Eugene Cho

monday sermon quarterback | ex 34

i don’t intend to make this a weekly habit.  not planning on sharing post sermon thoughts every week but will do so when i say something or omit something that i want to elaborate on.

yesterday, continued teaching on exodus 34 and the juxtaposition of god’s compassion and the announcement of punishment for sins for parents and their children to the third and fourth generation.  i wanted to elaborate on my thoughts that i shared about the importance of shaping ‘worldview’ of our children and how the early years are so important.

as a father of three, i know that parenting is complex.  i didn’t want parent and parents to be at quest (we’ve had about 10 babies born in the past 5-6 months) to feel like i was trivializing the tension they must feel as they make decisions about their families.  nor did i want to offend the feminists of quest (i refer to them as such with respect).

my proposal:  supporting and raising families are getting tougher.  dual incomes no longer seem to be an option but a way of life and that simply perturbs the life out of me.  in the early years of a child(ren)’s life, i believe parents ought to seriously consider one PARENT staying home to raise the child rather than daycares, babysitters, or even extended families. EDIT:  I’m not downplaying the health and viability of integrating other options but the importance of parents playing the PRIMARY role and not secondary roles to some of the options I listed earlier.  finances and income is obviously a legitimate concern but while we so easily justify taking on debt to obtain degrees and training – college, grad, seminary, etc. – i just think that parents shouldn’t feel so bad about debt in order to make the investment of the early year(s) of their children.  this is the choice that my wife and i have made.  we’re not espousing reckless  accrument of debt, but wise and prayerful investments.  there is nothing more significant that raising, nurturing, and shaping the lives of our children – so that they shape the lives of their children and add to the global community for the honor of God’s glory.

again, this is not to elevate the guilt level of parents who have chosen to continue working.  not at all. please pray, think, wrestle, and ultimately, may you FOLLOW your convictions and simultaneously, not be consumed entirely by your circumstances.

for those from our quest church community, we’ll have some of the se asia vision team sharing their stories this upcoming sunday and i’ll finally wrap up exodus on september 24.  we’ll take a break before we get into delicious leviticus.

Filed under: church, quest church

3 Responses

  1. David Park says:

    You raise some good points. I think that a response that I would like to see from churches and believers is a real, tangible commitment to community, living in community and raising our children in community. I believe that no other faith has a stronger theology or calling for that type of sacrificial communal living than what Christ gives us, and yet it is hard to see examples of that in real terms. So in terms of sacrificing and willingness to go into debt for the raising of our children, it should be a collective, communal commitment of like-Christ-minded people which should reduce debt altogether and allow us to visibly live with the statement that is counter to this individualistic, egocentric, here-and-now culture that we live in.

    Of course, I don’t have children yet, but ask me in a couple of years, I’m working on it though right now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Eugene,

    I really appreciated your thoughts on Sunday morning.

    But I’m just not so sure that having a self-sufficient family unit where one brings in income, and one watches the children, is even always desirable. In earlier times, and in other cultures, the extended family was there to help. In the absence of extended family, most of us have to turn to friends and paid care-givers. The way that American families tend to do this is with mom and the kids staying home all alone all day. They may get out from time to time, but the mom generally has no other adult interaction during most days. I’m just not sure this model of isolated family was ever how it was intended to be. Kids need strong bonds with their parents, but having others around to help (extended family, friends, paid care givers) doesn’t interfere with that process and it can teach more about community beyond the stand-alone small family unit. The family unit is part of a bigger whole, and wasn’t ever intended to operate in isolation. I think some of the cracks that have appeared in the foundation of family are due to putting a bigger burden on it than it was meant to stand up under.

  3. eugenecho says:

    anonymous

    i agree. i recant the part about ‘extended families’ needing to be involved. i also agree that other forms of ‘community’ ought to be involved. there are many varaibles but here’s one variable that MUST not change: parents must be involved. and in ways that we’re not willing to acknowledge, i see parents (not necessarily at quest but just in general) too easily taking a backseat in the role of raising our children.

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We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

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The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor.

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