THE FREEDOM TRUTH BRINGS
March 5, 2020
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Marianne Mencias | November 28, 2018
I have been praying for my book for single women, and one idea that popped into my head is to interview children of couples who love and obey God, who prayed for wholeness when they were still single, who did not engage in physical intimacy prior to marriage and see how that worked out #forreals. I immediately thought of kids of Brother Bo and Tita Marowe Sanchez. I am ever so grateful that they said yes to this interview and welcomed me into their home once again! The energy of their home has always been that of calm, peace and warmth. ☺
I had the privilege of sitting down and interviewing Bene and Francis for about an hour each. I was blown away by their wisdom and perspective on life matters given how young they are. I know they’re kids of Bro. Bo and Tita Marowe who are both fountains of youth (hehe) and wisdom but these two boys still left me in awe as I was listening to words coming flowing naturally from their hearts and spirits. I learned so much about their family and got even more inspired for my future family (half joke) and it excites me to know dear readers, that this article has the power to transform your family life (whether current or future) in a very very good way. God is always just waiting to partner with you in creating a home that’s heart and soul filling, and still tummy filling 😉
To my dear singles, please hold back when you or the person you’re dating still have to undergo so much healing, please do it for your future children and for the sake of having a happy marriage in the future that you truly desire, not the kind that you will only feel obliged to be a part of for the sake of the kids, because truth be told, they will just suffer alongside you.
Enjoy picking up nuggets of wisdom (there’ll be lots of them) from this interview. To make it even easier for you, I also added some bonus tips!
Let’s start with Francis Sanchez:
When I asked him what he remembers most about his childhood, he said he remembers those times his parents would sing to them before they sleep. Songs like “Close to You” and other songs Bro. Bo would create himself (lol). He also remembers those times he would argue with his Kuya Bene over what movie to watch for their weekly movie night. He loves Jurassic Park and Kuya Bene hid it to tease him and until now he cannot find it. They intentionally carve out time, they express their love generously, they have fun and they also annoy each other. Kewl! 😉
TIP 1: Commit to a consistent time together doing something fun on a weekly basis. Perhaps, board game night? Movie night?
When I asked Francis to describe their family life, he tells me how much he enjoys spending time with his Kuya Bene, his mom and his dad, how he loves listening to their stories about what happened to them during their week. How he also enjoys their board games together, and how much he looks forward to his weekly dates with his dad.
TIP 2: When you are eating together, put down your phones (I once posted a quote on FB: “Internet and gadgets should bring us closer when we are apart, but not pull us apart when were actually together”) and really be present with your loved ones, treasure your time together and ask one another “how was your week?” “what’s your most favorite part of the week?” “What do you think can make next week even more fun and productive for you?” Engage in quality and interesting conversations with your family, it is food for the soul. You may even assign someone who think of a question for dinner and everyone has to take a turn to answer it. It may hurt at the beginning because it is not what we are used to, but isn’t it the kind of pain that’s always worth it? Let’s fight for our relationships! It’ll make us the happiest, anyway!
When I asked him how he perceives his parents’ relationship, he said they’re opposites. He said his mom is fast and his dad is slow (hahaha) but that’s how they best connect and complement one other. He also says he doesn’t see them fighting, that they’ve accepted each other’s quirks, and that he has witnessed their patience towards each other. They would have petty arguments like when his dad would lose their passports but they patch things up easily.
When asked what role his dad plays in his life, he said his dad is his source of peace because he’s always so calm so when he worries about things, his dad helps him a lot. Bro. Bo also taught him to empathize with others, he says his dad is a very understanding person. He listens not to respond but to really understand.
When asked what role his mom plays in his life he said she is his teacher because she helps him understand what is right from wrong. He also says that his mom is very open about everything (what she thinks, believes and what she learns from the gospel). He tells me that they have scripture time together. His mom also taught him that being first isn’t what’s important but doing the right thing is.
Tip 3: Carve out scripture time together. Maybe watch a video together (bible project is soooo cool or get a devotional for kids?) I heard one Godly congresswoman say that they use traffic as their scripture time as a family when they bring kids to school. Isn’t that the best way to send them off?
Francis said his parents are always there for him so he knows he can always go to them when he needs to ask something and they guide him most especially in the big moments of life. He really feels their support and that they’re really interested in his life.
Tip 4: I think it’s important to really be interested in them, and not our agenda for them. This is tough. Kids need to have a safe place where they can share their thoughts, heart and just about anything. Let’s ask God for help to be their safe vulnerable place where they can fully be their imperfect selves and be unconditionally loved and accepted, while being guided to be better and better.
I asked him what makes him cry and from the top of his head, he said it’s the movies and also when he has to cram for school because they travel a lot. It’s so funny when he said every time he is stressed over school work he goes to his dad, because when he goes to his mom he’ll be reminded more because she’s his teacher (lol). I find this amazing because a lot of kids cry because of deep-seated problems in the family. I pray for kids to really only have problems for kids.
