Parenting as Discipleship, Part 2: God Uses Our Parenting to Ask Us to Reflect on Our Heart

Because of the importance of having face—wanting to present themselves in the best way—a lot of times they focus on what is happening on the outside, but miss the heart. That is a big gap we see. They parent their kids the way they were taught as a child. Chinese emphasize doing good for others in order to maintain relationships, and the goal of personal duty is to achieve good in community. There is a heavy emphasis on personal behavior and sacrifice. We also grew up in the teaching that if we did not do well outwardly, we would be punished. These values affect the understanding of the connection between God and themselves when they become Christians. They understand God in a very legalistic way: “I have to do this; if I don’t, God will punish me.” Although their theology tells them otherwise, they live their lives focusing, not on God’s grace, but on that they did something wrong. “God is punishing me, that is why I lost my job. This is happening because I am not doing well and I’m not pleasing God.” We are indoctrinated into that way of living.