God’s Words Guide Me to Learn How to Educate My Children (Part 1)
By Xiaoxue, Malaysia
I have two sons and they are one year apart. In order to raise them to be cultured, well mannered, good people who will be able to establish themselves in society and succeed, when they were two years old, I discussed finding a good kindergarten for them with my husband. After some visits, inquiries and comparison, we selected an English kindergarten because they placed importance on children’s caliber and ability, which matched my view on educating children. Although the tuition fees were a bit high, as long as the children were able to develop better and get a better education, it was worth spending a little more money.
As my children gradually grew up, I found that they were not as sensible and obedient as I had hoped for. On the contrary, they were extremely overbearing and rebellious. For example, when I took them to the mall, when they saw something they liked, they just took it and if I did not buy it for them, they would lie on the floor and cry and make a fuss. When they played with other children, if they saw something that they liked, they would snatch it from others. If the other children did not give it to them, they would hit them. Seeing my children being so capricious and overbearing, I reprimanded them firmly every time. However, not only was this ineffective, but my children became less and less obedient. Once I reprimanded them, they would throw their clothes and shoes in the trash. When they were angry, they would take scissors and cut up their clothes, sheets and pillows. I felt very sad about this. How could my children be so arrogant and badly behaved? I suggested they change schools but my husband did not agree. He said that children should grow up naturally and spontaneously. My husband’s attitude toward my children made me very angry: An excellent child is nurtured, not left to develop free-range. Who knows how they would become if you let them develop independently! But no matter how I persuaded him, my husband still insisted on his point of view. I felt extremely pained seeing my husband as a father being so irresponsible. If we continued like this, what would become of our children in the future! The more I thought about this, the more worried I felt, and I did not know what to do. I felt at a loss as to what to do about my children’s education and felt afflicted and worried.
In March 2017, I accepted the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God. One day in June that year, I saw that the words of Almighty God said: “Besides birth and childrearing, the parents’ responsibility in their children’s lives is simply to provide them with a formal environment to grow up in, for nothing except the predestination of the Creator has a bearing on a person’s fate. No one can control what kind of future a person will have; it is predetermined long in advance, and not even one’s parents can change one’s fate. As far as fate is concerned, everyone is independent, and everyone has their own fate. So, no one’s parents can stave off one’s fate in life or exert the slightest influence on the role one plays in life. It could be said that the family into which one is destined to be born and the environment in which one grows up are nothing more than the preconditions for fulfilling one’s mission in life. They do not in any way determine a person’s fate in life or the kind of destiny within which a person fulfills their mission. And so, no one’s parents can assist one in accomplishing one’s mission in life, and likewise, no one’s relatives can help one assume one’s role in life. How one accomplishes one’s mission and in what kind of living environment one performs one’s role are entirely determined by one’s fate in life” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). When I saw God’s words I realized that although we are the parents of children, we only give birth to them, raise them and provide them with an environment in which to grow. As for what their future will be like, what kind of role they will play and what missions they will fulfill, this is all in God’s hands. It is God who is in charge of their destiny and who determines their future, not their parents. The only thing I can do is to pray to God, entrust my children to God and hope that God guides them to grow. I also reflected on how I treated my children. I always used my abilities to forcibly control and put pressure on my children and whenever I saw my children disobeying, I would sternly scold them, thinking I would change their bad habits and improve their caliber this way. But not only did my children not become obedient and sensible, they actually became more and more rebellious. Now it seems like I did not understand the truth and did not know God’s domination and arrangements, so I could not educate my children, let alone allow them to grow up healthily. I should change my method of educating them and treat them with the proper attitude. After this, when my children made mistakes, I talked to them patiently and made them aware of their own wrongdoings. When I saw them bow their heads and stop talking, I did not chide them further. Sometimes they were too naughty and I would punish them a bit and ask them to face the wall and reflect on their actions. Gradually, I found that they were much quieter than before and that they did not hit other children anymore and rarely swore and cursed. When I saw my children starting to develop well, I felt very grateful and knew that this was all because of the words of God and from the bottom of my heart I thanked God!