I asked him the impact of his relationship with his parents to his other relationships and he said his dad is very understanding and patient so he tries to be the same way with his friends. I see Francis with other kids around him and I really see how he puts others first. He said his dad is a listener and a follower even if he’s a leader. As for his mom, she always tries to be better at everything, he sees her read mom blogs and all that. He gets really inspired by their example.
Tip 5: The kids always watch how we live our lives. They refer to our actions subconsciously when making their own decisions. Let’s keep asking ourselves: “When my kids are in the same situation and think about how I am acting now, would I want them to do the same thing I am doing? Am I providing the right example for them? Am I inspiring them to live well?”
When asked about what he likes about himself, he said he likes that he is grateful and he tries his best not to take anything for granted. As for what he wants to improve, he wants to be more obedient, that he’ll do more of what he says he will do. Really self-aware right?
I love his answer when I asked him how he sees problems, he said he sees them as challenges wherein God is asking Him to trust Him more.
Wow, just wow. What he said will help me forever! Thank you Francis!
I asked his perspective on the following by completing the sentence:
Life is… a journey full of obstacles and blessings
People are…misunderstood because motives behind their actions are usually good but we don’t easily see it (uhm are you really 13, Francis? Another quotable quote for all time!)
My relationships…are fun. I try to help them enjoy! (so giving and this is so true, I have witnessed him myself!)
I asked about his ideal future and he gave a clear picture of it. He sees himself writing plays/movies and playing a character in a musical.
Tip 6: I believe when parents are involved and supportive of their kids’ passions, talents and dreams, it’s much easier for them to know what they want. As the bible said, “Train up a child the way he should go.” Proverbs 22:6 Not the way we want them to go. ☺
When asked what he wants his future family to be like..
He wants his future kids to go to regular school to learn to make friends and then try homeschool if his future wife would like to teach. He wants to make sure also that the kids won’t move far away from parents because that is what usually happens nowadays.
Thank you Francis, as young as you are, you’re gift to both kids and adults alike. I am so excited for how you will create your own plays/musical someday which I’m sure will be a whole lot of fun but very meaningful and helpful as well. Thanks for being one of the best students I have ever encountered.
When you see Bene, you already know that he is a young man of depth and substance. I asked him if he knew the purpose of my book for single women and further explained it to him. He gave me his two cents which to me was more of a million dollar insight.
He said most often than not, when a child has problems, it can almost always be traced to his parents who don’t have a relationship with God because they see their children only as their own, not as God’s child they’re called to steward. This leads them to determine who their child will become even if that won’t suit him, they compare their child to other kids, they lay down their expectations to their child. They could no longer see what God sees in their child. Sometimes parents have all these layered masks that get lashed out on their child. Deep real stuff right? Made me reflect on my thoughts when I was 18? Never mind!
So many people are walking like zombies because they weren’t directed to God’s heart and will for their lives. If you’re a parent reading this, do not fret, I believe God made you perfect for your child. But it takes dependence and reliance on Him and then obedience on what He tells you. Yes, God still speaks, sometimes the signal isn’t just very high because we do things that separate us from Him but He pursues relentlessly nevertheless! Hopefully, even through this article. We need not fear ever His will because He desires life in abundance for all of us. (see 1 Cor 2:9) I once asked a mentor, what if the person wants to have all the pleasure the world gives and just repent when he dies because God is gracious, isn’t that a wise thing to do, to have the best of both worlds? And his answer was…sure anyone can do that, but what he’s doing is depriving himself of a FULL LIFE, in its truest and most fulfilling sense!
So much more to learn from Bene!
I asked about his growing up years and he said it didn’t feel normal because he grew up in a spiritual community and he didn’t really understand it when he was a child. He said the good thing about his dad was that he never forced anything. He never forced him to love God. He said that both his parents, aside from their human moments, had incredible patience with him. He came to know Jesus more through the youth ministry he leads now, but he said it’s more of like a top feather already, because his parents really prepared him.
TIP 7: We all want people around us to know Jesus, but the way to do that is to reflect the love and joy of Jesus to them, through how we treat them and the lives we live. In every moment, let’s pray for pure love for people around us.
Bene also reiterated what Francis said, their dad listens to understand, and not to respond. How He’s also inspired by how Bro. Bo lets things be when things are not going his way. I believe that’s a result of his deep trust in God’s love for him.
TIP 8: When you start to be anxious or you start to worry about something, immediately shift. It’s like a mind muscle that you need to always work out. Close your eyes, lift up your head, smile widely and say out loud: “God has it all figured out.” What a powerful exercise this will be!
He recounts his dates with his dad before when he’d do most of the talking. Bro. Bo would be patiently listen to him talk about anime or music theories, even if those things don’t really interest him. Now he beams as he tells me they’re the loudest people in the coffee shop because their interests have intersected. Hallelujah for Brother Bo!!! Hahaha! They now talk in depth about theology and church systems.
It amazed me also when he said that the pressure to be like his dad always came from outside,
“the pressure never came from my parents, ever.”
He saw how his parents really trusted in God when it comes to his process of knowing Him.
