My sister, Candy, struck up a conversation with me about how our parents are crazy busy. She explained that in Sacramento, when mom and dad would visit her, they were hands on with her kids and 100% attentive to her. Naturally, since their visits to California were for the purpose of spending time with Candy and her family, they could do this.
Surprise! Just a few months into her stay in the Philippines, she discovered that mom and dad travel quite a bit and they have all kinds of conferences, ministry events, speaking engagements, and social activities that fill up their calendars. When Candy revealed that she was disappointed to discover that mom and dad didn’t have as much time to give her as she expected, I encouraged her to tell them her feelings.
Sunday night provided the best opportunity to do so. Evenings on this day are reserved for accountability with mom and dad, family prayer time, and catching up with one another. Usually, everyone is pretty chill and relaxed on Sunday night. As we finished dinner, I told my parents that Candy had something to share with them.
She was caught a little bit off guard, but since we are generally open with one another in our family, she proceeded to express to my parents that she missed spending time with them and that she wished they were more available.
Edric injected his own perspective, sharing that sometimes he feels hesitant to connect with dad or seek advice from him because dad travels a lot and has multiple engagements during a week. Since Edric knows dad has a lot going on, he doesn’t want to trouble him with his concerns. Afterwards I also commented that we still look to mom and dad to mentor us.
My parents received our comments and corrections with grace and humility, especially my dad. Dad didn’t say anything to defend himself. He just listened quietly, smiling. I am sure a part of him liked being needed by his adult kids.
All of my siblings and I, as well as our spouses are confident in dad and mom’s love for us. We don’t have an issue with this. When we communicate that we need them, they prioritize us. But we do echo the general sentiment about their busyness. Our once a week dinners with them are supposed to be safeguarded but they aren’t always in Manila. As empty-nesters who are highly involved in ministry work and who enjoy traveling, they jet-set everywhere. They are in their sixties but they seem to have boundless energy to give to serving the Lord and others. But the fact remains that as grown up children, we still look for their wisdom and discipleship.
The great thing about my parents, especially my dad, is he is an instant action kind of guy. He reminded Edric that he is just a call or text away. And since Edric and I had to exit the family dinner early, he and my mom stepped away from the dinner table even if my siblings were still eating to walk us to our van. He did this to show that he wanted to be with us and squeeze in a few more minutes of talk-time. The next day, I found out that my dad and mom also made time for Candy, her husband, Jeff, and their kids, too.
I have probably said it before but I will say it again that I continue to value my parents’ desire to improve and change when they are requested to by us. It especially means a lot that my father is this way. He welcomes our correction and likes us to give him feedback about his messages, about the way he relates to others, his character, or his decisions. In short, he is a humble guy. (My mom is too but this seems to be a little more congruent with a mother’s personality than with a father’s.)
My dad’s humility is one of the reasons why I know he is an authentic follower of Jesus. Dealing positively with rebuke is one thing. But as one who is in a position of influence, he has also had various insults and accusations hurled his way (untruthful and hurtful). Comments that would have sent me into an emotional tailspin hardly increased my dad’s blood pressure. He remained calm and still does when people attack his person.
Furthermore, he tries his best to reach out to people who malign him or misinterpret him. Sometimes they respond positively, other times they remain hard-hearted and refuse to reconcile. Whenever unity seems unattainable, my dad keeps the door open just in case an opportunity to mend the relationship presents itself. Amazingly, some people who disliked him before are now his friends again! That is the grace of God!
I don’t want to make boasts about my father but his example has shown me that a person who genuinely loves God will live differently, especially in the area of receiving rebuke, correction or dealing with criticism. And it’s not to my dad’s credit but to the Lord’s work in him. He isn’t perfect and he has his weaknesses, but I praise God for his heart to change and be a better man. I know that his motivations are ultimately to please God. And this is why he doesn’t need to defend himself or fight to prove he is right. He knows that it is honoring the Lord’s name with his humble responses that matters more.
