There goes a saying regarding Chinese parents: "My son must do the things I can't do."
This saying is applicable to the type of education many young people receive from their families today. There are many problems with the Chinese family education system, especially in poor areas. Wrong family education has caused much harm, and even boost children's suicide. For example, a left-behind boy from Yunnan committed suicide at 15 on the 2017 New Year's Eve, leaving a note that claims, "For your aggressive words, I cannot do anything but die."
The Christian Times interviewed three post-90s Christians to talk about the wrong values and ways in their families of origin regarding education and also how the church can help.
Sister Z: My parents failed to instruct me on love and marriage, so the church should nurture the young who need help
Sister Z, a post-90s Christian who serves in a local church, shared her own experience which was influenced by the result of wrong family education. The "silent" attitude of her parents toward relationships has affected her the most. Her parents didn't inquire her about romantic relationships. It was until she told them that she wanted to have a boyfriend that they knew about her relationship and views about love. Knowing this, they didn't show any support or objection. Their reaction meant "yes" to her and they believed she had no scruples about love affairs.
"If my parents had a serious discussion about that matter with me, told me what consequences I would experience because of my choices and guided me to make a right choice, I would have not suffered much or inflicted much harm in my relationships."
She confesses that the consequence resulting from the wrong education still affects her even today.
Then how should one overcome that? As a Christian, she believes that the way to heal the hurt owing to wrong relationships is to know God's love and know what true love is more deeply. The reason why wrong family education on love exists is because parents know little about love and marriage. Marriage in their generation was mostly arranged by matchmakers and their parents. She also listed other wrong aspects of family education, like a lack of tolerance to children and verbal violence.
How should the church help to heal the harm caused by wrong family education? In terms of relationships and marriage, Z suggests that the church provide relevant counseling that helps the young ones understand true love and how to deal with relationships if their parents fail to teach them.
What can the church do for non-Christians who are hurt because of wrong education in their families of origin? She answers that the church that has its particular function which leads people to know God. To achieve this, the church needs to attract them by knowing their needs. The modern church needs to think about the "needs" of both believers and non-believers. The ways to help young people are by no means limited to only Bible studies. Some churches declare narrow teachings, while some claim too open teachings. The two extremes can cause lifelessness and foul atmosphere. The church needs to reflect on how they could teach in a proper way.
Sister D: I lost myself because my parents overrated on academic performance
Working in a Christian ministry, Sister D tells that what hurt her the most in her childhood came from her parents, who were giving too much importance to academic achievement.
"Grades were very important in the eyes of my parents since I was in primary school and it determined whether I deserved to be loved or not." She says.
She was forced to study by her parents and teachers during her entire school days. But this made her suffer under the oppression of the soul. All she could do was to pretend studying. However, she, like a walking dead, didn't know how to greet and chat with her relatives. As a result, she couldn't get love, thinking that she didn't deserve love when she did poorly in school. Then she felt inferior and regarded herself as a person who does not have worth living in the world.
The solution to getting rid of the consequences brought by wrong family education is through meditating on God's love and Jesus' healing word, she proposed. She adds that those wrong ideas have been out of her mind after meditating.
She also shared four points where the church can help young people affected by incorrect family education:
First of all, the Bible has answers to all the problems. Pastors can explain a specific problem with the words of the Scriptures in order to remove wrong ideas in their minds and help them have right ideas which is grounded on the Bible. Second, the church can hold a lecture or training program regarding wrong family education. You will get twice the result with half the effort if you launch a theme activity. In addition, the church can host a special prayer meeting in which Christians, with the gift of prayer, pray for healing these people. Moreover, the church can treat them according to the biblical principles, letting them feel that they are accepted and loved.
Sister L: My low self-esteem comes from the "comparison" of her education with others by her parents
Serving in a local church, the post-90s sister states the biggest fault she received in family education was when her parents often compared her with others, which resulted in her inferiority which still exists today.
L thinks that the way out of the problem is to change her idea and consciousness. "First, be aware of your value in God and gain the recognition of your uniqueness and see your strengths."
She said that the reason why her parents treated her that way is because they didn't receive correct education. "They educated me with what they thought was right, considering that as a way to show their love to their children."
Translated by Karen Luo