Honoring the Members of Your Family

Simplifying your life requires de-cluttering. This means letting go of a few stuff to free up some space. My minimalist beauty queen lifestyle journey allowed, or shall I say, made me let go of many areas in my life that are keeping me away from GOD and my family. This led me in creating space to honor the members of my family.

I used to be dominant and self-centered. I always wanted to be the highlight and star of the family. I was not aware that being absent in their precious moments and always in MY moment, have affected the members of my family. I’m always dealing with the past and always working for the future, that I have failed to be a good wife to my husband by not being there “AT THE MOMENT” when he needed me, and I failed big time in being an intentional mother to my two children by not being there “AT THE MOMENT” when they needed me.

I realized that magical moments happen during simple get-togethers or time with our husband and children.  The message of our pastor in one of our Sunday worship services struck me and inspired me to rush to my laptop and write about this article.

“Don’t sacrifice what only YOU can do. Like being a father/mother to your children and a husband/wife to your spouse.”

– Pastor Vince Burke

I missed out and failed on this principle. While I was busy creating a future for them as my justification—rationalizing being busy and working hard—I did not see the painful reality that I am also destroying their future by creating a hole of emptiness in their need of appreciation, attention, belongingness, security, love, affirmation, and mentoring and guiding them to the path of spiritual growth.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

~ Proverbs 22:6 

I learned that when we have unmet desires, we psychologically look for substitutes to replace the emptiness or as a “coping mechanism.” I only understood this principle of coping mechanism, when I went through my personal life coaching recovery session at Glorious Hope.

“While I was busy creating a future for them as my justification—rationalizing being busy and working hard—I did not see the painful reality that I am also destroying their future by creating a hole of emptiness in their need of appreciation, attention, belongingness, security, love, affirmation, and mentoring and guiding them to the path of spiritual growth.”

After I finished my recovery program, I found out that my cluttered life, the sins I committed, and my wrong pursuit of worldly ambition, are my way of putting substitutes to my unmet desires (attention from parents, appreciation, protection, security), instead of filling it with God’s love.

As part of my minimalist beauty lifestyle journey that led to freeing up space in my heart and time, I started to honor the members of my family 2 years ago.

I did this by honoring their seasons in life.

Honoring my Husband  

I honor my husband by respecting him. I respect him by submitting to his headship in the family. Submitting to his decisions even if sometimes I find it unwise or not according to my point of view and standards. And this respect and submission is applied, not only in major decision making, but also to smallest details, such as where to eat, where to spend weekends, and the like.

It is not easy, really. I am a super dominant woman, and I have been in charge of my life for more than 30 years—solving everything on my own, even manipulating situations and people to my benefit. I used to think he will never understand what I’m doing, and worse, I belittled him, thinking he cannot give me a sound advice. This led me to commit sins by consulting prominent men who I look up to for mentoring.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”

~ Ephesians 5:22-33

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”

~ 1 Peter 3:1

It’s a big adjustment to submit to my husband when I come to consult him. But this is my way of honoring him as the head of our family and as my husband.  I have to adjust and get used to consulting him about all our finances, and discuss with him all my personal decision making—from joining associations, purchasing and acquiring items, like subscriptions of coaching, mentors continuing educations, buying my make-up, having microblading procedure for my eyebrows, buying new clothes, updating my blog and writing my 2 books, and accepting a speaking engagement or out of town program.

I remember 2 years ago after we went through this crossroad, it was such an ordeal for me at the beginning to do this, but I chose to obey GOD to respect him not because my husband deserves it, but because respecting my husband is honoring GOD.

Later on, I’m beginning to reap the fruits of my obedience to GOD.  I experience joy in our marriage, which was not there before, and I feel happy with simple conversations during bedtime (we rarely watch TV now, we just spend time having quality conversations). I cherish all our eye-to-eye moments without saying any word. I’m grateful now to his approvals to my requests.  I cannot also describe how much we have become closer and intimate, when I began to tell him everything that is going on with me—both good and bad. I no longer filter what I tell him, I just tell him everything. He is also doing the same with me. We no longer go on different ways like how we did before.

