Monday, May 24, 2010

Kingdom Parenting Community

We had another couple in our Sunday School class yesterday talking about Kingdom Parenting, and AGAIN I say, I could listen to parents giving advice for hours and hours every Sunday and learn something from every word!
I learned a lot yesterday, and tomorrow I'll be posting more, but today I'll focus on the recurring theme: community.
About half-way through the talk the speaker (another of our pastors) stopped and asked if anyone had questions. Someone asked, "What are the characteristics of healthy relationships between parents and children?" The speaker used that to segue into talking about community because so many of the healthy parent-child relationships that he has observed have been ones where the parents have made a conscientious decision to be part of an active Christian community.
**As Christian parents we need to look up to and gain advice from those who are ahead of us in this walk, live life alongside of our peers, and mentor those who are younger.
This gives us many benefits inside our own immediate family. Benefits like:
1. When hard times come in our family, we will have walked alongside others through their hard times and will have a precedent of openness and rejoicing in the end.
2. We will have had to respond (repeatedly, I'm sure) to the sin of those around us. Our children will watch as we (hopefully) do not condemn, but pray for, and lift up those who are sinning. Then our children will know that they can communicate with us about their own failings.
3. We will have the opportunity to ask for prayer from not just a few people, but a whole community, when troubles arise.
And how do we find this community? Some of us (and you) already have it! Wow! Count your blessings. Others of us will need to pray and put ourselves in community-type situations. Because it is REAL community that we are looking for (honest, open friendships) we cannot hurry or force it. It is definitely the work of the Holy Spirit.
The speaker yesterday quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer in saying, "Community is a gift of the Holy Spirit." I loved the quote and searched for the rest of it, but couldn't find it. I did, however, find this excellent quote about community from Bonhoeffer from 1974:
Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when He called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refuse to be alone, you are rejecting Christ's call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called.... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called -- the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one of the great congregation of Jesus Christ. If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ. 
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  1. wow. what an AWESOME quote!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love yours. I look forward to learning a lot from you.
    Thanks again.

  3. Tremendous post today! I love it! What a great way to share Jesus with our children through the way we act in community with others.

    I am going to add this to my Saturday links post.