Now that the arrival of my first born son is approaching, I think more and more about what values matter most to me and what I will teach him.
Of course, Asher, coming to know Christ is at the top of the list. And who doesn't wish Luke 2:52 upon their child..."And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
But when I think about what all that means and how I and my husband would embark on that journey of leading our son towards Christ, my mind goes back to all the people-not just my parents- that helped to point ME in His direction.
And I can't help but smile. In part because of the fond memories, but also at being relived that such a task won't solely fall on me and my husband.
And when I think further, my heart becomes overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness.
I'm thankful to Michelle Greer for telling me in Children's Church that God is not a wizard.
I'm thankful to Jeff Greer and John Rutledge for constantly telling the RA and GA kids on Wednesday nights to keep God first...and when I finally asked what that meant, they told me.
I'm thankful for Charlotte Blocker for faithfully teaching 6 middle school girls the books of the Bible. To this day, I can confidently find most of the New Testament books because of her.
I'm thankful to my childhood pastor, Bro. Bodie Spicer, for stopping me in the church hallway as a third grader to ask me if I had witnessed to anyone lately. I'm thankful that he held me accountable and didn't consider my age to be a reason to skimp on the great commission.
Remembering all the people from my childhood that helped to strengthen my walk with the Lord, makes me think of the song " Thank You" (1988) by Ray Boltz. It might be an oldie, but it is certainly a goodie.
Especially these few lines...
" Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. I am so glad you gave."
There are many others that I could list, but the point is, as a parent, I will not be the only one that will have influence over my child's life-his church family will too- my chosen village.
For some that may be a terrifying thought, knowing that others will be of influence to their children. However, I find comfort in knowing that my husband and I will not be alone. I also take comfort in knowing that the people that I chose for my son to be around are mostly people that will have the same values as me.
This is why I think it is important for families to identify who their village is going to be and what values they want to see strengthened within in their children.
One of the greatest benefits of being a part of the church is to be connected to a support system- to help carry one another's burdens while linking arms in pursuit of sanctification.
Whether a family has chosen a village for their children or not, does not mean that they do not have one. The fact is, other people are of great influence to our children.
They can be teachers, coaches, neighbors, or any group we choose to associate with.The question is, are those "villagers" communicating your same values?
I know that I will make a lot of mistakes in becoming a parent, but I am at peace knowing that I will have a lot of help along the way in helping to grow my son in stature, wisdom, and favor with God and man.
My village and God will be there every step of the way.