Put together by Linus Koe
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children…”
During this past Circuit-Breaker, some parents got together over Zoom to watch Rob Rienow’s series on “Visionary Parenting”. Rob began his work in ministry as a youth pastor, but soon realised he had prioritised his ministry opportunities over his ministry responsibilities – his wife and children. He now runs Visionary Families Ministries focusing on God’s grand vision for the home, based on Deuteronomy 6. Here are reflections from some parents, and parents-to-be, about the series:
“We found out about our pregnancy at Week 6. What next? Not sure what to feel, things to consider and buy to prepare for our baby’s arrival started running through our heads, advice from parents started coming in, etc. We just don’t know where and how to start, until we were introduced to a timely Visionary Parenting series that was going to air just 2 days after we shared the good news with our AG. It’s just watching a series of videos to start off, it sounds like something we could handle in the midst of all other considerations.
The Visionary Parenting series started with a great introduction on God’s Grand Vision for the Home – what was the purpose of family, what does a Christian family look like and what do we have to do to get there. We are all born in sin, and our flesh desires to do things apart from God’s original design. This series sheds light on where we should be in God’s Grand Vision, where we are now, and steps we could take to get there. Topics covered include the role of the father and the mother, and how as parents we can build a home and family for our children that brings us closer to the ultimate goal. We felt some examples provided were practical and doable, but until we actually do it ourselves, we won’t know how it would really be like. But at least we are prepared mentally and spiritually before the arrival of our baby, so that when the time finally comes we can already put them into practice, God willing!”
– Anonymous, parents-to-be.
“Grandparents, do not underestimate the spiritual influence you can have on your grandchildren.
In Session Two of Rob Rienow’s Visionary Parenting series, he says that Satan breaks down generational connectedness by discrediting the older generation. This “discrediting”, he says, is done by either the younger generation, or the older generation (i.e. the grandparents) themselves.
The latter point is very interesting.
As a mother of two young children, I have many Christian friends at this same life stage who lament that their parents do not want to help with the caring of their grandchildren. These grandparents feel that they have done their duty of raising their children, and would now rather just “do their own thing”. As children, many of us support that thinking. It makes sense, it seems fair; to release our parents from further responsibilities of any sort since they have laboured for decades to bring us up.
But Rob Rienow questions if those perspectives are aligned with Biblical patterns of patriarchy and matriarchy. For in the Bible, the older one grew, the more significant the spiritual responsibility, he says.
So Christian grandparents, do not discredit yourselves by believing the lie that your present actions in relation to your children and grandchildren have little spiritual impact. You are not done and dusted.
As a parent, I am encouraged to sow honour for my parents – by giving them opportunities to share their most treasured scripture verses; their victories and sorrows and what God has taught them through it all; their stories of faithlessness and God’s faithfulness. For if I desire to reap what I sow, my children must see me committing myself to this ministry, no matter how challenging.
As we all work towards this calling, may we leave behind legacies of multi-generational faithfulness.”
– Bryna Sim Singh, mother of 2.
“Parenting is an art form they say. In my experience, that means it is messy, unguided and lots of rework. Often just like a painting, all the stumbling only makes sense when the day is done. Sure, there are a lot of parenting books and even more parenting advice from sometimes over enthusiastic people. However, they usually fail on two ends of the spectrum – it is either too focused on the mechanics without a goal or expound on the ideal state without a way to get there. That is why I love the Visionary Family seminar. Pastor Rob first cast a vision of what godly parenting should look like based on Scripture, but he is also honest and unapologetic to admit that all of us are work in progress with our fair share of hits and misses. He then gives us a strategy to work towards that grand and lofty vision for our family but leave the specifics for us to experiment and implement. Overall, my biggest takeaway was that God purposed the family unit to be the epicentre for evangelism and discipleship, and every activity is an opportunity for me to be intentional towards that vision. I will stumble along the way but at least now I know where I should be heading.”
– Benjamin Chin, father of 2.