Monday, July 13, 2009

It Takes a City to Raise a Child

Recently, I have been thinking about education and raising my children in a metropolis. If left to myself, I would probably home school my children and keep a very tight "grip" on the leash of influence. I have by no means thought this out completely. Furthermore, I know that several people feel strongly about how their children should be educated.

Thankfully, I have a wife who balances me out. She keeps me real. She's wise. So, one of things that has crossed my mind is that we can't raise my kids by ourselves. We need other people. We need the church. We need my parents and my brother. We need my in-laws; we need friends. We need the city. This is not to say that God has not resourced us with everything we need in the Scriptures to be the main influencers of our children. But, I'm beginning to wonder if it's really arrogant to think that I could do it by myself. I have thought and remain fully convinced that God has given these children to me, and that I am the main one to influence and teach them. I am totally committed to the idea and institution of family in the Bible. But I guess I'm confessing that living in this particular God-ordained institution should not be done independently from the context of other institutions he's given; and not just those institutions but creation as well.

While I'm rambling, it occurs to me that my own upbringing was a "group project". While my parents were cautious of what influences they let into the home, they exposed my brother and me to a vast and diverse body of knowledge and experiences that they themselves could not offer. They attentively resourced opportunities for us. For that (amongst many reasons) I am most grateful to my Dad and Mom.

I'll have more to say on this subject at another time, but for now, I leave you with a wonderful talk given by Timothy Keller, pastor in Manhattan, on the subject of raising kids in the city. I'm still trying to figure out how to get the direct link, Owen Strachan has the talk posted at his blog.

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