Kissy Monster

My daughter Christine and her family, including their three small kids, recently took a mission trip and visited Thailand. My son and his wife are actively involved in their church and other ministries.

When I decided to quit my job to become a pastor, my greatest concern was about my children. I feared that they might stray from church because I had seen many other pastors’ kids fall from the faith. Perhaps they were tired of not being able to do what they wanted to because their families had little money. Perhaps they were hurt by church fights. But all I could do was to pray for them.

My fears haven’t materialized. I thank God for helping them become who they are now.

Pastors who visit our church as house church interns often ask me how I raised my children. I used to answer that I didn’t have any role in them becoming what they are – all credit should go to my wife and to my children themselves.

But recently, I began to feel that I did make some contribution: I tried to fill their “love tanks.” Childrens’ love tanks are filled by three things: a loving gaze, encouraging words, and warm touch. So when Danny and Christine came to our bedroom in the morning when they were small, I made it a rule to meet them with a smile and a bear hug, saying, “I love you.”

My primary love language is encouraging words, and my secondary one is touch. I love to kiss. When Danny and Christine were small and I saw them playing with their friends, I kissed everyone on their cheeks with a smack. When they saw me coming they ran away, shrieking “the kissy monster is coming!” I caught every one of them and gave a passionate, noisy kiss on their cheeks.

My children have grown and become parents themselves but I still kiss them when I meet them. My son receives it with embarrassment and my daughter with resignation. But my primary targets are now my grandchildren. When they run away crying “the kissy monster is coming!” I catch them, hold them tight, and shower them with kisses.

I couldn’t spend enough time with my children when they were growing up, but our faithful God, who promises to take care of us if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, raised my kids Himself to become beautiful people. They met wonderful spouses, are raising happy children, and live godly lives. I feel overwhelmed by God’s love and faithfulness.

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