On Sunday evening I have been teaching a parenting class for a group of about 15 people crammed into my front room. One of the dangers of parenting courses is that people think they are only applicable for those with children. Singles think they have no need to know, older couples think they have done it all, those struggling with having children find it difficult and many think it a topic best left to the parent alone.
Scripture has much to say on the topic and this evening we will be looking at the issue of motherhood and daughters. Miriam (my wife) and I have had some interesting conversations off the back of the course. One of the big ones for us has been: who is there in our church that could be an older sister and/or grandmother type figure in the church? Who is there outside of our family unit who could help us raise our girls and bring some much needed Christian maturity into their lives? Apart form one young woman in the church and an unbeliever in the community, the answer at the moment, sadly, is nobody really.
I think perhaps one of the great issues of our day in the Western world is that we have reduced parenting and family to mean merely ‘mum, dad, & children’. Raising children is not really a community affair anymore. We think that is sad and that great riches are being lost to our children and to the Christian community of which we are a part. It’s a delicate issue and cannot be forced. It’s not like we can say, ‘Hey you, be my daughter’s big sister and teach her how to be a young girl in the Lord.’ We are still talking about it and praying it through.
Meanwhile, Mark Bates has written a short piece below to stimulate our thinking in this area.