“It takes a village to raise a child.” I’ve heard the phrase used throughout my life, but I never really gave it much thought until I had children of my own. After our oldest son was born it became apparent very quickly that there was no way Joe and I could figure out the whole “parenting thing” on our own.
We read all the recommended books, asked all the right questions, and attended all the classes offered by the hospital. If grades were given for how-to-prepare-for-parenting, we would’ve been on the honor roll.
So you can probably imagine our bewildered, sleep-deprived, desperate faces when we realized we had NO CLUE how to take care of this amazing miracle we had been blessed with (much less his little brother who would come along 19 months later).
It was in our weakness that God revealed His strength and faithfulness. Like the Israelites, God had already placed us in a faith community that offered a wealth of support and experience.
Deuteronomy 6 is a speech given by Moses to the Hebrew nation as they were about to enter the land God had promised them. Throughout his discourse, he is explaining how to impress a heritage of faith onto the next generation. The part that stands out to me is at the beginning of verse 4 when he says, “Hear, O Israel…”
He wasn’t just talking to certain individuals, or parents, he was calling out the ENTIRE group of people gathered there to listen. He was essentially telling them that they had a responsibility as a COMMUNITY to raise their children together before the Lord.
It really does take a village to raise a child. So the first question… Have you plugged yourself and your family into a community or are you still standing on the edge determined to figure it out on your own? The second question (and this is the important part here)… Which community are you allowing to have the greatest influence on your family (i.e. sports, social media, television, etc)? While those things are not inherently bad or evil, there is only one God-ordained community that should be helping us raise our children and that is the church. Are you taking advantage of the community and ministries at Southern Hills?
Take some time and think about the “the villages” (apart from your family) that have influence on your children. If you’re looking for more direction on how to connect your family to a wider community, check out “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity” by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof.
Please share in the comments about a time when the church community played a role in assisting you as a parent.