Volume. XXII, No. 41
Sunday, 06 April 2008

From the Pastors Heart: The Role of the Home

As far as I know, most, if not all, parents have high hopes and expectations for their children as they begin school life.  Many of these parents themselves have not had the opportunities to study in university, or even middle and high school.  They desire to see their children have opportunities they did not have and are happy to send them to schools.  They are even willing to go deep into their pockets to support their children’s education.  How proud we parents were when we took our children to school for the very first time!  From kindergarten, to primary and secondary schools, and universities, when our children move forward and climb up the ladders of academic careers, we are very happy to see their growth and achievements.  We all expect that our children will do well in school and later in their work.  However, up until the time when they can finally become independent of us, there are so many struggles and challenges they have to overcome.  However, our children are not the only ones who have to struggle.  We parents do have inner and outer struggles to help and support our children.  How often have I heard from desperate and discouraged parents that they are failures?  How many times have I asked the same question?  To bring up our children well and to see them go into the ways, for which we have been hoping and praying, there are many sighs and anguishing moments.  We also raise questions like, “what have I done wrong?” “What’s wrong with me?” or “what is the right parenting?”  I have read an article about 100 ways to help our children succeed.  Having read it, I was more confused and more frustrated than before.  I felt that I would not be able to fulfil all the points necessary for my parenthood.  Sometimes, we feel so good about our children, but sometimes they seem to behave like aliens to our eyes, and their languages and gestures become so foreign to us.  We sigh and try to comfort ourselves by finding and talking about even worse students and others’ rebellious children.  Or rather, we defeated parents get together and console each other.  What an honour to be parents!  But what a responsibility to bring them up in such a way that they will honour their God! 

When the schools send us their report cards, there are lots of Uuuuuuuuhs and Awooooochs from our lips.  Most parents (especially those from overseas) are not ready to accept it if their children are average students.  It is not good enough, they say.  If the report cards indicate that their children are not so average but below average, the parents’ self-inflicting tortures become endless laments like funeral music.  Their wailing voices begin to talk about their own childhood and successes since then up until now.  They are wondering why their children do not make the same achievements like them.  Finally, the most dramatic but seemingly fitting answer is found in their spouses’ bad genes.  Mums and Dads begin finger pointing each other until they are completely disheartened and discouraged.  Does it sound very familiar to you?  Quite often, we also find that our children do not feel as bad as we do.  Instead, they say that we should not feel too bad, because there are even worse cases in other homes.  Or sometimes, they say to us that we are upsetting them by hurting their already damaged ego.   Well, before we give them up by considering them as aliens thrown to us from spaceships or outer space, let us calm down and begin to think.  After all, most of our children are better than Calvin and Hobbes.  There are two areas of developments we must expect from our children.  Though it sounds like a cliché, one is spiritual and the other physical.  The spiritual side of development comes from their relationship with the Lord.  Parents play an important part of their children’s spiritual growth.  There is also physical growth, in which I include their education and career developments.  There have been many studies to help parents in order to help their children.  There has been a consensus that home plays an important role for our children’s growth and success.

Here are some findings concerning parental involvement in their children’s education by the National Education Association: (1) When parents are involved in their children\'s education at home, they do better in school.  And when parents are involved in school, children go further in school — and the schools they go to are better.  (2) The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school.  A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.  (3) Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home. Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child\'s chance of reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.   (4) When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.  (5) Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a child\'s time, helping with homework and discussing school matters.  (6) The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child\'s educational process, the more powerful the effects.  (7) Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children\'s schooling.

It is also true that parental involvement is crucial during the children’s adolescent years.  The role of parents for children inevitably leads us to think about parenting style.  Two styles have been identified: permissive and authoritarian.  “The permissive style tends to emphasize warmth and neglect limit-setting and supervision,” while “the authoritative style is one in which parent offer warmth and support, and limit-setting and supervision.”  “When the authoritative parenting style is used, the adolescent may be more likely to experience academic success.  Authoritative parents are warm and responsive but are also able to establish and enforce standards for their children\'s behaviour, monitor conduct, and encourage communication.  Authoritative parents make clear that they expect responsible behaviour from their child their adolescent or the school when their teen seems to be having difficulty.”  The following are suggestions to help avoid difficult situations with adolescents: (1) Make time to listen, (2) Set appropriate boundaries for behaviour, (3) Encourage the teen to participate in school activities, (4) Attend school functions, (5) provide a supportive home and school environment that clearly values education, (6) Help children think about career options, (7) Encourage them to volunteer, and (8) Emphasize at home and in school the importance of study skills, hard work, and follow-through.  One thing is for sure.  We will never give up on them.  What parents have to do is to persevere.   (http://www.focusas.com/School.html)

Here, I must add one more important matter to home education.  It is to teach our children about obedience.  We must know that external discipline is necessary in order that our children will develop internal discipline.  Rules and consequences when rules are broken must be established.  There are not too many children who, naturally and eagerly, want to discipline themselves to study.   This discipline should be a part of their character.  This characteristic can be learnt through obedience.  As far as teachings about obedience are concerned, sooner is better.

Whatever I wrote here for children’s home education should be also applicable to their spiritual discipline.  When parents do not worship, their children lose opportunities to worship.  When parents do not serve, their children lose their opportunities to worship.  When parents neglect the things of God, what can their children learn from them?  After all, parents need disciplines as must as their children do.  May the Lord give parents wisdom and strength to bring up their children to honour the Lord both spiritually and physically!  May the Lord bless our children to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord!


Pastor Ki

More Lively Hope




Welcome to our pulpit today: Rev James White

Bible Camp forms available on literature table, please return by TODAY.

Accommodation required for Sis Rebekah Neumann. If you can help please call 0400 527 136 or 8532 1793

Volunteers required for helping with transport. If you can help please see Dn Tony Law.

Daily Manna for Apr-Jun available on literature table.

Next weeks’ Fellowship lunch is communal.


Looking Ahead

Family Bible Camp at Victor Harbor: 24-26 April. Speaker: Bro David Weng.

22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 25 May. Speaker: Rev Patrick Tan


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (S’pore/Thailand); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng; Sisters Charlotte Lin (S’pore), Serene Wong (Adl), & Peng Ha Yeo (Syd); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Stainsbury).

Church activities: BBK Class, BSAG, Joy, Maranatha, Sparks4Christ, & YAF Share & Prayer.

All those who helped with Senior Citizens’ Fellowship.

Fellowship & contribution by Sis Charlotte Lin

Answered prayers - much needed rain

God’s daily mercy and grace to all of us.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Sis Siang Lai (recovering from car accident, Siem Reap); Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi (Phnom Penh).

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Adl); Bro You Wen Yeap (Syd).

Job - Bro Cong Pham

Sabbatical Leave: God’s guidance for Ps & Sis Myung Ki. Provision & protection for Bros Daniel & Samuel as they live by themselves.

Speaker for next Lord’s Day: Elder Lee

Family Bible Camp: Speaker - Bro David Weng, & camp committee.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church.

God’s provision - a car for Sis Lydia Fan.

God’s guidance on completion of study: Sis Charlotte Lin



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041