In my life, I can say one of the most incredible things or people that I am most thankful for is - by no doubt - my parents. I am extremely and exceedingly grateful for what they have done for the good of my soul. Not only that they have given my life value on this earth, but they also have set for me an eternal value that I am too grateful for. But sorry to break the praise, it’s not the work of any human. It’s the work of God, the work of the triune God, that allows everyone who is called to have a relationship with Him and have eternal salvation. 

Baby Jeremy

I was born some (not so long) time ago. Flashback to fourteen years ago, there lay baby Jeremy Elkan Sangtoki with a life planned by God, ready to unfold. It was a great day in our family’s history. For everything that my parents had done for me since that day, I am grateful. The discipline, the troubles that came along my way, the good things like blessings and gifts that I have received. The numerous times my parents scolded me, the times that they have disciplined my wayward behaviour all have a purpose, which is for the good of my soul. 

Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Paul says 'all' things work together for good, even the bad. Things that seem bad will have a purpose in God’s plan. And it will be good for those who are called according to His purpose. 

The number of sacrifices that my parents have made for me is uncountable. The number of times that I have disobeyed them, the number of times that I have dishonoured them are plenty. The amount of times that I have wasted and taken for granted from the sacrifices that my parents have made make it greatly unfair. The opportunities that I have wasted because of my stubbornness and selfishness are too many. I am grieved by the number of times that I have done wrong against not only my parents but to God. But never in my life have any of my parents left me alone to be influenced by the world’s brokenness. Their love and care are some of the most potent love there can ever exist on this earth. And I am thankful for that.

There was a time quite long ago, when I was still in my mother’s tummy. Mother came back home from shopping, with my older brother in the pram and little me weighing her down, and in her arms, the shopping. Back then, we lived in a unit on the top floor; you could probably imagine how the story goes now. She walks toward the lift, and as she reached out to press the lift button, a yellow note covered it saying, “lift out of order.” My mother had a burst of dread rush through her; the only way to get up was to go up six floors by stair. Tears started to form on the tips of my mother’s eye, but through her distress, she never let go of her two beloved children. 

Mum and Dad

Well, I want to ask you a question. Do you pray for your parents? Well, for me, I regret not doing so as much. They are humans too, and they have feelings that I have hurt many times. Parents are a blessing from God. There are thousands of teens who want to be in control of their own life; they want to have fun. But I’ve realised that the best life is a life used by God, a life that will spend eternity in a perfect world, a perfect and impeccable heaven, full of God’s elect. God has placed parents in our life to guard us against the evil in this world, but if you stray away from the protecting hand of God, surely you will perish.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9. It says here, not to forsake your mother’s teachings. Matthew Henry’s commentary says, people who have no true wisdom or reverence for God are fools. The teachings of our parents are valuable. They are teachings that they continuously remind us and guard us from the corruption of the world.

We must pray for them. Pray that God may use them to be a tool for God’s glory, that they may be used to nourish and nurture children. Our parents are also humans, and they make mistakes. They might not do things right, but in these times, we pray for them. Ev. Sari once said in the teen’s retreat. “Do not look for the wrong in our parents, but when they have done wrong, do not blame them or despise them for it, but pray for them.” 

Being a parent of children would be hard. I haven’t had any experience, but I can say that because of the many times that I have failed my parents. I have disobeyed and dishonoured them many times. Being disrespected is hard, and I have made my parents need to put up with that for many years. If we see wrong in the household, look at ourselves. Those who look at other people’s wrongdoing before they have self-examination are proud and arrogant people. Let us realise our sinful nature.

Obey and Honour your Parents.

‘Honour Your father and mother.’ you have probably heard this phrase many times. But have you thought about how important it is in our lives? God has set an ‘order’ in our lives. You could say it is like a hierarchy of respect. God has put our parents above us. That we must obey and honour them. “Honour your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that God is giving you.’ Exodus 20-12. 

A significant problem that I see in teens in this day and age is carelessness, carelessness against parents. Many teens today want to have their own life. They want to be in complete control of what they can and cannot do. They want to stray away from their so-called parents. They want to have their own life. And many do not realise that God has put in their life, one of the greatest gifts. The greatest blessings of parents. We as teens should realise that a life without God and His caring hand is useless. It’s a waste. An analogy Rev. Agus had once said, a life without God is like the most expensive electrical gadget without electricity. If this valuable gadget had no electricity, we could not use it for its purpose. It will be worthless, wasted and thrown away. It’s just like us if we don’t have that ‘electricity’ we will end up being thrown away and wasted. God placed our parents in our life so that they may be able to guide and shape our lives to be a life that is fruitful and a life that God can use. A life that honours our parents.

We as teens should realise that we cannot live our own lives. We are foolish to think that we can live a full life without true wisdom and reverence for God. So, we must act. Don’t believe that our lives cannot be changed. God is always listening to our prayers. 

It may be hard for some, there are many who are parentless, many who have broken homes. But remember that God the father is the best father that could ever be. God is always going to be there for his children. The church is also the best place for you to grow in faith, to nourish and learn. But just remember, that God is having His arms wide open for his children. 

“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14