Monday, October 28, 2013

Family on Purpose {Other Influences}

It's a simple thing. Our kids need all kinds of positive influences. They need an extended community, a tribe to belong to.

There may come a day when Mom and Dad's voice isn't going to be as readily sought out. At that point our kids will turn to other adults in their lives. I want those adults to be saying the same things I would say, even if it's in different words.

So we build community. We seek out and connect with other families, and other adults who share our beliefs and our values. In that process our kids get the benefit of lots of voices in their ears, voices who all say the same thing. That maximizes our leverage as parents. But we benefit as well. As we partner with other families who are on the same journey as we are, we get the benefit of relationship and belonging. As parents that is something we need.

I was blessed to have many trusting adults in my life. There are a few in particular that I could always go to for prayer or encouragement, or just to vent. I am very grateful for those positive influences in my life. And while I’ve never asked my parents about this, I have a feeling that they’re grateful too. Especially because those trusted adults usually spoke the same things my parents were speaking to me. 

This kind of community will look different for every family. Your extended family can serve this role for your kids. Aunts, uncles, and grandparents are great voices for our kids. But what if your family is not so ideal? Or far removed? Connecting to a local church body can provide that link. In our own lives we have a handful of families that we are drawn to, we have many things in common and share beliefs. We are establishing those relationships, so our children can have another trusted adult or two in their lives when that time comes.

And because we are sharing life, and in community, we all benefit from those relationships along the way.

This is day 28, catch up here.

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