Tag Archives: parenting

On Marriage and Parenting

On Marriage and Parenting
by Danny Tariman

“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” (Colossians 1:25)

We were meeting in the Vicariate Commission on the Family when a parish leader asked me, “Can we invite you to give a talk in our Festival of Families?” I was pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to share the Word of God.

I prayed that the Lord would speak through me in my talk. I prepared a good deal: pondered on Bible verses on marriage and parenting, and read Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis. I lifted up prayers for a Spirit-filled sharing of the Word of God.

On the appointed day, my wife and I drove to the parish. When we were ushered into the church, I was beaming with happiness deep inside of me because the attendance was excellent: a complete mix of fathers, mothers, and children. This is exactly the audience that my talk was focused on!

As I delivered the Word of God on marriage and parenting, the audience listened attentively, even reading with me the biblical verses flashed on screen. After the talk, the attendees were asked to reflect. I was glad to hear that the Word sank deep into their hearts. I praised the Lord for allowing me to present His Word in its fullness!

Reflection:
“Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 13:11)

Prayer:
Dear Lord, continue to use me as Your mouthpiece of love. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache — both hardcopy and online — on July 21, 2019]

Houserules

Houserules
by Danny Tariman

“Whatever point we reach, let us be of the same mind, and let us remain in the same rule” (Phil 3:16)

I recently had a very nice encounter with about 50 parents over the weekend where I gave a talk on parenting. I was happy to see interesting response of the parents especially on the matter of houserules.

True indeed that one of the important aspects of parenting is our houserules. As parents, we should clearly define the rules and standards that our children should abide.

Both parents should agree on the terms and the norms that the kids can “work or play with”. It will be difficult for kids whom to obey and to follow if parents have different views regarding a certain norm or rule. It has to be discussed between the parents, and prayed for.

When these norms or rules are agreed upon by both parents, and had been prayed about, it has to be required from all the children, and remain consistent – meaning it should not change very often. The Bible verse above is clear about this: “let us remain in the same rule”.

One of the reasons for conflicts in the family is our ill-defined family norms or houserules, and sometimes the inconsistency of application of these rules. As pointed out in 2 Timothy, no one can win unless one plays according to rules.

“No one who is an athlete wins a prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (2Tim 2:5)

There are many areas in our family life that we, as parents, should define the houserules. The list below will provide a list of areas that we can start:

  • Courtship – What age will you allow?
  • Dating – How do you want your child go on dates?
  • Curfew – What time should your children be at home?
  • Prayer time – What time during the day should kids have personal prayers? Family prayers?
  • Studies – What is your requirements for home work? School grades?
  • Church service – Do you want the family goes together every Sunday?
  • Friendships – What kind of friends do you want for your kids? Do you open your home to friends of your children? What are the limitations for going out with friends?
  • Dress Code – What kinds of dress do you allow your kids to wear – at home, when going out, when going to church, etc?
  • Gadgets – Do you allow kids to use gadgets while having family dinner? During studies?
  • Manners – Being grateful, courtesy and respect, honesty, openness, etc

The are many areas that we should be clear about. The list above should let you think of areas in your family life that you need to develop and define the norm or houserule.

One reminder for parents: norms or houserules should be “balanced”, and practical & applicable to your own family needs.

I pray that you will have a truly happy parenting, in Jesus’ name. Say “Amen” if you agree.

Teaching Our Children

Teaching Our Children
by Danny Tariman

“Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always on your heart. Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up.” (Deutoronomy 6:6-7)

“My dear, just speak to our children. Remind them again…” my wife will plead with me lovingly each time any of my kids would violate a house rule or break family value.

I realized now with the Biblical principle outlined in the verse above, that I have to remind the children repeatedly, or as often as necessary.

But this is not merely for a house rule that had been violated, nor for a family value that was breached, nor for a plain disobedience.

As parents, it is our highest responsibility to teach our children the way of the Lord, to teach them about Christianity in every area of our lives. We need to teach them repeatedly, as the Bible says “teach them repeatedly to your children.” Talk about them whether at rest or in an activity.

Most of the problems in our society today can be traced back to the lack of Biblical teaching or the need for basic Christian living principles being drilled down to children.

For example: the respect for authorities.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)

Many of our people today do not respect government officers, church leaders, school teachers, and other persons of authorities. While still young, we need to repeatedly teach our children about respect.

Another simple yet often violated rule: the pedestrian crossing. The Bible is very clear about disobeying even “small” rules

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 5:19)

I tried standing for 5 minutes at a road intersection with a traffic light. I observed how people will obey the traffic lights. I tell you, not a few – but many, more than the fingers of my two hands – I had noticed, disregard the “red signal” light.

At work, do we give our best even when the supervisor is not around?

“Obey your earthly masters with fear, trembling, and sincerity, as for the Lord. Do not do this only while you’re being watched in order to please them” (Eph 6:5-6)

Have you heard the saying “the mouse is active when the cat is away”? The verse above says that we have to work diligently even while we are not being watched.

There are a lot of Christian principles that we need to understand and drill down to our children. But this short reflection cannot handle all these. I hope you can start today studying the Word of God and drill them down to your children and to your children’s children.

My dear parents, there is an urgent need for us to teach our children. Repeatedly. Until they are able to absorb them in their heart.

One final reminder: do not be afraid to discipline your children. The Bible is very clear about this:

“Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.” (Hebrew 12:11)

May God bless us in our parenting task!

Love Your Child

by Danny Tariman

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Prov 29:15)

“He is so talkative in school.”

“He knows better that his teacher.”

“Teacher asked him to color the elephant but he colored the background instead because that was what he wants.”

“He knows how to reason out.”

“He talks a lot and he is well-loved.”

An amused mother was telling me stories about her 4-year old child. Yes, the child is quite – or maybe – smart. But many instances it appears he is able to get his way – to the point of not following instructions.

He is cute, he is chatty, chubby, and he is lovable. However, if as a parent, we continue to let him have his way unrestrained, when he grows old, he will be a headache not only to the mother and father, but maybe to the family.

Sometimes as a parent, we feel pleased because it appears that the little child is smart. We smile, we feel light that he was able to do it his way. We even brag him and his story to our friends and neighbors. But this is sending him the wrong message. We are telling him through our actions that it is okay to not follow the teacher if it is not to his liking, that it is alright to reason out to the teacher.

If this is left unchecked, he may grow up disobedient – to parents and authorities. He may even not get a good job if he brings this bad attitude to work when he grows old.

If this is left unrestrained, he may grow up an undisciplined, spoiled brat who does whatever he wants to do.

The Word of God is very clear. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Parents should not only educate their children, telling them what is good and what is right. We must also correct and rebuke the child when he is not doing the right thing. We should never leave him doing the wrong way!

I agree, sometimes it is uneasy to rebuke or correct. Much more with a rod. But disciplining with a rod should be accompanied with an explanation so the child knows what wrong he has done – this is where wisdom comes. I know it pains. But then again, the Bible warns us so. Hebrews 12:11 says “all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.”

I had passed this stage. My children are now grown up. I am very proud to say they continue to be lovable, and even huggable in their twenties. Whenever one offends the other, the offender apologizes quickly. When one is in need, the other helps. Up to this day, we go to Church together, we watch movies together, we eat-out together, and yes, we explore places together.

This is family, This is love.

Thank you Lord for giving me a wonderful family!

 

[Photo is a screen grab from Flickr.com]