I also honor him by respecting his season. I realized that it is never always about me. It is not always about my season, and I need to respect my husband’s turn to SHINE.  I now listen to his plans for business, no matter how small or big it may be. I accompany him to his sidelines and help him do it.  I now listen and give time to hear him tell stories about his small victories and joyous moments—being recognized in his work, when he facilitated as Life coach to a group of men, and as teacher/speaker in our church ministry.  I also give attention to his business plans at our farm. I feel his happiness, and his facial expression cannot deny it.  I make sure now to drop everything I’m doing when he gets home (I never do this before). I sit down with him during meal time (before, I never really cared if he has eaten or not), and just be present every time he needs me. I also honor him by coming or joining him in his activities and when he is invited to any occasions. I am always available to accompany him and be his special date. He expresses his joy now that I am doing this for him. I usually do not join him, thinking that I have valid reasons, yet this is not acceptable. He is my husband, and he should be my priority. I praise GOD for blessing us with these moments, for changing my heart and his heart too.  We are still in the progress of healing our marriage, but we are undeniably genuinely in love. We cannot do this on our own. I believe putting GOD in the center of our relationship changed everything.

Now, for my children, I began to honor their season too.

Honoring my Daughter

My daughter during her graduation received an award for being an honor student, so I honored her season to celebrate it; and it is all about her, none of me. There was so much that has happened in her life that I missed, like piano and painting lessons, ballet recitals, recognition and school foundations days. I was also not present when she needed support for her projects, thesis, and other school activities, as well as church ministry-related pursuits. I have been trying to make up for the lost time, but I still fall short many times.

I was too busy fixing my life that I missed the opportunity to be there at the moment she needed me. She went through major transitions in her life but I wasn’t there to guide her through it. My presence would have saved her from a lot of heartaches. And these heartbreaking experiences she went through caused her to lose her confidence and interest to shine. It has limited her mindset that led her to not enjoy college for a while. I realized my shortcomings caused these consequences upon her.

“Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.”

~ Proverbs 19:18

Yet, GOD remains to be faithful. While I was in the dark, he took care of my daughter by using our church’s campus ministry at DLS-College of Saint Benilde and her d-group in CCF Alabang. The group took care of her, and she slowly regained her confidence and enjoyed the rest of her college years.

I still believe that though I made wrong choices, my children are also children of GOD; and He has and will take care of them. My relationship with my daughter is slowly improving and we are catching up on our lost time. We also are now working together, which helped us know each other better. She is more open and expressive to me now. It may not always be a smooth ride with her, like when we had a hard time adjusting with each other on the first month we worked together because we clash most of the time, but we prayed and depended on GOD to guide us and give us wisdom if we should work together. She had bouts of discouragement and was uninspired to work for me. I also was not comfortable motivating her to work. We believe we cannot push an endeavor if it is not according to God’s will and plan. After getting God’s confirmation that she indeed will work for our company, she finally surrendered to God’s will and honored her father’s request to help me, and fill in the graphic artist and social media manager post. Then, things changed. She began to enjoy it and I respected her season of transition from university life to her first employment.

She currently works with me in Radiance Image Consultancy since she graduated last year.  Soon I will have to let her go and respect her season when it is her time to SHINE and pursue her passions. Regardless if I badly needed her to work in my business, I have to respect and honor my daughter, not because she deserves it, but because I am obeying GOD.

 

Honoring my Son

I remembered my son when he was 3 to 9 years old, he cannot sleep without holding my hand. We were so close, in fact people called him “my little me” because he has fair complexion and looks like me in many ways. It was really my mom who took care of him and my daughter back when I was busy pursuing my worldly ambition. I never had time to check his activities from pre-school to high school. It was my mom and my husband monitoring and taking care of his affairs. I was absent also in some of his most important achievements like recognition days and Badminton varsity competitions. I always entrust him to the care of my mom or my in-laws since he goes to the same school as his cousins.

