It Takes a Village...
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
This passage has been quoted so many times it almost sound like a cliché to some of us. But, the older I get, the more real it has became in my life. When I think about the dramatic life changes that all of us were forced into during the pandemic, this life change made us take a real hard honest look at our family and ask ourselves; “Did I really do all that I could to lead my household in the ways of the Lord?”
Before the pandemic, we allowed ourselves to become spoiled to the schools teaching and raising our children. We were spoiled to the churches teaching our families the ways of God. Yes, the schools were designed to teach our children and churches are supposed to teach us in the ways of God, but it was NOT their full responsibility. We are also responsible for the training of our families. We turned on our "parental auto-pilot” switch and we mentally checked out of the parenting role. As soon as our kids got in trouble, we blamed the school or the church for not giving them what they needed to be successful.
The other day, my sister and I had a discussion regarding the topic “It Takes a Village” to raise a child. And we began to share our memories from our own childhood. Our mother was a single parent who raised five children. She worked all the time. It was unfortunate that she was not able to attend a lot of my basketball games. She was not able to attend my Parent’s Night at my school. But Mama had a “village” of loyal trusting friends and family who made sure we went to church. When we went to parties and tried to do things we were NOT supposed to do…(I will not list what those things were!).. the minute we got home, Mama was waiting for us and would tell us EXACTLY what we had done and where we had been. Mama’s trusted, loyal “village” of friends and family had their eyes on us even while we were away from home. To this day, I still don’t know who her village was. She literally took their names to her grave.
What I’m trying to say is this... if we want our families to be successful, it’s important for us to train up our children in the ways of God. Teach them to respect themselves and others. When did we stop teaching our children the simple things; like saying “Yes Ma’am; No Sir; Thank you.” When did we stop teaching our boys to hold the door open for ladies before they walk through the door? Ya’ll remember the days when we forgot to say "Yes Ma’am" or "No Sir" to an adult we would get slapped in the mouth? Yeah, it was a form of abuse, and I’m NOT encouraging that anybody do that! Being respectful to adults back then was just that serious.
Ya’ll, it does take a village to raise a family. Sometimes the responsibility of raising children can be overwhelming. Especially when you are a single parent. I encourage you to examine your circle of friends and family. Pray and ask God to put people around you who you can trust with your family. Be attentive to who your family is with. Just because a person is nice, doesn’t mean that your child should be trusted with them. Examine yourself. Ask yourself; “Self…am I walking in the ways of Lord? Self…can I be trusted with my own children?” The bible says, “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Don’t get misconception and think that just because you raise them up the right way, they will not do no wrong. But when you instill the right things in them, they have a better opportunity to “choose” what is right when they are tempted to venture off the path of righteousness.
Perhaps you are feeling like it’s too late for you and your family to get things right. Sister, It’s never too late to do what is right. God is a God of grace and mercy. His compassion never fails. make the decision to get it right with God. IF you are struggling with your family, remember to reach out to someone and ask for guidance. You are not alone. So don’t try to do this alone. It takes a village.