disobeying the command of Ephesians 6:1-3.

My greatest struggle came when my parents decided to separate. My twin brother and I just got home from an event and found out that all our plates and glasses are broken and they were fighting (again). It was our decision to let them part ways because we felt at that time that there was no use in living in a place where fights are the new norm.

Looking back at what happened then made me realize that out of our own wisdom, we thought that was the right and mature counsel we can give them. Sad to say,it wasn’t the wisest decision at all. It led to a lot complications that the four of us siblings are experiencing until now.

We no longer dwell on our past mistakes but we do, for the longest time, are praying for divine intervention. I’m praying for my father and younger brother to come back to the Lord. This was one of the consequences of the decision we’ve made. I am starting to pray for my parents to get back together and a lot of other things.

Anyway, back to the topic….

Why share it here? Because you probably feel that we are more mature and wiser than our parents, but we are not. There are things that they have experienced in life that we haven’t experience yet. Their advice comes from the hard decisions in their struggles in life and the result it brought to them. Our decisions and argument sometimes comes from the convenience we want to get or to a point, as a way of escape of disobeying them. We reason out because know we were caught in the act.

How then should we respond? How do we show love to them? How can we stay silent when all hell breaks loose?

We start to love them as who they are. To love them is to honor them. And the best way to do it is to respect their decisions for us. Doing this not on our own accord but only through His strength (relating to the gift of grace which gives us the supernatural capacity) to pray for our enemies if we see them as one.

We start by praying for them. We hide in our prayer closet and ask God to change them and in the end, God changes how we sees them. They are also broken vessels that needs our love and acceptance. We P.U.S.H. until we no longer sees them as an enemy but as our love ones.

We honor them by saying “yes”. We often feel that every command needs a rebuttal but looking at it, almost 90% of the time, we feel guilty on why we did what we did. It will be hard at the start but in the long rung, you will see the fruit of your labor.

How is your relationship with your parents? Please do share your own experiences and hopefully, someone out there probably had the same struggles we can help them out with.

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When Work Has Its Challenges…

outstanding-attitude-quotes

We face difficulties and challenges differently. I for one would strategize how to get out of the situation, create resolutions and start working to sort things out. But other people respond differently. A friend of mine usually tries to detach herself to people when faced with challenges while another one, bursts out in discouragement and talks about it to everyone he meets.

Regardless of the challenges, one thing is for sure, our attitude determines our response to the situation. Responding negatively only brings more problems and frustration while responding the positive way helps fix the situation. We need to become part of the solution and not the problem.

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. -Hans Selye

Here are a couple of things I am learning while experiencing the challenges:

  1. Listen to other people’s concern but never retaliate – LISTEN. It pays to listen to a co-worker when they are venting out their frustrations. Although it might push us to retaliate when words gets very sharp but having the patience to sit for some time and know the root cause can help us better understand the situation.
  2. Affirm the other person’s point of view but rebuke when needed – the person will keep on telling the group that he or she is right. Regardless of how negative this may sound, affirming their remarks and observations helps the person to open up. We need to understand that this gives us the edge to also give our side of the observation. It becomes different when the person now pinpoints other people’s mistakes instead on focusing on what really is going on. That’s when rebuke comes in. I always remind myself to “rebuke with love” – the statement may be hard to take but sharing it the right way, without raising your voice and using right words that brings clarity not hatred matters.
  3. Always be cool-headed when talking to someone – having two hot-headed people in one room is too much. Someone will retaliate at any moment. According to my favorite author Zig Ziglar “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude…” and being cool even when discussing hot issues gives balance and resolution always.
  4. If needed, we need to be firm with what needs to be done and get both side’s commitment – verbalizing our comments, commitment and even with a simple “yes” or “no” can level the game. It always takes two or more people to fix the issue; it can never be resolved with you just absorbing everything. You need to tell the right people and discuss resolutions. Get the commitment of the person concerned to “move on” and do something about it and if possible, not talk about it anymore in a negative way.

I hope the things I’ve shared help. And if it does, please let me know! 😉

The Final Decision

After 5 days of thinking hard and weighing things down, I finally came into a decision.

I never knew that something like this could be so hard as to thinking straight to what needs to be done and making the best decision ever.

Talking with co-workers, relatives and closed friends placed me in the situation of learning to hear what God is saying. All of what they shared were honestly, true and correct but which one is the best option and which one is from God?

So, what’s my decision?

I decided to stay in the company.

I know, it seems stupid to stay in the company and neglect the notion that i’m saying no to a supervisory offer with a good salary I would say. But nothing beats the idea of being in a more secured company, better system and closed friends.

I would also like to share that making this decision gives me peace of mind and security. I guess that’s what matters most, having the peace of mind of our decisions. I was always advised that the best decision is finding it in the will of God because you’ll find peace in it.

To everyone who prayed, reasoned with me and advised me to do what’s best. I salute your generosity and truly, you deserve a pat on the back, well done!

And to God, who is always there to give me wisdom and grace, I thank You with all my heart, indeed being in your will is far better than anything the world has to offer.

What Kids Sing Nowadays

I was preparing for work today when I heard the little girl next door singing “Single Ladies”, ” Nobody,nobody But You” and “Poker Face”. Instead of enjoying the kid’s rendition of these songs, I felt sorry for her.

Okay,okay… These songs are the latest songs from the music world and if I’m not mistaken, most youth would go for this kind of genre – especially the party goers. But when a kid sings these kind of songs without understanding the lyrics it entails, I kind of wonder whether her parents are okay with that or that they don’t know what their kids are doing.

The growing up years of a child’s life is important in developing their personality. Messages they get from movies, songs and teachings from teachers and older people alike impacts the vulnerability of the kids mind. A kid easily gets the idea and will use it – be it for good or bad.

I remember myself being engrossed with occultic movies that I tried playing with the idea of having occultic powers. And to my dismay, much of the reasons why I wanted to do those things was to harm people I hate, get back to people that wronged me and pursue sinful desires. I know this is a bad example but that’s the reality that I have struggled for quite a long time before breaking it during my senior years in high school.

I am not saying songs of today offers occultic ideas, but it creates perversion and imorrality in the early age of the child. If you would see the music videos of these songs or even the renditions of other local artists of the songs – it promotes a lot of things and that includes bearing of skin to get attention, promiscuity and sad to say, the wrong foundation for love of the opposite sex.

If you’re a parent, I would like to advise you to carefully choose what your kids are watching or listening nowadays. It is much better to have them watch educational and life-changing movies or cartoons, develop their characters through songs that develops courage, love and respect and among other good traits a kid and later on as an older person.

Kuya Lance and Ashley (my two pamangkins) usually watch tv the whole day during weekends but with supervision from their lola or mom. Whenever the movie (be it cartoons or otherwise) does not have a good lesson to learn, we change the channels.  And everytime we watch a good movie, we ask them what they have learned from the movie and strengthened that learning through examples in their perspective as children.

We must understand that kids needs our help for them to understand how the world runs and how they can be ready to face it later on when they grow up. I know learning this will take time, but if we want to invest life to our kids, we must sacrifice time and effort to make them one. God has given us the opportunity to create change in the lives of these kids, let us take a hold of that and be responsible enough to impart wisdom and good character to these little ones. 🙂

Thank You for reading!