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25 & 26 May 2024 (Pastoral Page) PARENTING - AN ONGOING LEARNING JOURNEY

By Asst Ps Timothy Lee


Family Life Ministry (FLM) has just completed the first run of The Art of Parenting Course. This is a new course run by FLM meant for parents/caregivers of children aged 0-5 and it’s a requirement to attend for children dedication while The Parenting Children Course will be for parents/caregivers of children aged 6-10. The two courses will run in alternate years.


The pedagogy for FLM courses involves self-learning (videos watched on one's own) and sessions involving group discussions and supplemental topics. We hope that group discussions will connect the participants with the facilitators, in part to build relationships within the church.


The Art of Parenting workbook offers tips and pointers for parents, and I wish to share one of them here, especially to young parents. The first chapter, The Goal of Parenting, is to set priorities as a parent. One of the priorities is marriage and here are the 10 ways to keep your marriage a priority.


  1. Pray together every day. Praying together builds soul-level intimacy, helping you to grow stronger in your love for God and for each other. A good time to do this may be before you go to sleep at night.

  2. Be intentional about growing together spiritually. As you seek God together as a couple, you will also draw closer to each other. Spend time reading the Bible together or reading from a devotional book.

  3. Have meaningful conversations with each other every day. Good communication is one of the keys to building a successful marriage. Set aside a few minutes each evening, after the kids have gone to bed, to ask about each other’s day, laugh about fun memories, talk about your hopes, dream together about your future, and so on. And don’t try to compete with the TV – turn it off.

  4. Find practical ways to serve each other. Serving your spouse with love, joy, and creativity demonstrates that their happiness means more to you than your own. Love expressed through service is sure to strength your marriage.

  5. Give thanks for each other often. Express appreciation to God and to your spouse for the gift of each other. Giving thanks for each other is an acknowledgement that you value your relationship. That which you appreciate, you cherish.

  6. Develop some common interests. Find an activity or hobby that you will both enjoy doing together. Take a cooking class, learn how to ballroom dance, support your favourite sports team, go bike riding, etc. Mutual interests and shared experiences will deepen your friendship and enrich your marriage.

  7. Fan the flames of romance. Romance helps keep the relationship alive, fresh, and exciting. Have candlelight dinners, write passionate love letters to each other, surprise each other with a gift from time to time “just because,” flirt with each other, and build anticipation for fun, steamy nights.

  8. Have regular date nights. These special times together will do wonders for your relationship. Plan a fun night out at least once a month. If circumstances prevent you from going out, plan a stay-at-home date after the kids are in bed. The point is, be intentional. Put it on the calendar and hold to your plans.

  9. Take overnight of weekend trips together – without the kids. These getaways allow you to take a break from the everyday responsibilities of life and parenting to focus on each other.

  10. Tune-up your marriage regularly. You can do this by attending or leading a small-group study for couples, or by attending an annual marriage retreat or conference. These habits will help keep your relationship vibrant and strong.


[Family Life’s Art of Parenting Workbook, Session One - The Goal of Parenting, 10 Ways to Keep Your Marriage a Priority, P. 14-15]

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