Tip 9: Let’s entrust people to God, He loves them more than we ever will. Then continue doing our part in giving them the gift of our time, attention and presence, again without any agenda except to love them.
He perceives his parents’ relationship to be really awesome because his mom can sometimes get freaky but his dad has always been patient and understanding (lol). He says that their family isn’t perfect especially during the early years when him and his mom would always fight because their personalities are too similar. He never understood his dad’s response because he seemed so aloof to all their fights. They had a heart to heart talk about it and now he understands how his dad would go to his mom after their fight, and comfort his mom and then they talk about it. His dad also said sorry to him that he felt that way. But now he genuinely understood that his dad actually suffered alongside them. His dad was always firm but with so much love.
He’s firm with what is right and wrong, there is no sweeping things under the rug, that’s for sure. He was always consistent with his approach, he never changed, and he always does things with so much tenderness.
He observes how his mom does so well for how she honors and appreciates his dad. When he comes home so tired, she’s there to serve him (because his love language is service) so she brings him snacks or gives him a massage and she’s always there to support him with all sorts of problems.
“They’re always a team. What marks their relationship is listening and respect. Their marriage is phenomenal.”
Tip 10: For singles, don’t you want your children to say this someday about your marriage? Choose someone you really respect with all your heart and whose values you trust, someone you’d be confident to team up with him for the rest of your life. Remember, this provides your kids a solid and stable foundation.
When I asked how they raised him, he said they changed hats to be exactly what he needed. He sees his mom as his playmate, comforter and made him feel that she’s really proud of him. She also always pushes him out of his comfort zone, she wants me to experience different things like swimming and art and all sorts of other things. He said his parents do things with so much love and always at the right time.
“Their intention in general is to love me.”
His dad led by example, he allowed Bene to simply figure it out. Bene said it was easy for him to figure out what he wants to do, to piece the things he likes together. His parents are very generous according to him, not just to their family, but to everyone and to each other. His dad is also his confidant because he is doing a lot of things that his dad has done for many years so his wisdom and understanding are really helpful.
He said he learned integrity/wholeness from his dad. To go for the longer route, the right thing, with everything and everyone.
He knew they had no formula because he was their first child, they just trusted God and really loved him.
“It’s so much easier when you’ve experienced God’s love and you abide by God’s love, even if they were frazzled with me, they did everything to make it work.”
I asked him how his parents helped him most in life and he said IDENTITY.
“Because I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury of having two parents who love each other so much, and it’s hard to find identity when you come from a background where there is little love. I know that I am loved and I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Purpose of my life is to give selflessly like how my dad and mom are with with me and Francis. They always put themselves, their desires, their will, their emotions, their logic, everything at the back burner if any of that interfered with loving me and Francis, or loving one another.”
What a healthy world it’ll be if people were brought up not needing to prove anything to others, when they feel enough. Parents’ job is crucial, single season is so important to be filled up with God’s love and to overflow to your own children someday. So many people get into a relationship to fill a lack and this ripples down to their children. A healthy relationship with God is the only solution.
Bene also sees himself having a deeper relationship with Jesus,
“where he is submerged in His love from head to toe”
as he sees in his parents.
When asked what he likes about himself, he said his ability to think critically and strategically.
When asked how he sees problems, he said it is solvable, but it just takes time.
When asked to complete the following phrases:
My life… is FOR LOVE.
My relationships are..GETTING BETTER.
When I asked him about a man and a woman’s role in marriage? He says to love like Jesus, which is “selfless giving in a personal fashion”. God made us so unique so His love will be expressed in many different ways as well!
I asked what are the things he’d apply in his own family someday…
“give selflessly to my family the same way my dad does , lead them towards Jesus, kids to know Jesus, love Him and experience His love, to create a home filled with love and acceptance and bravery , there is a challenge, there is a calling. Life’s fun because there’s a calling, it’s an adventure.”
He also talked about the cultural pressure and thinking that fulfillment is found when one person gets married. He disagrees with that because fulfillment is found in one’s calling.
“Fulfillment begins and ends with stepping into what it means to be an image of God.”
Bene also said a side note for single women, to find someone selfless because as his mom always says, the reason why she’s able to become selfless is because she experiences it from Brother Bo. Find a man who truly experienced God’s love because he’ll be coming from a space of giving, without any agenda but to obey God’s call to love.
He said his true joy comes from trusting God, everything else is secondary to that. When I ask what he looks forward to the most in the future he says a
generation of young people who love Jesus.
Woohoo there is much hope for this world!!!
They’re a family after God’s own heart. Marriage is such a powerful reflection of God’s love that’s why the devil is doing everything to destroy, as early as possible, through singles getting together while they’re still very much broken.
Dearest singles, let’s continue working on our character to be more and more Christ like because that’s what marriage requires. For married people reading this, I pray for your family to be a reflection of heaven on earth.
Bene, THANK YOU FOR LOVING JESUS, most especially through loving the youth he entrusted you to lead and love. You truly have God’s mind and I am so excited for this country, for the future, knowing people like you are helping shape it in powerful and profound ways. For my children someday, thank YOU. Haha!