Sunday, September 12, 2010


Today was very interesting. Hong Teck had two very challenging topics to talk about: explaining what circumcision is about, and teaching the kids to wait for God's timing regarding BGR.

Fantastic, especially when you're considering that we're talking about primary kids. But actually, that could be a very appropriate time - the blessing of childhood innocence combined with godly guidance on the more adult things of life.

Like how I learnt about human reproduction in scientific terms from children's science books when I was a small kid. But even when I saw the anatomical drawings in bio textbooks, I had no idea what these drawings meant. :) Yeah, I asked my mum what's a p_ and v_ (I don't mind typing out the full terms, but the spammers will come like flies to this post!) when I was in Primary 3, as I had read about them in a children's science comic. My mum simply said, "I don't know." So I just shrugged my shoulders and didn't think about it then. Ah, childhood. =)

But yes. How do you teach children about circumcision and BGR in Sunday School? :) Very good topics that should be preached about... and very tough. LOL.

Hong Teck handled it very well. He asked the kids whether they knew what circumcision is. None of the kids knew (I think). So HT simply said, "Circumcision is when you cut off a portion of a part of your body that we don't want to talk about here. You know, your private part. For guys." The kids naturally giggled and said, "EEEEE!" :) HT went on to explain that in the Old Testament, this was a physical symbol of their purity before God. But now, today, our circumcision is in the heart, not the private part.

So I think kids can take the truth plainer and yet more innocently than we give them credit for. :)

About BGR, Hong Teck shared his own testimony about the blessing of waiting first to complete his studies before he got into a relationship. He said that he fell in love with a girl in his home country. The liking was mutual. But he decided not to commit there and then, because he had to go to Australia for further studies. And he said that it was good that he waited, otherwise he might have to endure heartaches which could affect his studies.

And when he was in Australia, he fell in love with another girl. (All the kids laughed when they heard that.) Again, HT decided not to pursue the relationship deeper, because he was still studying. And he said it was a good move, because he had to go to Singapore to work.

And in Singapore, that's where he met his future wife and is now a father of three wonderful kids. :)

Sweet, huh? So the teachers taught the kids the blessings of waiting for God's timing. And the week before, we had taught them about online safety.

So happy and glad to be part of this wonderful company of heroes!

Which brought me to another thought. Interestingly, last Friday, Huanyan wrote something on BGR as well. And a couple of days before, a dear bro asked me for advice regarding BGR. The bro had been quite frustrated by all the differing advice that he had gotten regarding BGR in church. Thing is, his CL wisely told him not to take all these advice literally, but to think through them first. So, being a godly bro who wants to honour God in his BGR search, he tried his best to stick to the "proper framework".

Well, all these things came at a very interesting time. :)

Incidentally, I understand that some people have felt that the old BGR framework of Hope was too restrictive. Mmm. I did think so too, but the new one is really more sensible (practically). But the basic principle has always been there: honouring Christ and making Him the Lord and Head of our relationships.

But I digress.

So initially, when I read Huanyan's post, I replied to him that I felt his points, while valid, were imbalanced. He replied back with some further explanations. Then after reading further on, I see that we're on the same page, actually: honouring God and seeking His will and timing.


You know, something I realised is that it's generally not so much about being in the right life-station, as having the right character and right timing. And I think timing differs from person to person... but first, the person should be walking right with God and men. And he/she should be emotionally, mentally and spiritually stable first. And... the other person should also be ready too, likewise. Even if you're ready... is the other person ready? If not, he/she may break your heart.

From personal experience, I was in a close relationship (not explicitly BGR, but ... to borrow a Facebook status, "It's complicated") when I was transiting from uni life to work. The friendship hit a bad bump, and some misunderstanding happened. It affected me in my work life for a long time. And I also had a colleague around the same time, who was in the middle of breaking up with his girlfriend of ten years. They were already engaged... so imagine the pain that he had to go through.

So whichever life-station you are at... if you and/or your partner are not ready in terms of character, man, you're in for a hard time. No use being financially independent and having accomplished all your dreams and being able to do a lot of things the world considers a man to be, if you do not have the heart and the skills to care for another person of the same gender as you, let alone the opposite gender.

Come to think of it, it's more essential that we prepare our sheep to be more mature and complete on the inside, and not only tell them to wait for graduation. So that whichever life station they may be at, they will always seek to honour God and one another above themselves, and to be complete in character first. Complete, not as in perfect, but as in having every aspect of a godly character covered.

I think the key focus that we should remember is just not about waiting to reach a certain life-station, but rather, striving to be mature and complete in Christ first and foremost, before you can be ready for a relationship. If you can't walk on your own, how do you expect to support and care for your future spouse?

(By mature and complete in Christ, I mean generally being able to take care of yourself in daily living and spiritual walk with God, not as in reaching a certain "leadership role".)

(But why then are we teaching children and youths to wait till they finish their studies? I think it's for the simple reason that, they really are not ready in terms of practically caring. But again, I believe it's on a person-by-person basis, depending on the person's maturity level.)

Anyway, after all this, I think my perspective overlaps with Huanyan's regarding BGR. I think my thoughts will focus more on the practical aspect... when you are ready, how can you go about asking?

I had the blessing of being able to discuss with not only my brothers, but also with some dear sisters too on this.

Various questions that me and another bro came up with:
"How do I tell a girl I like her?"
"When do I tell her?"
"How can I tell that God has brought us together - IF He has?"
"What is God's part, and my part, in bringing the relationship closer?"
"What criteria should I look for in a sister?"
"What should we do while waiting for the appropriate time?"

I'll present some of my research findings in the next few posts. In the meantime, please feel free to post your comments / thoughts / insights / protests / threats ... (ok, maybe not) in this blog! Till then, stay tuned and God bless! :)

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