Father’s Day is just a few days away! And we hope you’ve made reservation, plans, gifts and all that jazz. But before your celebrations, we’ve got some amazing articles brewing that’s been waiting for your attention since yesterday till this Saturday!
Fathers are like pillars to a child’s behavioral-building.
For a girl, a father is her pillar of relationships and emotional support. And it will shape her way of forming bonds as well as what she will look to, when she looks for a partner. For a boy, he follows in the footsteps of his father that will shape his core values and behavior, into the man that he’ll eventually be.
In the days to come, Sevenpie will be releasing stories from Malaysian fathers from all corners and walks of life. Within these articles, they share about life in a non-stop commitment to their bundle(s)-of-joy, and how they have coped with it no matter the circumstance.
We’ve heard of the phrase: “Home is where the heart is”, for these pastor dads, home is wherever they are!
Both portrays as a father figure, as well pastors in their communities, Pastor Keith and Pastor Tan show us that life can be lived bigger than ourselves, and more importantly- for others. As they play the head of their own household while zealously advocating evangelically in their community, Pastor Keith and Pastor Tan never fail to put in 100% commitment in what they do.
It’s time for the limelight to shine on these pastors who not only have a community to build, but also a family.
So get comfy, and grab your dad because these few articles are reads that you don’t want to ignore. Take a glimpse into the lives of these unsung heroes as you discover that a father’s love knows no bounds, despite having to tend to the needs of many others.
Pastor Keith Tay- Pastor at Collective KL; Father of 3 children: Keira, Caedy and Caius
A man of integrity, Pastor Keith is also a powerful speaker for our sister company – Buildbeings! A full-time Pastor and full-time dad, read on to hear Pastor Keith’s inspiring story on juggling with his many roles!
1. Hi Pastor Keith! It’s an honour to have you with us here at Sevenpie! Being a father of 3, what excites you most about fatherhood?
I am a dad of three beautiful children, Keira (11), Caedy (7) and Caius (4). I am not so sure if the word “excites” would suit me, but it is definitely a privilege and joy to be a father of my three wonderful children. Fatherhood so far is very much a journey of experimenting and learning from mistakes.
Having the chance to discover what’s on the inside of them, to build my friendship with them and to know that I have been given the responsibility to shape their foundational years gives me purpose in my parenting.
2. Going back to the first time when you knew you were going to be a father, how did you felt at that time?
Honestly, I wasn’t ready at all. When I first found out that Juli was pregnant, I thought to myself, “Oh no… this is too soon! There are many places and adventures that I have yet to embark with my wife. I will lose all my freedom!”
Then came delivery day, and it was beyond words. I really can’t think of any single event that can compare to the day I cut Keira’s umbilical cord in the delivery room. And that moment when I held my newborn baby… I was so touched by the pure vulnerability for the first time in my adulthood. I didn’t know I could love a person so much. I felt like there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her, it also felt like, “Hello stranger… Welcome to this family. Let’s do this together.”
3. Being a Pastor, you would need to meet many people and also caring for their needs! How do you balance your time between your work and also as a father?
It is really a struggle for me to balance it all. But I have learned to involve them in my work. Since they were young, I’ve always welcomed them to my office. I believe that when you involve your children in what you do, it gives them a sense of security and importance.
I guess the act of balancing between work and family will never stop. We all know that work can never be finished, and I love my job! But when the occasion arises where I really have to choose, family will always come first, and they need to know that from my actions.
4. How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
Nothing has quite changed me as much as fatherhood. I have learned to slow down and enjoy them. Dr Philip Lyn once told me, when your kids are young, the days are long but the years are short. So yes, I am embracing and enjoying the chaos and mess now. Not to sweat over small little things like cleanliness, knowing that a noisy and messy house can be a happy one too. Fatherhood has taught me to take one day at a time, and enjoy them through the simpler things in life.
5. Can you share with us what are some of the uncompromisable values you’ve built in your family?
To have integrity. Lead by example. They will not follow what you say, but they will follow what you do. I make sure that they know I love them. At the same time, I teach them to face their problems and not run away from them.
6. Years down the road, Keira, Caedy and Caius would be reading this! What would be your message for them?
I LOVE THEM! And I am so proud of them. They are the smartest, most beautiful and gifted children any parents could ever dream to have. I would not trade them for anything in this world! I love them!
7. Any advices for fathers out there?
For me, I know that the greatest gift that I can give my children is how I love their mother. Through that, they learn that though we are far from perfect, we can always choose to work things out, to forgive each other and to move on and grow.
On a more personal note, I often remind those around me to stay healthy emotionally. When I am healthy, I am not easily upset, not easily hurt, not overly sensitive but I can give my family the best version of me. 🙂
Pastor Tan Chee Hiong- Missionary; Bible Teacher; Father of 7 Daughters
Pastor Tan is father to 7 daughters – including fellow Malaysian blogger and influencer, Careen Tan! Aside from raising a huge family, Pastor Tan is making great impact to the community as a Pastor and Missionary. Pastor Tan shares with us some values that we can cultivate to build a loving family.
1. Hi, Pastor Tan! Thank you for taking the time to have this interview with us. It’s truly an honour to have you! Being a father of 7 beautiful daughters, what has been the most memorable moments of fatherhood for you?
It would be seeing the great excitement of my whole family celebrating the 1st wedding of my family member – the eldest of my 7 daughters, Careen Tan.
2. Raising a big family, is there any one family activity that everyone enjoys? Can you share with us what are your favourite family activities?
The one family activity that everyone enjoys is our family dinner on most weekends. I think no bonding-activity beats a table filled with food; it brings togetherness and we converse about so many things. Other than that, we also love travelling together, and watching movies.
3. Being a Pastor and a Missionary, you’d also be meeting a lot of people and meeting many needs out there! How do you juggle to meet your own needs like resting and also in balancing your many roles as a Pastor and a father?
– Plan ahead
– Form Teams for Missions.
– Pray & Trust God.
– Empower my wife and older daughters.
– Bring my heart home when I’m back in Malaysia.
4. How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
Fatherhood has taught me that it is no longer about ‘me’ but ‘us’. I have become more observant, protective and sensitive towards the needs of others (especially my own children’s). I am growing each day/season to be unconditional in my love for my children, learning to love like God does. Fatherhood makes me a constant thinker and I have come to believe in Divine Grace & in Miracles.
5. Can you share with us that one uncompromising value you’ve built in your family?
I always reminded my kids to be thoughtful of others, you are accountable and responsible for your own behaviour and attitude. Words do carry an impact, so it is important to be aware and grateful and to not abuse it. And to be caring, it never hurts to ask someone how they are doing from time to time.
6. What message would you like to say to your 7 beautiful daughters who also will be reading this?
Get married. Don’t be afraid to be parents. Suffer first and enjoy the fruits of your labour later. Your future is bright because God is Good, Gracious & Great! May God Remember All Your Sacrifices and Love!
7. Any pieces of advice for fathers out there who are going through their own journey of fatherhood?
□ F = Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
□ A = Appreciate the Mother of your Children
□ T = Trust in the God who created you & your children
□ H = H.O.M.E., let it be “Heaven Over My Everybody” Bring your Heart Home.
□ E = Eternity is real. Time will expire someday. Invest in Spritual Growth. God matters a lot.
□ R = Restart, Restart, Restart