Thursday, June 17, 2010

So, it's me, the village, AND the Village?


I would like an answer.

Just one, please.

Because variety confuses me. Especially when the answers each make sense, but they don't seem to go together.
Does anyone know what I mean???

So, my question. Whose responsibility is it to raise my children?

One camp says it is the parent who has the primary responsibility to raise the child. And it doesn't take much explanation for that option to make sense. I had the child, and I should influence and raise said child.
I get that.

But then there's this other camp which says it takes an entire 'village' to properly raise a child. I just started reading a book which points to other cultures where, quite literally, the entire village participates in the raising of each child. The author sings the praises of such community involvement, and while at first I was hesitant to agree with him (because it seemed like a cop-out to the parents being responsible) after thinking about it for a while, I agreed with him, too.

And then there are those who argue - we can do whatever we will, but ultimately our children are God's responsibility.
And I cannot argue with Him!

But where does that leave me and my question?
I have one question, with three good answers.
How does that work???

I spent some time discussing the matter with my Voice of Reason (a.k.a. my husband) and he helped me come to the conclusion that those three answers are really all part of one answer. That, actually, they're all the answer.
*As the parent of my children, I am the one who has the primary responsibility to raise them.
*There are countless individuals (teachers, camp counselors, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, etc.) who are - and will be - a significant part of my children's lives. These people are going to take on responsibility to influence my children for good.
*God in His wisdom and perfect knowledge is going to orchestrate the events of my children's lives, and is going to use a variety of people (even me!) to shape them into the people He has created them to be. Ultimately, it is all up to Him.

And I?
Am satisfied with that answer. I am the Mom. But I am not in this alone. And the other day as I was praying about it, I started thinking of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit as the Ultimate Village with Whom I am raising my children. I like that!

How about you? Are you trying to do this parenting thing on your own? Or are you accepting help?



AmberRay said...

Well put. I always wondered about it takes a village to raise a child. This puts it into kind of a trinity of perspective. In our culture the village is the teacher, grandparents, aunts, uncles,Sunday school teachers and friends who come into contact with our children. Makes sense now to me.

Irritable Mother said...

AmberRay - That's it. I guess I was initially turned off by 'the village' concept because of a certain proponent of the idea with whom I do not agree...But I started thinking of all the people who influenced me as I grew up, and I thought of the kids with whom I have influence through Sunday school and VBS - even my kids' friends - and how I so value all those relationships. And then the idea of the village really made sense to me.

On Purpose said...

Great question...great answers with great discussion. As we elected to obey God and put our children in public school...this last year being our first year with Ty in Kindergarten...God used it MANY times as learning, teaching and educating us. God can use ALL things to accomplish His perfect will for our kids...and yet in my momma heart I am still always tempted to construct a 'way' that seems easy, right and perfect...HA!

Thank you Karen for this great question!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I accept help!!! :o) But I take full responsibility. :o)

luvmy4sons said...

I agree with your husband...We must do as we are instructed to train them up in the way they should go. We can and likely will use others to help us in that endeavor. And God in the end has sovereign control.

I think scripture indicates that the husband is responsible for the spiritual state of his family. Yet, each of us is responsible for what we are to do, which is obey Jesus's commands and the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Thank the good Lord we are not ALONE in this at times overwhelming task! Hugs and blessings!

Irritable Mother said...

Nichole - Yes. I believe God does use all things - even our foul-ups and the things that don't make sense to us.
I understand your temptation to make your own way. But I am learning that His way is always best!

Jodi - And in the God-scheme of things, we can do both. Accept help and take full responsibility.

Leslie - Oh, yes! I am so glad I'm not alone in parenting. He knows what we need to take us all through, and we can trust Him to provide - whatever it is we need.
Thank You, Jesus!

gianna said...

It sounds like you have a pretty smart voice of reason in your house! It has nothing to do with how incredibly brilliant you are, right? Because you are!

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - It has nothing to do with me. It's my wonderful husband and the amazing grace of God!

Sit A Spell said...

Hi we at MOPS say..."you're not alone" in this mothering deal. Hey, do you remember meeting me in Waterford, Michigan just over a yr ago at a MOPS meeting? Well, I want to thank you for coming, (great talk & all) but the reason I want to thank you is because that's when I met Marybeth and she is now a dear friend of mine! So, thank you.

We have made a huge move from MI to Florida and my friendship & connection with Marybeth has been a life saver during such a crazy time. We've laughed, cried and prayed over the phone since the move and I am thankful for her. So, the whole village deal (which i felt the same as you) does hold some water, within reason.


Irritable Mother said...

Shell - God is good. Amen?
I love to see Him working out the details of our lives to bring about the things we need. And, clearly, that's what He was doing for you when Marybeth and I came to your MOPS group. How awesome that He used that day to bring you a friend who could be His grace to you! Thanks for sharing the story with me.

Love to you!

Beth E. said...

Hey...that hubby of yours is a right smart fella! ;-)

I wish blogs had been around when my boys were young. They are 22 yrs. and 19 yrs., both in college. However, we're still in the throes of teenage years, so I'll take all the help I can get! lol

I'm so thankful to God for His guidance, for my wonderful husband, and an amazing church family. Without them, I wouldn't have made it through some very challenging times.


Irritable Mother said...

Beth - It really does make sense when you think about it. God has surrounded us with help because HE knows we need it. (But my aversion to It Takes a Village to Raise a Child made me a little slower to accept the idea. *sigh*)