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!
By Joyce Nathaniel Lim
Joyce Nathaniel Lim worships at BPJ Centre. She is a Youth Team Leader at New Life Community Services.