The Legacy of the Lonesome Mother
As we have been talking about community here, I can’t help but reflect on how we as parents model community to our children. Whether we are a “community type” person or not, we model and influence our children’s perception toward community. We teach them by our example what authentic community is…OR…we don’t because we don’t have it ourselves.
The Legacy of the Lonesome Mother (isn’t always) CAN be a lonesome child.
The reality is that we all have this craving to know others and be known. But often times past experiences, fears, or even what was modeled to us affect our perceptions and scare us from truly allowing others in. When we as parents/mothers model exclusion from community, our children suffer for it as well. What we believe, deep down inside about people and ourselves completely affects our families legacies.
Teaching and modeling love for others, authenticity in relationships, and being willing to be vulnerable is one of the hardest but greatest gifts you can give your children.
Whether you are a community minded person or not, doesn’t really matter here. What matters is being intentional about what you are modeling and what God has called us to. We know because of His word we were created to be a functioning part of the Body of Christ.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor. 12:27
…”so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5,
It is true that today’s culture, rushing from one event to another, focused on outward skin rather than inward hearts, intimate real relationships (kindred connections) can be difficult to find. And not just for us, but also for our children.
Just as I benefit from being an active member of the body of Christ, engaging in authentic fellowship outside my family… so do my children.
It is easy, in today’s society to get so busy we don’t make time to simply engage in the relationships God has placed in our lives. For those home schooling moms out there, I think we especially need to make a strong effort in this area. It takes extra effort on our part to create those times of fellowship because it usually requires us having people over to our home. But isn’t that the best environment for authentic relationships–within the safety of friendly walls?
I believe it is EVERY Christian’s responsibility to be proactive about seeking out and being vulnerable in community.
But as the women in the family, I believe we really do set the cultural attitude toward community in our individual families. So I personally take responsibility in my family for initiating and helping my children initiate fellowship. In fact, I have kind of given myself that jurisdiction.
Now you may be thinking, “I don’t need to be around people, I am perfectly happy reading by a fire by myself all day”… but this isn’t about our comfort zones. I have been so convicted of this myself. I am so quick to assume my kids are cool just hanging out at home… after all there are six of them… they have plenty of fellowship with each other… yes, but they too are a part of the body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is not just our family… it is the church.
I am sorry if I seem to be getting heated here. I am very passionate about this topic. I believe that today we have a problem with members of the family of God not being intentional enough and in some cases being completely out of fellowship, which is very harmful long term.
But the question I have been asking myself with regard to legacy is this:
“Am I sensitive to each of my children’s needs for community… outside their siblings?” Am I being a catalyst for fellowship or a hindrance? And am I talking to as well as modeling true biblical fellowship?
Would you pray with me:
Lord thank you for the family of God you have adopted us all into. Thank you for teaching us and modeling for us authenticity among others when you wept with your disciples, when you prayed with them, when you washed their feet. You modeled for us, that real purposeful fellowship includes connecting with you in it. Help us to be vulnerable with one another and to be willing to let you be the center of all our relationships. Lord, you have blessed us as the matriarchs in the family to set a culture in our homes focused on serving and practicing hospitality. Please help us, as your daughters, to reach out and be real. Amen