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Random Thoughts | On Christian parenting and ‘divine intervention’

“And you fathers (and mothers), do not provoke your children to anger, but rear them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

My beloved wife and I used to be the Dean of Facilitators in our week-long Marriage Enrichment Seminar at St. Jude Parish, Malvar Street, Davao City many years ago.

One of our topics in said Seminar was “Parents-Children Relationship.” Allow me to state below some of the lessons we used to discuss anent this subject.

It is a basic spiritual truth that parents and children as persons are equal before God. They, therefore, should enjoy equal human rights among one another and are due one another’s respect and love – children toward parents and parents toward children. Children are simply younger brothers and sisters of parents in the Lord’s great family on earth.

Our postulate assertions that children are not ours to own but only ours to rear, clearly broadens and justifies the prologue above. Children are precious gifts from God and parents are only commissioned as caretakers of such gifts. As caretakers of children, parents therefore enjoy the privilege of being trustees of the Lord. But the privilege entails responsibilities to perform and obligations to fulfill.

The basic responsibilities of parents to their children are: 1) Economic, 2) Psychological, 3) Education, and 4) Spiritual.

Success or failure of parenthood could be determined on the invested behavior, attitudes and values of parents, themselves in their relation with their children at home. There are two opposite extremes in parents-children relationship: Critical Parents-Children and Nurturing Parents-Children relationships. Ideally, in Christian Family Life, the latter is preferred over that of the former. Unfortunately, however, a lot of parents have led and still are leading their children in the Critical Parents-Children relationship; hence, undoubtedly, there is no peace and happiness in their families.

Critical Parents are those who either over-loving or over-strict in relation with their children. On the other hand, Nurturing Parents exercise well-balanced love and discipline guided by Christian values.

I’ve written this article after reading two very interesting but quite sad newspaper columns of 1) Jullie Y. Daza titled “Love triangle,” Manila Bulletin, February 25, 2020, and 2) Joel Ruiz Butuyan, titled “Love in the time of the corona virus,” Philippine Daily INQUIRER, March 2, 2020.

On Daza’s column:

“Thank goodness of the Sarah G-Matteo-G-Mother D love triangle last week to take our minds off (CoVid-19)!”

“To the few who sought counsel, even if it’s too late now, at least for Mr. and Mrs. Guidicelli, the solution would have been for Sarah to bind herself to Mommy Dearest with a pre-nuptial contract, that’s right, one between herself and her mom only (and keep Matteo out of it).

Being pre-nuptial, the contract would be accomplished before the wedding, the terms would have anticipated certain problems and saved all parties concerned from embarrassment, miscues, and martial mishaps. Sarah declaring her everlasting love and respect for her mom by guaranteeing her a tidy sum for her old age.

In exchange, Mother Divine promising that when the time came for her daughter to choose a lifetime partner, there would be no secrets between the two of them as they would give Sarah full rein to exercise her freedom of choice, for after all she’s an adult and one brought up by her parents to be smart, kind, a God-fearing lady.”

On Butuyan’s column:

“Popstar Sarah Geronimo and actor Matteo Guidicelli were married on February 20. The cool air must have suddenly turned into sweltering heat for the famous couple because of the ugly commotion that ensued.

Mommy Divine, as Sarah’s mom is popularly known, barged into the wedding reception venue, furious and ready to pick a fight. She was not only invited to the wedding, she didn’t even know that a wedding would be taking place. Per witness accounts, Mommy Divine accused Sarah and Matteo of betraying her, and hurtful words were exchanged.”

“No one from the Geronimo side was at the wedding, but the Guidicelli parents were in attendance. For Sarah to keep the wedding secret from her entire family speaks volumes of how deathly afraid she was of what her mother would do to stop the wedding. For sure, the couple weighed multiple options to ensure the secrecy of the wedding. There was the option to tie knot out of town, the alternative to hold the wedding out of the country, and the choice to hold a private nuptial before a judge or mayor. The fact that they scratched off these options says a lot about how strictly guarded Sarah was by her mother. The couple even had to hold the wedding under the pretext that Sarah was merely working that day.”

“Sarah is already 31 years old and Matteo is 29, both of ripe age, that gives them the absolute freedom to choose whoever they want to marry, even in defiance of their parents’ vehement objections. Also, from the moment Sarah turned 18 years old, the law gave her the complete freedom to exercise total control over her earnings and property.”

“Assuming there’s no prenuptial agreement from the moment Sarah and Matteo got married, all their properties become co-owned by both of them. Matteo is wealthy from the bits of news about him, but with Sarah’s wealth estimated at up to P3.82 billion, some have voiced out apprehensions that she might be at the losing end if Matteo turns out to be a scoundrel. However, Matteo will lose his share of the co-owned properties in favor of their eventual children, if he is at fault for the dissolution of the marriage.”

My Advice:

• Be “Nurturing Parents”
• For wealthy single people getting married, it is more logical nowadays to have “Pre-Nuptial” contract for your peace of mind and that of your relatives.

Let me end this article with a brief Prayer for Parents:
Oh God make us better parents. Teach us to understand our children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly.

Give us the courage to confess our sins against our children and to ask for forgiveness when we know that we have done them wrong.

Make us fair and just, considerate and compassionate to our children that they will have a genuine esteem for us. Fit us to be loved and imitated by our children. All these we ask in God’s name. Amen.


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