A PARENT’S LOVE – a Valentines Day Tribute

For the past few weeks, we were busy with several events and I thought of just compiling all those experiences in one blog post and wrap it with love. February is indeed a month of love.

JUNIORS’ BALL

The Philippine International School in Qatar (PISQ) held their biennial Juniors’ promenade at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) last February 8. It was attended by more than 300 students (Grades 9 & 10) who were considered junior high school students in the new K-12 system (thus the term Juniors Ball). It was a “symbolic” transfer of responsibilities of the Grade 10 students to the Grade 9 students before they move up to senior high. The message of the school principal sums it all as “a challenge to be better citizens of the society“.

As it was the first promenade ball that I attended after my own promenade ball many years ago, we saw that it has evolved a lot in terms of glamour and class.

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But the most heartwarming scenes are found backstage – parents literally escorting their little princesses, some even holding the gown’s train. On the other side, there were the fathers busy taking photos. And while parents are given a special area at the balcony to watch over the event at the ballroom, each heads are turning and busy waving to their kids down below. Each one, holding a camera or taking videos and photos from their smart phones, and making all efforts to get the best angle they could get.

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I just didn’t know how many parents were also eager to know who their sons will ask to dance or who will be the first to approach their daughters. But as the lights dimmed a bit and the students swarmed the dance floor, I saw parent’s heads moving anxiously… probably searching where their kids could be.

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But overall, i thought it was a great experience both for the children and the parents. But I would like to highlight that beneath those glittery dresses and black tuxedos are parents who would run from the parking lot and back just to get anything their child missed to bring; teachers who would check out on each of their students; and moms who would cry seeing her daughter in that long flowy dress. Salute to the parents!

PARENTING SUMMIT

We spent the Valentine’s Day attending a Parenting Summit in our church. We thought that it was a great love investment we can give as a legacy to our children… wisdom to raise them in the way that is pleasing to the Lord.

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As parenting isn’t only a gift but also a responsibility, the challenge of raising a child goes beyond financial obligations.

Parent’s Roles: Builders, Watchmen, and Providers 

Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early, and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves. – Psalm 127:1

One of the striking realization i got from the summit is that we are to build a strong relationship with our children before we can even make or implement rules. The relationship of parents to children must be characterized by love. Oftentimes, our children would spell love not as L-O-V-E but as T-I-M-E.

Disciplining Our Children:

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death. – Proverbs 23:13-14

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

I honor those who have shown humility by attending the seminar and accepting the fact that there’s still more to know in this area. And in the world so controlled by all forms of media, raising our children should be a hands-on business.

COUPLES’ RETREAT

God is the end and marriage is the means. God designed marriages and families to be a conduit of the gospel. – Missional Marriage / #MarriageMadeStronger3.0

When I was still single, I looked at several couples whose styles will be my references when I become a husband and a father. Growing up without a father-figure to model to, I’m thankful that I have several folks whose walk I can follow. True enough, focusing on becoming an ideal person is far more important than looking for the ideal partner.

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Most of the time, our problem is not a “marriage problem” but “God-problems” – our relationship with God. – #MarriageMadeStronger3.0

And in a sea of stunning couples during a retreat, you will see different love stories… challenging, sweet, controversial, romantic, Romeo-and-Juliet, or the typical childhood sweetheart … but each story is special.

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.” – #MarriageMadeStronger3.0

This made me appreciate our local church in Qatar for providing such opportunities for learning since there’s really no school for parenting or for becoming a good spouse.

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“Wife’s submission to his husband is what identifies a woman of God.” – #MarriageMadeStronger3.0

Every year is different and it also serves as an annual check-up of what we have triumphed as a couple and how we can still better prepare for new challenges that come along our way.

THE HEART OF A PARENT

A parent’s love for me is the highest form of love. After experiencing the “puppy love” stage to the “romantic love” during our teenage years, we couldn’t compare the selfless kind of love a parent can give. And now that I am one, it brought me to the time when I would also rebel and talk back to my mother… and now, it pierced me to the bone. They said, while you would “know” how it feels from afar, it takes one to “understand” one.

A parent’s love for me is the highest form of love… especially if we look at how our Father in heaven lavishly showed his love for all of us.

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