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【雙語園地】天賜父愛 (2)

 

天賜父愛 (2)
作者 李鏡開

天父知道什麼是最好的

有些人尋求上帝,是為了自己的需要,滿足自己的需求,另一些人則是為了探索神的心意。上帝用很多方式向人啟示了自己的意願。按照祂的旨意,所有的受造物都要稱頌祂的名,而祂的話語啟示了祂偉大的作為,並改變了很多人的生命。

在 50、60 年代,曾有一個電視節目叫 "爸爸知道什麼是最好的"。它由羅伯特.楊、簡.懷特、埃莉諾.多納休、比利.格雷還有勞倫.卡特曼主演。節目中的父親是一個非常聰明的人,他能夠引導孩子們解決生活中的一切難題。節目中的一切看起來都是如此真實、如此美好。但在現實生活中,演員們卻過著非常艱難的生活。羅伯特年輕時是一個酒鬼,並且他一生都在不停地與抑鬱症作鬥爭,而劇中的其它演員過得也不好。我們在電視銀幕上看到的都是杜撰的演繹。然而,他們的節目之所以受歡飲,表明了人們希望看到家人和睦相處,家中的所有問題都能夠得到妥善解決。人們希望看到身為父親該如何解開手頭的難題,而節目更進一步向人們揭示了什麼樣的人才是一位好父親。我們的天父通過賜下自己的獨生愛子來展現自己的愛,而這位愛子就是耶穌基督!因為祂要我們知道天父知道什麼是最好的,而從上而來的安排也是最好的!

當我們看到新生兒的時,通常也可以看到父母們喜悅的笑臉。即使在我們長大以後,我們也還是經常會聽到別人說:"你看起來很像你媽媽。"或者"你有你爸爸一樣的眼睛。" 這些都是基因在起作用,我們無法選擇我們的長相。這是一個客觀事實。另一個事實是:「神說,我們要照著我們的形象,按著我們的樣式......」(創世紀1:26)我們實際上是按著上帝的形像被造的。這個形象與我們現有的形象密不可分,並且深植在我們父母的基因中。

耶穌也是這樣。上帝是祂的父親。我們是按著上帝的形像被造,但是耶穌 "確切地展示了祂的本質"。因此當我們看到耶穌,就是看到了天父!

「多瑪對祂說:『主阿,我們不知道你往那裡去,怎麼知道那條路呢? 』耶穌對祂說:『我就是道路,真理,生命。若不藉著我,沒有人能到父那裡去。你們若認識我,就認識我的父。從今以後,你們看到祂,並且認識祂。』腓力對祂說,『求主將父顯給我們看,我們就知足了。』耶穌對祂說,『腓力,我與你們同在這麼長久,你還不認識我麼。人看見了我,就是看見了父。你怎麼說,將父顯給我們看呢?』 」(約翰福音14:5-9)

人們迫切需要救贖。在這個世界上,有太多的試探使得人們遠離福音的真理,把人們推向黑暗。神將祂的話啟示給我們,並且讓我們向周圍的人為祂的話語作見證。當其他人看到這些見證,就是看到了上帝的存在。這些影響遠勝於基因,因為這是由上帝在我們裡面親自所動的工產生的作用。

這一過程聽起來也許不容易,但是神裝備我們成為名副其實的 "基督徒"。耶穌基督給了我們祂的聖靈、祂的話語及基督的身體--教會。

希伯來書13:「但願賜平安的神,就是那憑永約之血,使群羊的大牧人,我主耶穌從死裡復活的神,在各樣善事上成全你們,叫你們遵行祂的旨意;又藉著耶穌基督在你們心裡行祂所喜悅的事。願榮耀歸給祂,直到永永遠遠,阿門。」那個電視節目"爸爸知道什麼是最好的"為世人所描繪的景象是非常準確的。既然我們認識了耶穌,我們可以完全信任我們的天父,祂很清楚什麼才是對我們最好的。

父親怎麼和孩子保持親密的關係?

從小做起:孩子們似乎天生渴望模仿祂們的父親。因此當你孩子還小的時候,我們可以善用孩子們的這一天性。我們該怎麼辦呢?怎樣才能抓住這些與孩子們相處的寶貴機會呢?

