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二○一九年三月二日/三月三日                                                                                             Click here for English version

「名」副其實

駱綺雯牧師

名字,對每一個人來說都很重要。昔日以色列人的名字,多反映當事人的人生,今天信徒替孩子起名,也是帶著父母的期望。士師記十七章的米迦,其名字解作「有誰能像耶和華」,很可笑,他的生命一點也不像耶和華,他偷了母親的錢,又將上主當作偶像來拜,在家中開設神廟。米迦的荒唐,源自他母親,一個為自己雕刻偶像的人。今天的父母,也喜歡替孩子取一些富屬靈意義的名字,但孩子的生命究竟是名副其實,還是虛有其表?關鍵在於父母能否言傳、身教,能否將信仰的價值活出來,傳給下一代。父母的屬靈生命直接影響孩子的成長,而身、心、社、靈,彼此間有密切的關係。

生理與靈性:信徒要有足夠空間親近神、思想神的話,靈命才會成長。現代人工作忙碌,身體疲乏,即使有靈修時間,也往往無法集中。本末倒置、不斷追趕死線的生活,常把重要的事情——靈修、運動——都犧牲了。精力心力都缺如,親近神的意欲自然就越來越少,反倒要孩子提醒父母去讀聖經故事。操練身體、靈性,是要付代價,管理好自己的生活,才能有空間培育靈命成長。

心理與靈性:天父的形象,是要透過父母對孩子的關愛、接納慢慢建立起來。天父的愛是無條件的,但現今父母的愛卻往往帶著條件,父母期待孩子「贏在起跑線」,要有好成績、好表現,即使不比其他孩子優勝,也不能給比下來。父母是天父的愛的傳遞者,有時孩子的表現未如理想,父母便容易覺得他們不及別人,因而忽略了每個孩子都有其獨特之處和值得欣賞的地方。我們在天父眼裡都是獨特的,所以要多發掘孩子可愛的地方,多讚賞、鼓勵。孩子多一份安全感,就會少一點情緒。所以要讓孩子在父母的愛中經歷天父的愛。

社交與靈性:屬靈群體,對父母及孩子都很重要。父母將孩子帶進群體中,孩子就有屬靈同伴一起成長。群體的互相激勵、支持,可以分擔培育孩子成長時的擔子;孩子亦會從父母待人接物的態度,學懂彼此相愛、互相分享。筆者發現孩子在父母的團契中建立屬靈群體,比起主日學容易,因為團契活動讓孩子有更多的互動。

一個好名字,只是孩子成長的起步,父母的屬靈生命與孩子的屬靈成長,息息相關,所以不要忽略身、心、社、靈的平衡發展。






Pastor's Sharing
Living Up To One's Name
Rev Eva Lok

Names are important. In the old days, Israelite names largely reflected the lives of the name bearers. For us today, believers invariably give names to their children that represent their hope. Judges 17 recounts a man named Micah, or "who is like the LORD." Ironically, Micah's life was in no way godlike. He stole money from his mother, took the LORD for an idol, and built a shrine in his house. His absurdity came from his mother who carved idols for herself. Parents today also like giving spiritually meaningful names. However, will their children really live up to the names' expectations? That will depend on whether parents can teach children verbally and by example, and whether they can live out their faith and pass it on to the next generation. The spiritual lives of parents have direct bearings on their children's growth. The following growth factors and spirituality are closely related:

Biological & Spiritual: Believers need to spend time getting close to God and meditating on His Word to grow spiritually. Modern life is busy. Fatigue is common and blocks our focus during quiet time. Means become ends, deadlines must be met, daily devotional and exercises – what are truly important – are often sacrificed. Physical and mental fatigue hinders our relationship with God. Parents sometimes need a reminder from their children to read Bible stories themselves. We need to pay a price to train up ourselves physically and spiritually. It is not until we put our lives in order that we can look forward to spiritual growth.

Psychological & Spiritual: The image of the Heavenly Father is gradually impressed upon children through parents' love and acceptance. God's love is unconditional, but parents' love is often not. Parents want their children to make a head start in life, do well in exams, perform well – even if they do not compare favorably with others, they should not appear less so. Parents are a channel that conveys the love of the Heavenly Father. Sometimes when their children's performance is less than ideal, the parents will think that their children are not as good as others, forgetting that every child is unique and deserves appreciation. We are all unique in God's eyes. Therefore, we should explore the lovely side of our children, and express appreciation and encouragement more often. When children feel more secure, they will be less vulnerable to temper. We need to let children experience God's love through parents.

Social & Spiritual: The spiritual community is important to both parents and children. Bringing children into a spiritual community will enable them to grow up with their spiritual peers. The mutual encouragement and support in a fellowship reduces the load in nourishing growth. From the way parents get along with others, children will learn to love and share with one another. I find that children can merge into the spiritual community of their parents' fellowship more easily than build their own in Sunday School. It is because fellowship activities tend to be more interactive.

A good name is just the beginning. Parents' spiritual lives are intertwined with their children's spiritual growth. We need balanced attention to all of the above.