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The role of children

Contributor: K. Wyatt

There is an old saying that states it takes a village to raise a child. Well, once that child is raised, it is up to them to become a part of the village that will raise the next generation of children. Adults and parents are responsible for instilling positive values and beliefs in children. But those children, even as adults, have the responsibility of using what was taught to them to become functioning members of society. 

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) states, “start children off the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” It is a child’s job to learn, play, grow, and make mistakes. The mistakes that children make are what turns them into the individuals who will lead in the future. Of course, a parent or another responsible adult is the one teaching them right from wrong. A child will not know stealing is bad until someone tells them it is. But once they know better, it is up to them to do better. 

First Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) states, “when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” Even children who do not have a good upbringing or have positive role models have the same responsibility. Psalm 27:10 (ESV) states that “for my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” All children must find their way to God and spread love and His Word to the next generation. Then those children will spread it to the next generation (Joel 1:3), whether this is through biological reproduction or spiritual mentorship. 

Today’s children play a large role in what the children of the next generation will be like.

There is an old saying that states it takes a village to raise a child. Well, once that child is raised, it is up to them to become a part of the village that will raise the next generation of children. Adults and parents are responsible for instilling positive values and beliefs in children. But those children, even as adults, have the responsibility of using what was taught to them to become functioning members of society. 

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) states, “start children off the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” It is a child’s job to learn, play, grow, and make mistakes. The mistakes that children make are what turns them into the individuals who will lead in the future. Of course, a parent or another responsible adult is the one teaching them right from wrong. A child will not know stealing is bad until someone tells them it is. But once they know better, it is up to them to do better. 

First Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) states, “when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” Even children who do not have a good upbringing or have positive role models have the same responsibility. Psalm 27:10 (ESV) states that “for my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” All children must find their way to God and spread love and His Word to the next generation. Then those children will spread it to the next generation (Joel 1:3), whether this is through biological reproduction or spiritual mentorship. 

Today’s children play a large role in what the children of the next generation will be like.

#Children, #family, #friends, #generational

What defines a father?

Contributor: T. Dozier-Grady

A father has many roles, like mothers, in society. It goes beyond the idea of being a breadwinner. They help develop a positive role in a child’s life, provide a sense of security, build self-esteem, lend a helping hand to those in need, be a caregiver, give affection, be nurturing, and plenty of other things. In the Bible, the role of the father is described as the leader and protector of the family. He is an example of showing love towards his wife and children (the way Christ shows His love). 

First Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV) says “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?).” 

A father is strong in his faith. He gives a sense of direction and disciple to his children in the ways of the Lord and helps the child(ren) embrace God as their Heavenly Father. I know there were plenty of times where I did not like to be corrected on my behavior, and I had to apologize for my actions. The Bible says, “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (Hebrew 12:6 NIV). Our earthly father is mirroring the Heavenly Father because he wants to help shape the child’s long-term character. He points his children to Jesus as the model because He is our Everlasting Father.

God is the reason why we were created. Bishop explains that regardless of how we arrived on this Earth, it was no mistake. We are made in His image, and we have His genetic makeup inside of us. He wants us to show people how He gave us conditional love and always stuck by our side through good and bad, and thick and thin. He wants us to help those in need feel the love that God gave us. 

God is the source of everything, the Jehovah Jireh. He will provide for you when you do not know if you can make it to next week. He will give you the affection you need because He is a father to the fatherless (Psalms 68:5). God wants us to know that we can trust Him with anything and everything. Trusting Him can lead your soul to find rest, salvation, and security (Psalms 62:1-2). 

The role of the father is to empower and transform his children to live like Jesus, to have open arms to those who are different, and to spread the love of Jesus. 

#father, #love

The community as a whole – the village

Contributor: E. Taylor

It truly does take a village to flourish and thrive through today’s societal changes, the current pandemic, and a climate of social injustice.  It takes a village is an old African Proverb that has been shared for many years that means that people work together as a community to raise and nurture children and others in their community.  This philosophy is highlighted by the power of people uniting for a common cause – to support one another.  

The village is a safe and healthy place for children to live, grow, learn, and experience the world as they mature into self-sufficient individuals.  The village represents everything that a child and family need.  We are who we have become because of the village that raised us.  Our own foundation was laid in “our” village. Then those other important bricks and blocks were laid on it while building additional layers through our interactions with the other members of the village – our parents, neighbors, cousins, extended family members, teachers, community members, and others.  

All of us have a different experience because of the village we have/had surrounding us.  We are products of our environments; we are who we hang out with, live with, socialize with, spend time with.  Whatever we feel and think has been shaped by the things we learned and experienced through those around us and their impact upon us.  

A person who has a positive village experience growing up lays a foundation for an adult life that can differ in how they experience and respond to their community and adversity.  A person who has an upbringing that has less support of their village members or is more traumatic and problematic has a different foundation and may experience things differently.  Therefore, they may have different responses for similar situations and incidents.   

The driving force of the village is the love for its children and families.  The villagers need a genuine love for one another and others, and the village flourishes because of this love.  Love in action is a powerful force.  Luther Vandross sang of this belief in the song, “Power of Love,” reminding us all that we’ve got love and all of the power and that it’s the greatest power of them all.  Love is indeed a power all by itself – fantastic and indescribable, awe-inspiring, and can be difficult and tough simultaneously.  

God is love and the embodiment of love in action.  His love is inspiring and flourishes when we invest it in others as God invests it in us.  Let us continue to love each other, support each other, and be a part of someone’s village, being their community of love.  Love is shown through our actions and is almost invisible when it’s inactive.  Being part of a village is a critical role for all of us, and the power of love helps make it possible for us to build others up and encourage them.  

#village #family #community #love #children

Motherhood and the next generation

Contributor: A. Dorcent

Where are we heading? In today’s social climate, I question how my role as a mother contributes to future generations. If I think long enough, I end with second guesses. I could have spent more time or taught them better. Knowing this makes me grateful for my relationship with God. 

My children are 26, 23, and 12 years old. When asked to write about how my role as a mother shapes the next generation, I was like, huh? From the time my children were born, I was captured by the “Do Spirit.” Get things done! I needed to ensure my children were fed, clothed, and physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy. 

I know you’re probably thinking, you’ve been a mom for 26 years and you’ve got to think about this? I believe women are very analytical; however, when it comes to our children, we’re doers. We’ve been blessed with a human being. My instinct says, nurture, and protect. This nurturing and protection occur in stages. Here’s what I mean:

Feeding our young – (Exodus 2:7 NIV) “Then his (Moses’) sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?””

A mother’s first instinct is to make sure her children are fed. She pours love and attention into their well-being – mind, soul, and body. Moms are protective against behaviors that distort growth toward healthy adulthood. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to say, “No, sorry, you can’t do that.” Or “Let’s do this instead.”

Fostering good citizens – (Exodus 2:12) “And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.”

We want our children to be good citizens. This role of mothering is two-fold. I’ve got to be a good role model. I want my children to recognize injustice. Second, I’ve got to address the consequences when poor choices are made. We must be respectful of authority. My role is to ensure my children know there are consequences. Although I will always forgive, I will not always tolerate their actions.

Forming a support system – (Titus 2:3-4) “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”

Once our children become adults, it does not mean they no longer need us. We have lessons to teach while our children walk in their calling. Life’s waters can become murky, but wisdom provides a clear perspective. We will never have all the answers, which leads me to the greatest thing we can share with the next generations – our faith. We can partner with our children in prayer, seeking His wisdom. 

Connected to the vine, I am confident He will always be present, and our next generation will grow in God’s direction. 

#family #motherhood #children

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