I pray to be the same way when Edric or my kids point out areas that I should change in me. I tend to react to Edric (not the kids) because I focus on his style of correcting me, namely his tone and timing of delivery. However, a grace-filled and Christ-centered person (which I ought to aspire to be) will not make a big deal out of style and use it as a smokescreen to escape saying things like, “Okay, I will change,” or “Thank you for that reminder, I should work on that,” or “Will you forgive me?”
As I end this post, here’s an excerpt from a site that imparts a good lesson on humility:
“A former missionary told the story of two rugged mountain goats who met on a narrow mountainside pathway. On one side was a chasm 1,000 feet deep; on the other, a steep cliff rising straight up. There was no room to turn around, and the goats could not back up without falling. What would they do? Rather than fight for the right to pass, one of the goats knelt down and became as flat as possible. The other goat then walked over him, and they both proceeded safely…When Jesus left His heavenly home, He humbled Himself and paid the penalty for your sins and mine. He saw us literally trapped between our sin and God’s righteousness with no way to help ourselves — no way of escape. He came in humility and took the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-8). Then, by dying for sinful mankind, He let us “walk over Him” so that we could experience forgiveness and receive eternal life.
7 thoughts on “A Father’s Example of Humility”
This is awesome, Joy. If I didn’t “know” you, I’d think such a perfect and loving family didn’t exist and that this was a lot of BS (pardon my French????.) Not that my family isn’t perfect in its own way or that we are hateful or resentful. Rather, mine just arrives at solutions differently than yours and, I must say, I really, REALLY admire how your parents–and now how you and Edric–are doing things. I’m sure it isn’t easy because we don’t have your parents’ nor your and your hubby’s attitude and character, but–WOW. You lot are such a blessing! I strive to apply the things you profess on here, I really do. Also, I happen to BELIEVE my prayers are ALWAYS answered and I have very little trouble accepting God’s answers to my prayers, but there is one petition that I struggle with and it is about family. Thank you sooo much because God’s message about it was in this particular blog post. God bless you and yours, Joy!
Praise God that’s great Karla:) hahaha your French is pardoned
You have blessed me with your blogs! Do you know that I always tell my daughter who is 9 years old to try to follow thr example of the Tanchi kids? My daughter knows you one by one and has been looking up to you. She has promised to wait for the right boy and to follow how you and your siblings have obeyed your parents and really tried to excel in school and in life!
Thank you for opening your life to us through your blog. By the way we met you already in one of the TMAS ORIENTATION in Cebu 🙂
Sis, I was immensely blessed by this post. You know, many times I get into trouble because I prefer to immediately prove myself, my innocence, or my actions when others doubt me or make accusations about me. I always control/manipulate their responses with arguments. But Pastor Peter is indeed a good role model and he definitely leads me to Christ Jesus. I have decided to change my mindset. Moving forward, instead of proving myself all the time, honoring God with my humble responses is now my priority. Honestly, It is hard to be humble. It is easier for me to get into a fight. But I am willing to change, and my inabilities, I surrender to Christ. Thank you God and thank you Sis Joy!
Praise God! That’s a wonderful resolution! May God’s grace be upon you! We all struggle with pride. It’s an ancient problem 😉 You are in good company…
Hey, Joy. It’s me again. I have been reading your blog but it’s been a while since the last time. I was on facebook last night when I saw this shared so I checked it out. You know, I really look up to your dad. I look up to him not just as a pastor, but also as a father, husband and man. I know you have said this before: You family is not perfect. But I dream of having a Christ-centered family like yours someday. I praise God for your mom but I would like to think that the father really is the head of the family so your dad has done a great job. But the wife complements that role so your mom also deserves accolade. Praise the Lord for the work He has done in your family. I am single but I have been praying to God to someday become the man He designed me to be. I pray that your family bless more people. because families are crumbling nowadays. Jesus is our ultimate Savior but we need concrete proof of a Christ-centered living, and for me, that is your family. Amazing grace indeed!
Joy, I have been referring my friends (mostly women) to read your blog because I believe that they can learn so much. Keep writing, Joy. Take care and God bless you and Edric.
Thanks so much for the encouragement, Jeff! May God hand-pick the woman that will be your best complement to fulfill God’s plan for your lives.