Pastoral Perspectives


Just last Sunday on 30 April, to show our deep appreciation to all the special women in our lives – our mothers, grandmothers and godmothers, our Women’s Ministry offered bouquets of flowers for sale for the coming Mother’s Day. They were all snapped up very quickly within a short time! Deacon Koh Siew Peng surprised me by giving me a nice bouquet of flowers as well to thank me for helping them make an announcement the previous week! Such is the love and warmth of my fellow sisters in Christ here at True Way.

How will you appreciate and show your love to your moms this coming 14 May? I guess many of us might surprise her with flowers or give her something that she might have wanted for some time. Some of us might tell our moms to take a break from cooking and either prepare a simple home cooked dinner or eat out together in a fancy restaurant as a family. If you have not thought of anything yet, it’s about time to discuss with your dad or your siblings!

A few years ago, I decided to do something I’ve never done before for my mom. I decided to write her a card and here’s what I wrote.

Dearest Mommy,

You will probably be surprised when you read this card from me. Yes! It’s your eldest son writing to you. Something that he has never done before in his entire life … till now.

I have so much to write to you about but the words just get in the way. Mom, thank you for loving me in the best possible way. It must have been hard on you when you were bringing me up when I was young. There were things that I didn’t quite understand then. Yet, you chose to love me for the simplest reason that I was your son.

You know, sometimes, I get this feeling that I am somehow stuck in time and space. I remembered clearly all the places you brought me to, and how you held my hand wherever we went. I always felt so secure and loved then.

I find it funny though. Now that I am all grown up, I long to hold your hand again. I see many young people feeling awkward whenever their moms try to hold their hand. It’s probably one of those things we all go through when we are growing up.

Mom, I know it’s been many years but I want you to know that I love you – much more than you ever know. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!

Love always, Stan

PS: I miss your Nonya cooking.

In Exodus 20:12, it says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. This was one of the Ten Commandments that God gave to His people. It was the only commandment that came with a promise that when we honour our parents, God will bless our lives. How do we honour our parents? Another way of applying the command ‘honour our parents’ is to obey them and show respect to them. When parents teach us or discipline us, they are helping and guiding us with their own past experiences in life.

If you are a teenager reading this, it’s hard isn’t it – to listen or to obey our parents sometimes? They stop us from playing our computer games. They make us help with the household chores. They nag at us to study and arrange extra tuition for us even during the school holidays. They scold us when we are rude to them. We see our other friends getting what they want – a brand new phone and we only get a mobile phone passed down from our older siblings. We get upset with our parents when they do these things to us.

For some of us, our parents are hardly at home due to their work. And we think that they only care about their careers. For some of us, we have this idea that our parents are like hawks watching over us, watching our every move, waiting to pounce on us when we don’t do our work or when we indulge in our games the entire day.

My friends, God has given us parents to watch over us, to love, care and bring us up as best as they can. Our parents discipline us because they want the best for us. When we obey what they tell us and listen to their advice, God blesses us too.

If you are a young adult or an adult, it’s never too late to always appreciate your mothers. Yes, we might be busy with our own lives with our friends or even with our own kids, but don’t forget your moms. Give her a call her frequently, take her out for a makan date, buy her some flowers or bring her for relaxing facial or spa treatment.

If your mom has yet to know Jesus, you honouring them in various ways is a good testimony for them to see Christ in your life. Pray for their salvation that God in His good time will open up their hearts and minds to know Him.

The Bible reminds us to honour and obey our fathers and mothers so that our lives may be blessed. Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are manmade occasions for us to appreciate our parents. However, we should be appreciating them every other day and not just on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

My mom never got to read the card that I wrote. I do not know where my mom is and have lost all contact with her. In fact, I have only seen her a few times ever since my parents divorced and got separated when I was six years old and one of my deepest desires in life has been to see my mother again one day. To let her know that her eldest boy Stanley has been graciously saved by God and is now serving Him. That he loves to share his life stories with children and youths and how much God loves and cares for little children too. To let her know that God has been taking care of him all this while. And most importantly to let her know how much he misses her and love her.

Even though I’ve lost contact with my own mom, the Lord has blessed me with an equally caring and loving mother-in-law when I married my wife. She has been a huge blessing to me for the past 24 years. She has also been one who showers her children and grandchildren with much love and care – cooking our favourite dishes, frequently asking our well-being making brewing Herbal Tea for us when the weather is hot. Even helping to take care of her grandchildren when my brother and sister-in-law are away overseas.

I give thanks to the Lord for my mom-in-law, and it has been my heart’s desire that she will come to know Jesus as her Saviour one day. We have brought her for many evangelistic events and she has many Christian friends in her Tai Chi group. But she is still hesitant about becoming a Christian, giving the excuse that there won’t be anyone to pay respect to her late father and mother. If you remember, I shared in my sermon recently that her mother, Chen Ya Ying had accepted Christ in 2015. But she finds it hard to believe that.

As her son-in-law, I do my best to honour her as best as I can. My wife and I will help her with cleaning up the kitchen after she cooks. We also take turns to accompany her for her medical appointments. I also help her with simple repairs in her home and we always make time to have a meal with her during the week. When I was a young boy, my Grandma would always remind me to do something important before I start eating at the dinner table. And that is to call out the names of the people there at the table before I eat. So, I will usually say in Hokkien, “Ah Gong jiak! Ah Ma jiak!” And I carried this practice till now with my mom-in-law, making sure I say “妈, 吃!” before I start eating.

Jay Chou, the famous singer, wrote a song entitled 听妈妈的话 (Listen to Mom’s Words) and he says the words were to remind him to listen to his mom, to love and protect her always.

妈妈的辛苦不让你看见 温暖的食谱在她心里面
有空就多多握握她的手 把手牵着一起梦游
听妈妈的话 别让她受伤 想快快长大 才能保护她
美丽的白发 幸福中发芽 天使的魔法 温暖中慈祥

Loosely translated version in English, he says,
“You can’t see how hard mother works behind the scene; her warm recipes are hidden in her heart.
When you have the time, hold on to her hands more often, and walk hand in hand toward your dreams.
Listen to your mom, don’t let her be hurt. Grow up quickly so you can protect her always.
Her beautiful white hair is a result of her joyfully loving you.
Her kindness and warmth is like the beauty of angels.”

Friends, I hope that you will always appreciate both your father and mother now when you have the opportunity to. You don’t have to wait for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. If you have no idea what to give to your mom, write her a simple card and let her know how much you appreciate and love her.

Pray for them constantly and if they have yet to give their lives to Jesus, live out Christ in your own life so that they may see and experience His love, care, kindness and peace in you!