In November 2017, when my eldest son was about to finish kindergarten and progress to first grade, my husband and I selected a well-known primary school for him, hoping that he would study hard and achieve good results in the future. In mid-July, we took our child to do the school entrance tests in advance. After the test, the principal called me and said that my child’s score was the worst of dozens of children and that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with first grade. He also said that they would conduct a second test. When I heard this news, I felt a bit uncomfortable, but my husband and I still took our child to re-sit the school entrance test. When the test results were announced, I was dumbfounded: My son had spent three years at kindergarten but had learned nothing. He couldn’t even read or write the alphabet and did not understand single digit addition and subtraction. My child was about to start first grade and his results were unexpectedly so poor—I could hardly believe the results. The principal also reproached me and said: “Are you very busy? Even though you come from China, your child’s Chinese is so bad; how did you educate him?” The principal’s rebuke made me feel so ashamed. It was the first time that I felt such a failure as a mother. I felt too ashamed to see anyone and could not wait to find a place to hide away.
When I returned home that afternoon, my husband asked me to quickly find a kindergarten for my son. As soon as I heard this, the anger that I had kept inside immediately raised its head and I lost control of myself and started to get angry again with my children. I told them to go to sleep quickly and then I ran to a small room on my own, closed the windows and the curtains, lay down on the bed and emptied my mind. This was how I fell asleep in a daze. Until six o’clock that evening, I felt very upset and could not stop the tears. I didn’t even have the motivation to make dinner. Faced with such results, what should I do? In suffering, I knelt down before God and prayed: “God! I can’t take it. I feel so much pain in my heart. May You enlighten and guide me to understand Your will. I’m willing to practice the truth and to satisfy You.” Then I thought of God’s words: “There will always be some distance between one’s dreams and the realities that one must confront; things are never as one would like them to be, and faced with such realities, people can never achieve satisfaction or contentment. Some people will go to any length imaginable, will put forth great efforts and make great sacrifices for the sake of their livelihoods and future, in an attempt to change their own fate. But in the end, even if they can realize their dreams and desires by means of their own hard work, they can never change their fates, and no matter how doggedly they try, they can never exceed what destiny has allotted them. Regardless of differences in ability, intelligence, and willpower, people are all equal before fate, which does not distinguish between the great and the small, the high and the low, the exalted and the mean. What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words I suddenly understood that it’s not people who have the final say over our fate and destiny and that it cannot be changed by anyone. It depends upon God’s mastery and predestination. No matter how great someone’s ambition is and desires are or how magnificent their goals and hopes are, it does not change God’s mastery and arrangements for people’s destiny in the slightest. Who knows how many people have pursued success and high rank, yet always run into a wall. At the end of the day, they still spend a lifetime as ordinary people. Many people want to work hard based on their own efforts and live happy lives, but struggle for a lifetime and fail to achieve this. And so on. These facts can often be seen around us. I think about how I was like this too when I was educating my children. From the time my children were born, I particularly focused on their development and education and hoped that they would become cultured, well-mannered and good people. To achieve my own desires, I made strict demands of them and tried my best to find a good school for them, but even though I worried so much and felt so tired, in the end my child’s performance was not as good as I had hoped. Only through reading God’s words did I come to understand this: Children’s academic achievements, what kind of career they have, what they do in the future, what they do for a living and what their humanity is like is not based on school education and their upbringing. This is all determined by God’s mastery and predestination. Our job as parents is just to try our best to educate our children. As for their fate in the future and whether or not they can be talented, only God has the final say. I constantly educated my children according to my own requirements and made my children develop according to my own wishes. Isn’t this just breaking free of God’s mastery? This is also a manifestation of disobeying God! After I understood God’s will, I prayed to Him: “God, I understand that my child’s future is in Your hands. I will no longer educate my children in my own way as I desire, and I am willing to fully entrust my children to You, look to You and obey Your mastery and arrangements.” After praying, I felt power in my heart and my heart became strong.
The next morning, I went to find a school for my son. I continued to pray for God along the way and pray that God would guide me. I viewed two schools that day. When I viewed the second school, I really liked it and felt that the school was very standardized. After the children arrived at school, they did morning exercises and also told their own stories. It felt very regular. Children went to school from eight in the morning to six in the evening, so I had more time to attend meetings. I felt very happy and my son was also very happy when he saw the school. So I decided to let my son go to this school. After that, I successfully completed the admission procedures for my son and he was officially enrolled that day.