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By LeeAnne Unruh
Raising kids is wild country. Untamed, uncultivated, unnerving. From the time a baby is born to the time they are 18 years old, many people have poured into that child. There is an old African Proverb that may be familiar to you that goes, "It takes a village to raise a child."
There is another one by the Kijita tribe that says, "Regardless of a child's biological parents, its upbringing belongs to the community." And in Swahili, they say, "Whomsoever is not taught by the mother will be taught with the world."
I think it's fair to say that we can see that while raising a child, it's the parents that get the first priority of doing that. However, children that are raised up within a community or large family will fare better than those who aren't. I am sure you could rattle off some exceptions, but for the topic at hand, let's stay with the focus that it takes all of us.
There must be something in the water because almost every young couple I know is having a baby this spring/summer! It's wonderful and is a reminder for me that children grow up way too fast! From the time parents begin dreaming about how they will raise their kids, to the time they are actually raised, there’s hardly time to be strategic. You are often so busy in the season, that there hasn’t been a moment to reflect on the effectiveness of said strategy (and that’s assuming there was a strategy from the beginning).
I meet and talk with a lot of young adults. Some are in a solid place where they’ve found footing and are making their way through life, some are in the midst of the decision process and some are very lost and most don’t know they’re very lost. My clarity has gotten razor sharp when it comes to seeing the abundance of life God gives us when we work within his will.
In a conversation I was having yesterday with a young woman, we were discovering in her life how chasing after things of the flesh had only led to pain, even though in the moment it felt as though it would be the only thing that could satisfy or fulfill her.
It's crazy how the enemy distorts, lies and distracts. The very good things that are often either right in front of us or right around the corner are missed because we are so easily misled. The enemy does not want us to live in the blessing God has for us, so he distracts with all different sorts of counterfeit. These are things that seem great, but really aren’t the richness of what God has for you. They are flesh filling desires in which we can never fill of. They only leave us empty or longing for more. Which brings me to my point.
Parents, grandparents and friends....MAKE GOD A PRIORITY. He is the giver of life, the giver of wisdom, the giver all things good. If we do not make it a priority to know him, it will not be a priority for our children to know him. He is the one thing that makes sense in life. He created us, he knows our heart and knows everything about us. Who better to lead us than him?
I can't emphasize enough the difference between young adults that know the Lord and those who don't. Those who know him, are steady, strong and loving. They know that even when things go wrong, they are anchored in him and can trust he will bring them to the other side. They see beyond themselves. They serve and seek to give of themselves. Those that don't know him are tossed around with emotion and panic. They are often self centered, self serving and self driven. When things go wrong, they are unsteady and bring others into their drama. There is no strength here and the enemy has rule and reign. Ya’ll I’m tired of hearing about suicides and lost kids. Parents are broken hearted, young people are silently hurting and THERE IS AN ANSWER!
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