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Honouring Our Mothers

Mother’s Day is a time for honour. We want to honour and celebrate them by sharing God-stories of how this relationship is such a blessing, to us and also to others. We all have memories around Mother’s Day – whether we remember how we grew up under their care, or when we take care of them in their older age, or when we become mums ourselves. This is a day that helps us remember what sacrificial love means.

Growing up, our mums are the ones who cared for us – attended to our needs, helped us with our school work, cooked our dinners. As they grow older, sometimes we have the opportunity of returning the privilege of care-giving.

Loving in Practical Ways

So, what does it really mean to honour our parents? Sometimes, it means loving in very practical ways. A Covenanter shares his journey with us on what it really means to love his family.

“We shouldn’t wait till a crisis happens before we decide to take care of our parents,” this is what Justin Tan learned recently.

Being a young father of a toddler with another baby on the way, his life is full and busy. But when his mum was recently diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer, and living by herself, Justin was convicted to care for her in this season. He invited her to live with his family as she underwent cancer treatment.

Journey of Trusting God

Deciding to invite his mum to move in with them was not necessarily easy but Justin and his wife, Ke Jun, wanted to be there with her in this cancer journey. It was not an easy task to manage the family front with a two-year-old son and a pregnant wife, coupled with the changes in family life in having mum come live with them.

Even though his mum is still strong and independent, who does not require a lot of hands-on caregiving at the moment, the journey can be filled with challenges on multiple fronts. At the start of his mum’s chemotherapy, the entire family fell sick. It also coincided to be his son’s first week of school. Managing multiple stress points was tough indeed!

Nevertheless, it has been worth it. “This crisis has definitely brought the family together, not just my own family, but my sister and brother-in-law too. It warms my heart to see each member of the family taking turns to care for my mother. As a parent, I want my wife and I to model this to our children,” he shared. He also saw it as an opportunity to show God’s love to his pre-believing mum. And as his CG meets at his house, she can also witness the light of Christ from the church community gathering together for worship, sharing and prayer, “We hope this light will shine into her life and bring her true love, hope and peace.”

In this challenging period, Justin shared that it does scare him not knowing what will happen to his mum. He knew that his own strength will not be able to sustain this caregiving. Hence, this season has brought him to a place where he needs to rely on God more — a journey of trusting God’s love deeper as he learns to love His mum with the love of God.

Share God’s Love

In our God-given family, we are to honour our parents. Family discipleship is about living out our calling to be a channel of God’s love and blessing to our families. Is there a family member with whom you can share God’s love with? Let’s not wait for a better time than now. We can start in simple ways — a hug, a listening ear, a simple meal or a word of appreciation can go a long way!

 

Family discipleship is about living out our calling to be a channel of God’s love and blessing to our families.

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
Jonah 1:4-16; Psalm 86:11
Tue, 25 January 2022

The Fearful Men

Observation:

How did the sailors’ fear change from verse 5 to verse 16?

Deeper Reflection
THE NARRATIVE OF THE STORM AND SAILORS IS FULL OF irony and comedy. Picture the drama. The seasoned mariners were scared out of their wits (v.5). In an utter frenzy, they dumped cargo, desperately trying to save themselves. In contrast, Jonah the rebellious prophet was oblivious to the danger, sleeping in the bowels of the ship. The mariners were frantically calling out to their gods. But the prophet of the LORD was asleep. And so the flabbergasted captain came to Jonah and commanded him, “Arise, call out to your god!” (v.6). This is a parody of the divine command that Jonah rejected: arise,…and call out against Nineveh (Jon 1:2).65 After an exercise of lot-casting to determine who is responsible for the disaster, the sailors discovered that it is Jonah, who then disclosed, “I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (v.9). Jonah’s talk about “fear” must have sounded incredibly hollow to the sailors who knew about his wilful rebellion!66 It was them, and not the LORD’s prophet, who understood the gravity of what Jonah had done (v.10). Another irony of the story is that because of Jonah’s irreverence, the sailors came to genuinely revere his God (v.16). How about us? Are we like Jonah, professing to fear God but treating God flippantly? Pastor Timothy Keller defines the fear of the Lord as being “overwhelmed with wonder before the greatness of God and His love”67. Let us ask the LORD for an undivided heart that truly fears His name (Psa 86:11).
65 D. J. Wiseman, T. D. Alexander, and B. K. Waltke, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah, Tyndale Old Testament commentaries v. 26 66 Ibid., 116. 67 Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (New York: Dutton, 2011), 68.
Application:

What does the fear of the Lord mean to me and how does it impact the way I live?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: That they will have an undivided heart that fears the name of the LORD (Psa 86:11)
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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