Hey friends, how are you doing today? Just today… today… how are you doing? Today is another beautiful day in my neighborhood. The Lord has surely blessed us with days filled with sunshine, blue skies and warmth. Yes… warmth is on my very grateful list. There are days in the winter that are filled with sunshine and blue skies, but very few of us look forward to days like these, because days like these suggest below zero temperatures. Therefore, I am very thankful for the warmth found in today. Today we can expect temperatures in the 70s°. I am thankful for today. My house is quiet for probably the first time in what feels like weeks. My babies are at home now, for which I am so very thankful, but I have found there are days when I miss the quiet. Just me and Jazz and the birds and the squirrels and the trees and most importantly my Heavenly Father. Yes, I am thankful for days like today.
Have you ever heard the old proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’? After raising two of the most beautiful girls to the ripe old age of 22 and 20, I’ve found that to be a true statement. It does take a village to raise a child, even with two parents present, it is necessary to have a village; to have a tribe. It is vital both for the parents and for the kids.
My husband and I have no immediate family nearby in our neck of the woods. The closest family member lives about four hours away. We have no parents nor siblings in this country. So, the Lord provided the best thing for us, He gave us exactly what we needed, as He always does, He gave us a church family. These people stood in the gap for us. They babysat when it was necessary, they counseled when it was needed, they admonished and encouraged and provoked to good works. Our church became our girls other home. When they are home from college, we wait in the parking lot for them, because everyone wants to talk with them. Truthfully, I think they are more comfortable with the adults than their peers. They pray for them before they leave for college and sometimes provide financial help. The girls have their numbers as emergency contacts, if they can’t find us first. Our church family is our village.
‘No man is an island’ is another adage and having a village is of the absolute importance. Why is this a necessity, you ask? Well glad you ask… let’s take a look at the parents first:
Parents need time, whether you are single of married, every parent have a need for some ‘me’ time. Whether it’s for date night and a quiet night, as parents, it is needful for have some time away from our kids. Truthfully, it is for their good and well as ours. We need time to evaluate and take stock of the persons, we are becoming and of our parenting skills. We need time to discuss the nature of our child and asses whether our techniques are building up, rather than tearing down. We need time.
Parents need knowledge. Yes, it’s true after all; parents don’t know everything. I know right! Absolutely shocking! As parents, we need the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before us. In Ecclesiastes, we are told, there is ‘nothing new under the sun’. There are very few behaviors our children will demonstrate that another child out there, has not already done. Someone out there knows something more, we may need to modify but sweetheart, it’s already done.
Now let’s look at the kids, why do they too need a village…
- There are days when kids think their parents can do no wrong, but unfortunately that time does not last very long. Kids need to be surrounded by people with similar beliefs that will point them to the Lord. The truth is kids will sometimes share their innermost concerns with those outside, sometimes their parents are the last to know; place them in a position where those they go to are godly and will provide godly advice. Too quickly, they see the imperfections in their parents, too quickly they think they are wiser and more knowledgeable, place other godly people in their lives, they can look up to; it is for their good. Believe me, if you don’t provide the village, one will be provided for them and most times, those provided do not share your beliefs.
As parents our most important job is to raise godly children. That’s our job, but unfortunately this job is not as easy as it sounds. We are not perfect and because of this, we will parent imperfectly. To counter this fact, we provide our kids with a community that shares our beliefs, whether they are biological family or spiritual family. We involve our kids in Sunday school and Awana and other activities that will promote fellowship and community. They need this and so do we.
Do you have a village? Do you think you need one? How are you today?