It Takes a Church to Raise a Godly Child
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There is an old African proverb that states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” With the graduation of our oldest child from high school this year, I have been thinking about all of the help and support that we have had from our Church village in raising him. While I firmly believe that it is the parents’ job to raise a child, the Church family provides help and support that is extremely beneficial and can greatly enrich the life of a child!
Over the years, my husband and I have experienced that support in so many ways. For instance, neither my husband nor I have any special mechanical or technological abilities. Yet a man in our congregation noticed that our son, Luke, had a keen interest in these things and spent time answering questions and chatting with him about computers, technology and building things like a hovercraft.
When Luke was about 12, this man asked me if he could give Luke an old computer taken apart, along with a book, which would give him a chance to learn how to build a computer. We would have never thought of this ourselves, but readily agreed. Who could know that all of these strange pieces in plastic bags could produce a computer?
But Luke was fascinated by this challenge. It took him only one week during his summer vacation to put together a working computer. He has gone on to learn much more about microelectronics and technology at school and on his own, and we have all benefited from the skills learned and the interests started from that project. You may never know what a difference getting to know a young person and sharing an interest of yours could make in the life of that youth.
Brethren have been extremely kind in making it possible for him to travel with various school groups and still keep the Sabbath. While traveling with his high school choir to New York City last year, Church members from the area went out of their way to pick us up from our hotel on the Sabbath, feed us lunch and take us to a neighboring congregation where we had mutual friends.
This year, the band took a bus trip to San Francisco, which once again included a Sabbath. A local member via e-mail acted as our “Sabbath travel agent.” He and his wife picked us up for services at the hotel, then arranged with other brethren to get a group together for lunch and fellowship and then provided us with a ride to meet up with the high school group near the end of the Sabbath at a different location. It was the first time that we had met most of these people, yet we felt that we were part of a large and welcoming family.
What a wonderful gift of support and encouragement to our family and a chance for the Body of Christ to become more closely bonded together!
Over the years, Luke has participated in many Church choirs and instrumental ensembles. One year at the Feast, I was concerned that he would be disappointed to miss the teen hospitality due to the choir rehearsal scheduled at the same time. When I asked him how he felt about keeping his commitment to participate in the choir, he said that it was fine, that the men in his section were interesting to talk with. They included him in their conversations during breaks, and he enjoyed talking with them about their jobs and interests.
They may not have known what a difference their kindness made in the life of a teenager that Feast, but God’s Spirit was evident in the way that they interacted with our son.
As Luke heads toward college and adulthood, we would like to thank the many people who have been instrumental in helping him to grow into a young man. We encourage all of you to continue to be involved with the youth that you encounter at services. It truly is a way to fulfill John 13:35 John 13:35By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
American King James Version×in the lives of our children. As you get to know the youth and build a friendship and relationship, you may have the opportunity to have a profound impact on a future member of the God family! UN