Last year, Jim and Jo Soon helped roll out several trial sessions of The Art of Parenting® in a Baptist church in Taiwan. About 100 individuals attended the online sessions and experienced a fresh touch of God’s grace. Here are some of the testimonies the Soons collected highlighting the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of several parents.
Marriage is a Foundation
“I received a wake-up call right in the very first session of The Art of Parenting course: a healthy marriage brings about healthy parenting and happy children. In the class, the teacher kept reminding us of the importance of going on dates with our spouses. My husband even said, ‘The teacher wants you to have a date with me? What a wonderful class!’ It’s been a while since we have spent time with just the two of us. We just went to the countryside and talked. We shared what we have been learning about parenting as well as the adjustments that we both could make. I was grateful that my husband was willing to discuss and learn with me. After we came home, our children looked more adorable in our eyes! We used a more relaxed and gentle tone to interact with them, and the atmosphere of our family became much better because of that! In the classes, I gained great insights into the various aspects of parenting such as character building, discipline, identity, and relationship with our Lord. Most importantly, I learned that I need to work with my spouse to build up a family that is in line with God’s purpose and the principles of the Bible in order to guide our children to the Lord.”
Discipline According to God’s Will
“The chapter on discipline really resonated with a lot of us in the audience, as we often feel that there is no end in sight when it comes to discipline, and we felt a sense of hopelessness about it. This class suggested that our discipline should focus on only one thing at a time (for about six weeks). This not only gives parents a break, but also avoids too much tension in our relationship with our children. Also, we were reminded to reward and encourage good behavior and attitudes, as discipline is not just about punishment.
“After the course, my new perspective on discipline is this: It is not as important how a five-year-old may think of me right now as the kind of person my child will become when he or she turns 25. Making my children happy is not the ultimate goal, but raising them to be healthy individuals is.
“I used to lower my expectations or give in when my children threw a tantrum on the way to school since we were pressed for time. That was because my focus was only fixed on being on time for school that day. When I keep in mind my goal in the long run, I don’t end up compromising as easily.”
The Whole Family is Blessed
“Throughout the course, I was reminded that my spouse should come before children. I started to intentionally make time for my husband in my already busy schedule. We became best friends again, as if there was living water flowing in us, bringing refreshment and a sense of newness. Two weeks ago, I started praying with my children before bedtime. I discovered that God’s grace and work were beyond my expectations.
- My children learned to recount the blessings for the day in prayers.
- I can make up with my children at prayer time if we had a fight that day.
- We can come before the Lord together every day.
- I can bring my blessings and supplications for my children through prayer to the Lord. Through praying together, my children get to hear that I have hopes in them beyond the rebukes that they hear so much of throughout the day, such as hope for wisdom and good characters in them. After only a few days, my children have already learned to pray for the whole family. How easy and fruitful it is when we work with the Holy Spirit!”