我們可以從日常活動中著手。例如,在做家務時,你可以給你的孩子一把小掃帚或小鏟子,邀請祂們幫你忙。毫無疑問地,他們一定會非常願意呆在他們的英雄身邊。他們的父親就是他們心中的楷模!也許這會讓你花更長時間來完成家務,但是通過這些互動,你和你的孩子們將會變得更加親密,同時你還可以通過這些來培養他們具備更加優良的品德。很久之前,聖經(申命記6:6﹣9)鼓勵父親們,利用日常活動來與孩子更多地交流,而這樣的建議就是在今日依然非常受用。

除了和孩子們一起勞動之外,花時間與祂們一起玩耍也非常重要。時常與他們一起玩耍勝過特意尋找一個機會與他們單獨相處。當父親和孩子們一起玩耍時,父親應該鼓勵孩子們更具冒險精神。更重要的是,與孩子們一起玩耍是孩子們與父親最好的交流。在遊戲中,通過語言和行為表達對孩子們的感情。這樣,父親們便能夠教會孩子們如何表達自己的感情。

睡前的時間,同樣也是一個父親可以與孩子們建立起親密關係的良機。經常給孩子們講故事,並且傾聽祂們表達自己的歡樂和憂愁。如果你這樣做,你會發現與孩子們的交流會變得越來越容易,而這樣的感受會一直持續到祂們長大以後。

追求共同愛好:一些青少年也許會在父親嘗試與祂們交流時,表現得漠不關心。如果你的孩子開始迴避你的問題,請不要馬上得出祂們不想講話的結論。

有些時候,父親們會發現很難與孩子們溝通。與其強迫祂們講話,父親們可以改變一下交流的方式,比如與他們一起運動。運動過後,父親與孩子們可以一起坐在草地上休息。此時,大多數的孩子們願意敞開話題,而在這時,父親們就可以更多地了解他們。

如果你的孩子不喜歡運動怎麼辦呢?我記得曾經與我的父親一起花了好幾個小時一起看星星。我們一起聊了很多,討論了上帝怎樣創造了星空,討論有關我們彼此的問題。我們的話題涉及範圍之廣,就好像像以賽亞書40:25﹣26中描述的那樣。如果你不喜歡做你孩子感興趣的事情怎麼辦呢?在那樣的時候,也許你必須要放棄個人喜好了(腓力比書2:4)。換句話來說,你需要發現孩子們的興趣,並與他們分享他們的愛好。

建立孩子們的自信:"看!爸爸快看!" 你的孩子是否曾在他們掌握一項新技能的時,朝你歡呼?如果你的孩子已進入青春期,他們是否仍舊徵求你的意見?或許他們不再經常向你發問,但在他們逐漸成為一個成年人的道路上,他們仍舊需要你的肯定。

神在與自己的兒子耶穌溝通的時候,耶穌正要開啟祂在世界上的福音之旅。馬太福音3:17說:「從天上有聲音說:這是我的愛子,我所喜悅的。」是的,你有義務去管教你的孩子。但是你懂得如何適時表達對他的肯定嗎?

對於有些父親來說,要讓他們表達出對於孩子的肯定,是一件極具挑戰性的事情。這是因為他們當中的一些人是在父母的責備中長大的。如果你是在這種環境中長大的,那麼你在教育孩子的時候就需要特別注意增強他們的自信心。你需要怎麼做呢?我的朋友比爾採取了定期與他的孩子一起做家務這個方法。 "有時候" 我朋友說,"我會告訴我的兒子,讓他單獨開始一件事,而我會在他需要我的時候才去幫助他。大多數時候,他能處理好自己手頭的工作。每完成一個任務,都會讓他更有成就感、更自信。當他成功的時候,我會及時表揚他。當他沒有做到像我預期的那樣好的時候,我會讓他知道我仍然為他所付出過的努力而感恩。"

你也可以在幫助他們完成人生目標上激勵孩子,使孩子變得更自信。不過如果你的孩子在完成目標的時候比你預期的要慢,你又該怎麼辦呢?或者他們自己所設定的目標與你所設的不一致,你又該怎麼辦呢?在這種情況下,你可能需要重新評估你原先所設的目標。在大多數時候,我會試圖幫助我的孩子建立切實可行的目標。與此同時,我也會注意協調我為他們所設立目標與他們自己所設的那些目標之間的關係,以確保不會喧賓奪主。然後,我會提醒自己尊重孩子的步調、計劃。

實際上,親子關係本身就會面臨各種壓力和挑戰。但從長遠來看,你的孩子會因為你的付出而感謝你、與你更親近。畢竟,誰不希望能夠有人在他們追尋成功的道路上,幫助他們呢?

 

Double


Fatherhood is Under Strain (Part I)
Written by Ernie Lee

Father God Knows Best

Many people today continue to seek God. They seek Him for their needs, and wants and hopefully for His will. The Lord has revealed Himself in many ways. All of God's creation shouts forth His majesty, His Words reveals His heart and we see Him at work in changing people's lives.

Back in the 50's and 60's there was a TV program called: "Father Knows Best". It starred Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Eleanor Donahue, Billy Gray and Lauren Chapmen. The father was very wise and was able to get the kids out of all kind of troubles. Everything seemed so real and so good.But in real life, the actors were leading very difficult lives. Robert Young was an alcoholic and constantly battled depression and some of the others were in very bad situations. What we saw on the TV screen was made up. However, in the midst of all their problems, people wanted to see a family in harmony and able to solve their problems. People were hoping that the father was up to the task at hand and the TV show attempted to reveal what a good father does. Our Heavenly Father has also revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ! He wanted us to know that indeed Father God does know best!

