Angeling Sim on Learning and Growing in Parenting

Things My Children Have Taught Me About God (and myself)

~Part 1

by Angeling Sim

I hope this is not true – but sometimes I feel that perhaps my children might have taught me more about God than I have ever taught them.

1) When I had planned, shopped, washed, chopped, cooked, smashed, cooled a wholesome meal, and presented it to my toddler, and she clammed her mouth tightly shut…

I saw how foolish I was, to refuse God’s spiritual milk that would help me grow. Not only did I not self-feed regularly, I sometimes did not even allow the very food I needed to stay alive and grow, to reach my heart when through my being distracted, I clammed my mouth shut while the “Bible class cook” was trying to spoon-feed me the meal he had taken time & effort to prepare.

2) Once when my new baby was fast asleep, with both arms outstretched by her side, and head drooped down to one side, she looked like she was in that “Jesus on the cross” posture.

Oh how did God, how could God, EVER offer His Son….for me?

3) I knew my toddler very well (I think, at least some of the time). Many times when I offered her a choice, I already knew what she would choose even before she actually took her pick. But still, I kept offering the choices. Sometimes, I saw her grow by the choices she made as she matured, and it brought me much joy.

After many years of wondering – I finally understood how God’s Omniscience & foreknowledge do not interfere one bit with the freedom of choice He has given us. His knowledge does NOT affect our choice.

He allows us the freedom to choose. And when we choose right, it pleases Him.

4) My toddlers hated the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). They knew it really would make them better, but forcing that pungent black liquid down their throat often took two adults to restrain the kicking of the limbs, throwing back of the head, clamming of the mouth, screams and cries. It would have looked like child-abuse. But we did it anyway, because very often TCM worked wonders (without the side effects).

Pain & suffering refines and purifies our soul. Sometimes we cry and ask why. Sometimes we fret and struggle. Sometimes we may even question our Father’s love or existence. Though we know deep down inside we are being tried for the better, we often still struggle against it. I asked myself, “Can I learn to trust Him and press on in humble obedience when the “TCM” is coming down my throat?”

5) When I said, “Please don’t do this & that, or you’ll get hurt”, sometimes I heard the response, “See? Mama, I just did that but didn’t get hurt”. At times, I knew it was time to let go so the child could learn—the hard way. I wish she didn’t have to, but I knew that sometimes that’s what she needed. When she hurt, I didn’t want to laugh and say “told you so” or “serve you right” (though, shame on me, sometimes I actually did!). I wanted to be there, to comfort and to console, when she was hurting, crying, and genuinely regretting her disobedience. I wanted to hold her in my arms and say, “It’s ok, you’ll be alright and I still love you—we’ll learn together.” I would never disown her because of her disobedience.

This was perhaps the hardest for me. But I wanted to remember that if I as a mere mortal mom could love and forgive… how much more can God? He doesn’t withhold His love and say “Serves you right!” when I go astray and end up hurt and bruised. He is the Father waiting and longing for me to come home.

I realize that I must not try not to be foolish and just have to “try for myself” what God has said will only bring destruction and pain. I need to be wise to trust His word instead of try out Satan’s lies.

6) “Stay close to me, it’s crowded in here,” I warned and reminded my children when at crowded shopping malls. Still I constantly had to watch out to ensure that Junior was right beside me, and if I really should lose her I would go look for her immediately.

We silly sheep are always getting distracted by the glitters of the world and getting lost, needing the Shepherd to find us. Let’s follow Him closely where He can watch out for us, and let’s not stray anymore!

7) It is good to be loved, needed, and obeyed by a young child. Nothing brings greater joy than being close together, being in each other’s company, and simply soaking up the love we have for one another as a family.

God has taken me in, into His Family. He wants me to be in close fellowship with Him through prayers and listening to His Voice through His Word. That pleases Him, and the close fellowship with Him will also make me happy.

8) I would get mad if all my kids were saying to me were requests for things, things and more things! It made me madder when they didn’t even say “thank you” and took everything I did for granted, or when she ordered me around like I were her slave.

Do I treat God in the same way?

—to be continued—

(View part 2 here)

Angeling Sim is a Christian wife, stay-at-home mother and former teacher, and a woman of whom I have the great honour of calling my friend. Angeling is a woman who always is looking to grow and serve in the Lord’ church–striving to bring up her children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord (and doing a great job!)

Angeling is married to Patrick Ho and together they have two beautiful children: Theodora, and Theofina (their names are testaments to the godly focus this couple has). This godly family is a source of constant support and encouragement and a great example to me in Singapore!

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