My mom has safely come back from visiting my sister in California. As many of you know, my parents are living with us. My wife has a full-time career and two kids. As all working parents know, it is not easy to raise two kids this way. So my parents fill a lot of household duties and even parenting responsibilities for us. There were a lot of things happened during this 3 weeks while my mom was away. This was her 3rd time being away and I’ve learned some obvious things I overlooked before.
First, I realized that it is easy to forget to appreciate someone when you see them very often. My mom came from Korea a few months before Luyah was born. So it’s been more than 6 years living together. I realized how much I forgot to appreciate all the things she did for us while she was away. My dad and I tried to fill so much of her responsibilities but we all still missed her dearly.
Secondly, I realized that God provides for us as we set the right priority. Sometimes Jennifer and I feel we are horrible parents. Both Jennifer and I are very active in ministry leadership roles so we don’t get to spend so much time with our kids as some other parents do. We don’t buy as much stuff for them compared to others. But I believe God has brought our parents to live with us for us to not lose the ministry focus.
Both of us strongly believe in ministering to our kids as an important priority. But contrary to what many believe, focusing too much on your kids often produce opposite results. If kids know that they are the center of their parent’s lives, they end up being self-centered, feeling entitled kids. It is because kids do what parents do. What I firmly believe is as we parents seek God’s kingdom FIRST, God raises our children and they will also seek God as their first priority.
It doesn’t mean that we ignore our parenting responsibilities. But parenting is a community-wide work. There is a proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. Through my parents, I begin to see that is true. What we parents cannot do for our kids, my parents fill them very well. Honestly, I used to not like the fact that I have to live with my parents in the same house again but now I appreciate them very much. (I think Jeniffer appreciates them more than me now!) When God frustrates our plan, what often arises after is an unexpected thankfulness.