When we look at a newborn baby we are often able to see the parents in that cute face. Even as we grow up we often hear people say: "You look just like your mom."or "You have your dad's eyes." It's genetics at work. We can't help who we look like. It is just a fact. Another fact is also found in Genesis 1:26 when God said: "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness......" We are indeed made in God's image. It is built into us just like our genetics from our parents.

The same is true about Jesus. He was His Father throughout. We are all made in God's image but Jesus was an "exact representation of His nature". Therefore when we see Jesus, we do indeed see His Father!

John 14:5-9: Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, show us the Father?"

People desperately need a Savior today. There is so much in this world that pulls them away from the truth of the Gospel and leads them into darkness. God has revealed His Word to us so we might be His witnesses to those around us. When they see us they should be seeing Jesus. It is more than genetics---it is God in us.

Now all this may sound difficult, but God has equipped us to walk in a manner worthy of the name "Christian". Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit, His Word and the body of Christ, the church.

Hebrews 13 said: "Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."

The TV program "Father Knows Best" had the right idea. Because of Jesus we know that our heavenly Father does indeed know what is best for us.

How Can Fathers Stay Close to their Children?

Start while your children are young: Children seem to be born with a desire to imitate their father. Therefore while your children are young, harness that desire. How can you do so? And when can you find time to spend with them?


Whenever possible, include your children in your daily activities. For example, if you are doing chores, have them help you. Give your children a small broom or a little spade. No doubt they will be delighted to work along the side of their hero and role model, their father! It may take you a little longer to finish the chore; but you will strengthen the bond between you, and you will be teaching them a good work ethic. Long ago, the Bible (in Deuteronomy 6:6-9) encouraged fathers to include their children in their daily activities and to use those occasions to communicate with them. Such advice is still good for today.

In addition to work with your children, make time to play with them. Play does much more than provide an opportunity to have fun together. When fathers play with their young children, they encourage them to be more adventurous and bold.

Play between father and children serves an even more important function. It is through playing that children communicate best with their father. During playtime, a father can express affection for their children by words and action. In doing so, he teaches them how to express affection too.

Bedtime is another occasion when a father can build-up the bondsof love with his children. Regularly read them stories and listen to them express their joys and concerns about the day. If you do, you will make it easier for them to continue communicating with you as they grow older.

Keep pursuing common interests: Some teen age children may seem indifferent to a father's attempts to communicate with them. If your children appear to be evading your questions, do not assume that they are not talking.

Sometimes fathers may find it difficult to communicate with their children. Instead of forcing them to talk, fathers can change their approach and play soccer with them. After their physical exercise they can sit on the grass and rest a bit. By this time,most children would open up and talk, because of the simple fact that father and children were together during these times creating a special bond between them.

What if your children do not like sports? I remember the hours I spent gazing at the stars in the sky with my father. We talked about God who created the stars. We talked about personal matters. We talked about almost everything, just as described in Isaiah 40:25,26.

What if you don't like to do some of the things that interest your children? In that case you may have to forgo personal preferences (Philippians 2:4). So you should find out their interests are and share enjoyable activities together with them.

Build your children's self-confidence: "Look Daddy look!" Did your children shout something like that to you when they mastered a new skill? If they are now teenagers, do they still seek your approval openly? May be not, but they definitely need it if they are to grow into a well-balanced adult.

Note the example that God himself set in dealing with His Son. When Jesus was about to begin a special phase of His ministry, God publicly expressed in Matthew 3:17, His affection for Him, saying: "This is my son, the beloved, whom I have approved."True, you have an obligation to discipline and teach your children. But do you also look for opportunities to express approval for the good things they say and do?

Some men find it a challenge to express approval and affection. They may have grown up in families where their parents emphasized mistakes rather than achievements. If that is true in your case, you will need to make a conscious effort to build your children's self-confidence. How could you do so? My friend, Bill, regularly works with his 15-year-old son as they do household chores. "Sometimes," says my friend, "I tell my son to start a task by himself and that I will help him if he needs me. Most of the time, he manages the job on his own. His success gives him satisfaction and boost his self-confidence. When he succeeds, I commend him. When he doesn't do as well as he expected, I still let him know that I appreciate his effort."

You can also boost your children's self-confidence by helping them reach higher goals in life. What, though, if your children reach goals more slowly than you wish? Or what if their goals, though not bad, are different from those that you would choose for him? In that case, you may need to reassess your expectations. Most of the time, I try to help my children set achievable goals. But I also try to make sure that they are their goals, not mine. Then I remind myself that they need to work toward their objectives at their own pace.

Realistically, your relationship will have its strains and challenges. But in the long run, your children will appreciate you and remain close to you. After all, who does not want to be with someone who helps them to succeed?

 

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