I wrote about Kids and the unseen God at the time when the three boys were lost in Fraser Hill. This is sort of a continuation.
Now, I am not a very religious person but rather, a discipline one. When I was a Taoist, I followed most of what the Taoists did, and more. My kids also went through most of the rituals expected.
Three years ago, we turned to Christ for a reason. It is not our choice. It is a call. One has to follow closely what my sons went through when Vincent was very ill and died to understand why my two older kids accepted Christ on their own accord.
They were 13 years and 11 years old at that time. They have the choice to remain a Buddhist (following Taoist rituals roll eyes) like their father, or they can embrace Christ. It must be God’s way of arranging things because they had Catholic friends who go to the same church, attending a Saints school and they enjoyed the friends they made at cathecism class. Christianity gave them the assurance of life ever after. A safe place in Heaven for their baby brother.
So, when I was baptised, they did not think twice but baptised along with me. As for my baby who was less than 2 months old then, it was my thanksgiving for a safe delivery. Baby #5 was conceived accidentally. He was born 10 months after Vincent’s death and the pregnancy was a ‘touch and go’ for me. Firstly, I never expect to get pregnant. Secondly, I had pre-eclampsia which is life threatening to both of us and I was forced to bedrest for about two months.
That’s why I named my #5, Matthew. A gift from the Lord. Yes, he is every bit of great blessing.
Then, I was left with one son, dangling between being baptised and not baptised. #3 was only 6 years old then. He was too young to decide if he still wants to follow his father’s way of worshipping or commit his life to Christ. I did not want to get him baptised. Jokingly, I told my hubby that he still has one son to follow him to temples and etc. He can also carry the ‘tong huan’ (a kind of bamboo that is used in funeral procession) for him.
But #3 was very insistent and wanted to join us in our baptism. He was attending kindergarten level cathecism class. And amongst us all, his faith was the strongest. He was the one who prayed, night after night, asking God to give him a new baby brother. For little kids like him, God is universal. God is the Almighty One who makes everything possible.
He asked God to ‘let Vincent play in Your giant castle and playground’ every night. When Vincent was very ill, he was the little helper at home. Sometimes, he would watch over Vincent and called out ‘Mommy!!! Code Blue! Vincent is turning blue!’ So, knowing that Vincent had travelled on the rocket launcher and ending up in God’s castle is very comforting for him.
Talking about rocket launcher, I am surprised that few days ago, he still believes in rocket launcher! It is actually the sound made by the incinerator when Vincent was cremated. It was very loud and we told him, Vincent’s coffin is being launched into space instead of being burnt. He saw the black smokes from the crematorium chimney and assumed a rocket had gone up in space.
Back to our Catholic’s practice – At the last minute, I decided to allow him to be baptised because I have the commitment and confidence that I can bring up my children to be Christians. Babies are baptised, not so much for saving babies from hell but rather, the parents’ commitment that they will bring up the children as Christians. At 9 years old, they are in communion with Jesus and at 16 years old, they go through ‘Confirmation’, a final step to seal their commitment to be Catholics.
I hate to say this but I think it is foolish for parents to bring up children, without an ounce of faith. It is just not possible. There will be ups and downs in our lives as parents. There will come scary and worrying situations when we, the parents do not have the power to overcome. Sooner or later, we had to let our children survive on their own. So, having some beliefs rooted in our hearts means being a much more confident parent. We will also provide them some comfort that no matter what or where they are, God is watching over them.
Parents who think that they can let their children grow up till they are adults to see if they want to commit their lives to some form of faith , then I wish them luck.
I agree that religion is a very sharp two-edge sword. I refrain from forcing my children to be too deeply involved. I had seen over religious parents whose kids turned really wild in retaliation. The horrific thing is some parents embrace religion like a power play and insisted their kids to live up to a certain level so that it looks good on their own upbringing.
No kids and teens ought to have that pressure that religion equals punishment or fulfilling expectations of the human kind. They have to know God on a personal level, comfortable with living a normal life with a love for their ownselves first. Loving themselves equals loving God’s given traits to them. Then, only they can appreciate God and be able to shine through as a Christian.
A willing Christian is what I expected from my kids. God, grant me that wisdom. Amen.