Mother's Day Interview: Christian Scholar Relies on God to Raise Children

A picture of a sapling in the soil
A picture of a sapling in the soil (
By Steve Sun May 18th, 2023

A post-70s scholar shares on the topic of "my reflections and insights as a church minister and as a mother."

Sister Yin Wanrong (pseudonym) is a scholar born in the 1970s, who has a son who is 25 years old and a daughter who is 20. Over the course of her 17 years as a Christian, she has served in the church while raising her children.

The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Ms. Yin by the Christian Times, an online Christian newspaper in China:

Christian Times: How do you perceive the significance and value of women’s service in the church, especially that of the wives of pastors?

Yin Wanrong: Women have played a significant role in establishing and developing churches throughout history, especially before Christianity became the state religion of Rome. Furthermore, women are indispensable in all areas of ministry within the church. Therefore, the church must acknowledge the significance of their participation.

I feel enormously blessed to be serving in the church myself. The book Good to Great suggests that individuals find joy when their passions, abilities, and benefits align, allowing them to transition from being “good” to “great”.

However, women and pastors’ wives who serve in the church often carry heavy burdens and have to experience their happiness amidst them.

First, women often possess multiple roles, which adds to their workload. Additionally, Satan tends to target women's vulnerabilities, disrupting and destabilizing their responsibilities. Thirdly, a lack of understanding and support from family members or colleagues can also contribute to their burden. Finally, the longer they serve, the more complex women's problems become since they begin considering the position of women in the church and how to collaborate with their co-workers.

Based on my observations, the primary challenge for women serving in Chinese churches is their inadequate theological knowledge and education. They require extensive training.

Christian Times: As a mother, what values do you uphold and what methods do you use to raise your children?

Yin Wanrong: A mother is like the soil and the root of a tree, as she is the nurturer and the provider. So, mothers should talk less, let go less, and nag less. Although it is difficult, children must experience life on their own so that they will grow.

However, Christian mothers may face more challenges raising their children than other non-Christians:

The first challenge is the devil’s attack on how women dress in the church to disrupt their service.

Secondly, it is challenging to teach your own children well. Sometimes you have to teach the children of other parents and let them teach yours. However, no matter how well you preach or how well you serve, more often than not, your own children observe you—their mother—from the way you actually live and how you interact with them.

Thirdly, as servants of the Lord, we hope to have our children raised in the Lord since they are young so that they will have a good foundation in their faith.

Finally, children of pastoral staff may easily cover themselves under a mask due to congregation and maternal expectations. They may seem well-behaved in front of others, but it may be quite a different story behind their backs.

Christian Times: What are your thoughts on parenting? Have you had any reflections or growth?

Yin Wanrong: In some way, it is not me raising my children, but my children teaching me. I aspire to grow with my children together and become their intercessor.

As your child grows older, the amount of time spent with them as parents becomes less important. What truly matters is that your child is willing to come home and communicate with you. Too much companionship may indicate a parent's unwillingness to let go and intervene too much, which could limit the child's growth and development.

To foster healthy communication with my children, I read the Bible and pray with them daily, especially when they were young, to help establish good habits. Additionally, I deliberately organize weekly family gatherings where we pray for each other, sing together, share our thoughts and support one another. I also encourage my children to keep a devotional journal and diary. Lastly, I guide them in prayer when they face challenges and support them until they overcome these obstacles.

When teaching your child, you need to completely depend on God in every step and maintain humble before Him. Without due care, parents might overstep boundaries or fail to establish an appropriate limit for their children. The boundary should provide children with enough space to gain confidence, develop independence, and be accountable while remaining disciplined under parental direction.

- Translated by Joyce Leung

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