It had been a while since I wrote my thoughts in this space. It had been a busy last quarter of 2014. God has given us quite a number of ministry opportunities to speak in Parenting Seminars for Christian schools in and around Metro-Manila. These experiences stirred our hearts to be advocates for families.

    One of the highlights for September of 2014 was that my first book, entitled “Gabay ni Tatay” (My Father’s Guidelines) was published. Indeed, it was a dream-come true for me! But what made this experience so unique and blessed were the insights I learned through the whole process.

    This book is a collection of anecdotes of my experiences as I vividly remembered while growing up. With each article, it began with my father’s reminder and guidelines and how I rebelled before I obeyed. I wrote as honest and candid as possible so the readers can relate with my experiences. I had fun because the book chronicled the many happy memories of our family. But there were times that I cried as I recall the pains in learning and the cost of wrong decisions. But what crunched my heart all the more were the realization and the reinforcement of the truth that the family plays a crucial role in molding the lives of the children to fulfill God’s intended purpose for each of their lives.

    I realized that each guideline taught to us is based on a Biblical principle or verse. I praise God that my parents are both followers of Jesus and His teachings. They are not the “perfect” parents but they tried as much as possible to “train us in the way we should go.” They never stopped reminding us and never quitted on us.  Yes, we were punished for our disobedience but their love embraced us. They made the Bible the basis of their teachings and disciplines, not only in words but in their examples. They modeled God’s love and His Word to us.

    I realized why God loves the family. The “family” blossomed from the very heart of God. It is God-designed and God-initiated. When a wee little baby is born to this world, it is the family that is given the first opportunity and the responsibility to love, to care, to nurture, to teach and to train this child to grow up loving God above all, caring for others first before one self.

    I realized how crucial the role of parents is in training their children. The mandate of teaching and training the children is in the hands of the parents. God designed it this way.

    Do you know that we are born with the brain cells or neurons we will ever have? The brain will reach 70% of its mature weight by the age of 2 years old.  The brain continues to develop through childhood in two (2) ways: the building of connections or pathways among neurons between the different parts of our brain and these neural connections are being insulated by fatty tissue which improves the transfer of information. These connections are established through the child’s senses (what they see, smell, feel, taste, and hear) – the sensory experiences. But if these neural connections are not reinforced after 6 years old, all these connections will be severed by age 11 – 12. (I first learned of this truth in brain development when I was in Melbourne in 2008 taking some modules on Early Childhood Development as a recipient of Australian Leadership Award funded by AusAid).

    Learning of this scientific truth crunched my heart, wishing that I had learned of this when my children were still small. I had made mistakes in manners of disciplining and teaching them and it is only by God’s grace that they are who they are today.

    The formative years of a child are crucial. What the child experience throughout these years will be the foundational structure of his/her life. This reinforced what the Bible says in Proverbs 22: 6 , “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

    I realized that it is in the family that a child captures the character of God. God is loving, kind, patient, merciful, forgiving et al. But a child just not catches these BUT imitate these from their parents or caregivers.

    If a child’s environment is filled with love, goodness, kindness and forgiveness during their formative years, this child will grow up as a secure and fulfilled individual. But if a child’s environment is filled with hatred and bitterness, this child will grow up insecure and with a low self-worth.

    As parents we often think that our children are still too small to learn not knowing that we are missing the greatest opportunity of establishing their structure that will define their personality and values as an individual purposed by God.

    Our children are precious not only in our eyes but in the very eyes of God. Let us be imitators of God for this verse to be a reality in our family, “The parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:16b)

    Always remember that these children are God’s blessings! They may be our biological children, our nephews or nieces, our grandchildren or children from our church or the community. They may be even children from the streets, yet, God brought them to our lives on a specific time for a specific purpose.


    May our family be a SAFE PLACE where they feel they are precious, loved and accepted, respected and be nurtured.

    May our family be A PLACE TO BELIEVE that God has personally designed and wired each of them according to His plan and purpose as declared in Psalm 139: 13 -16 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day has passed.”

    May our family be A PLACE FOR THEM TO BECOME the very fulfillment of His promise in Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” the very individual God has purposed in His heart.
     “We are made to look at our God to know who we are. Our children look at our eyes to know who they are.” – Dr Karyn Purvis

    You and I have a special role in the lives of the children God brings to our lives. We are God's partners in fulfilling His intended plan for that child's life!



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