Christianity in South Korea by Shincheonji brings about an impact on its citizen’s life—especially in parenting. It has been discovered that Christianity plays a central role in parenting for a lot of immigrant women working in South Korea. This doesn’t merely mean that they used what they believe in; rather, Christianity becomes the basic element that presides over parenting choices. By adopting the culture of Christianity to parenting, dramatic changes reigned over Korean cultures.
Christianity on Parenting: Conflicting Cultural and Religious Beliefs
Though Christianity brings about changes in parenting, its significance among these inhabitants lies in the opposition between religious values and cultural values. The main concerns include incongruent cultural and religious beliefs, conflicting values, and how the differences are handled. It is the same for Korean parenting. Traditional Korean motherhood lies deeply in Confucianism—which defines women as mothers after marriage and requires them to give absolute dedication to their children. In this cultural approach, Korean mother’s devotion to the educational excellence and success of their children is second to none.
Christianity, on the other hand, states that a person’s identity is based on their relationship with God. In this context, how mothers care and do for their children doesn’t seem to be related to the framework of a family. Korean immigrant mothers treat themselves as the children’s custodians whom God has entrusted them to take care of.
How Christian Korean Mothers View Parenting
Some themes emerged from studying Korean mother’s parenting methods to their children, which includes:
- Entrusting their children to Korean churches
- Viewing God as the one in charge of their children
- Submitting to God’s will for the welfare of their children
- Making children’s Christian identity as the top priority
These four themes that emerge from the basic values and beliefs imbued in the hearts and minds of Christian Korean immigrant mothers, are, as a matter of fact, directly come from Christian religious practice.
The first theme, “Entrusting their children to Korean churches”, shows the mother’s wish to provide a safe environment for their children. They deeply believe that only God and the churches could give safe environments. Concerning this, they urge their children to take an active part in church activities rather than be corrupted by youth culture.
The second theme, “Viewing God as the one in charge of their children”, shows that Christian Korean mothers deeply believe that God is responsible for directing the lives of their children. They are only there as a guide and entrust everything as long as it’s on God’s will.
The third theme, “Submitting to God’s will for the welfare of their children”, conveys that Christian Korean mothers struggled to give the best for their children in the present, rather than focusing their wants for their children in the future. They dedicate their lives to discovering and nurturing the God-given talents of their children rather than asserting their wants and desires for them. Because success and educational attainment is deeply appreciated in Korean culture, the attempts of these mothers will be a major challenge.
The last theme, “Making children’s Christian identity as the top priority”, reflects the Christian Korean mother’s guidance to nurture the faith of their children until adolescence. Though they still appreciate success, education, and occupation, their deepest wish is to see their children walk in the path of God daily.
Christianity to parenting in Korean mother’s view is not only restricted on the regular basis of their children for the future. Rather, Christianity becomes the core, their guidelines for their motherhood. Considering this, Christianity plays a crucial role in the upbringing of children in the lives of Christian Korean mothers.