Our relationship drifted apart especially when he became adolescent. This was the time when my mother died in 2009. I was not able to adjust to the fact that I need to take over and take care of them. I was busy covering up for my sins and pursuing my ambitions and wrong path.

My son succumbed to online gaming and engaged in an early relationship in high school. And I realized my absence led him to that. I was not giving him the attention, appreciation, and sense of belongingness that he needed from me. I barely looked at him when he needed me to look at something he is showing me or to simply spend time to talk. I also gave him the impression that he should not disturb me when I am busy. I would often scold him and reprimand him for always being on the computer, and I never praised nor appreciated him for the good things he has done. I barely helped him with his school projects and works. I was literally an “absentee mother.” I always justified my absence with having to work hard for their future. But now I admit I was one of the reasons that led him to make these choices. And these choices changed my son and his personality. He became secretive and he barely had the time to talk to us. We would always have arguments, and at some extent he almost walked out on me.  But our clashes became worst when it was about his romantic relationship.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

~ Ephesians 6:4

“A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.”

~ Proverbs 29:15

 Before the launching of Radiance Image Consultancy back in August 2017, my son and I had a huge argument that provoked him to run away from home. He just didn’t want to be home anymore with us since he really never felt connected to us anyway.

I really felt helpless, and I do not know who to seek help from. We looked for him at his cousins’ and at his friends’ but he wasn’t there. This was when I finally realized the effects and consequences that my absence had on him. I was bleeding in sorrow inside. This is the first time I learned to SHUT UP AND PRAY. I realized all I needed to seek is GOD. I cannot change this circumstance nor my son’s situation and attitude towards me—but GOD can. By God’s grace, my son was found at midnight by my husband at a coffee shop.

Why am I sharing this story, anyway? It is because I never honored him and the season when he needed me. He was not my priority. It was a one-way relationship. It was always about me. It was always me talking and never listening. I was never there for him to enjoy our magical moments.  In that same year, my husband and I confessed to him our sins and our marital situation. He was just quiet and since then, he detached from us.  He also left his d-group (a support group in our church). I resented it and I was really worried, however I learned to respect his season to recover from what happened to us. I wanted him to separate with his girlfriend, because I know that is the right thing to do. But you see, him disobeying me does not mean I should not honor him.  Since that time, I focused on my role as his mother, rather than finding faults he have done.  My role is to love him, trust and respect him, and to take care of him and honor him, not because he deserves it, but because I am obeying GOD’s command.  My role is to listen to him and to teach him God’s ways. My major role at this time is to pray for him and to trust and allow GOD to work in his life. My job is to teach him and lead him closer to GOD.  I pine for our lost times, yet I never stopped praying for my son up to this point.  After a year, he has shown some significant changes. He is communicating with us again. He speaks to me about his activities. I am slowly adjusting to him communicating again with me, though it is still unnatural for us. Yet, I am grateful to GOD for I know GOD is blessing my obedience to him in respecting my son.

Honoring my family is still a work in progress for me.  It’s never easy, and sometimes it is quicker to go back to my old ways of manipulation and not honor them. But I always choose to depend on GOD and hold on to his Word as my guide. Now, I have developed a grateful heart—to appreciate and be thankful to GOD and to my family achieving small victories—and I began to see how GOD has been blessing us in spite of our circumstances.

I began to let go and honor them.  Entrust them to GOD.  I am now learning to see my husband, my daughter, and my son through God’s lens. At the end of the day, it is already a big blessing that we are still complete, all healthy and no vices. We all now see our current circumstances differently.

How about you? Are you experiencing the same ordeal? Would you consider letting go of your limelight and start honoring the season of your family member?

This is the true value of living a minimalist beauty lifestyle—to honor our family members and show them our love and respect of their seasons by being intentionally present AT THE MOMENT they need us.

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