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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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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