An old African expression says it takes a village to raise a child, and when I think about who has had the most influence in my life, I realize it took a village. I had a wonderful mother that laid a great foundation. She taught me so many basics of life: how to be a friend, bake cookies, and not wear white after labor day. She also taught me to choose my friends wisely – actually, she insisted on it. I had a loving father that was quite a jokester. I remember him telling me that when he was in the Navy and worked on a submarine, his job was to load the torpedos in the hold. When they got bored, they would take turns getting shot out of the torpedo hold. I bought it hook line and sinker. My dad taught me how to be light-hearted and value education so I could take care of myself. I had beloved aunts that taught me Emily Posts’ manners. I had excellent teachers that helped me find my gifts and cultivate them. The list goes on and on.
When my children were growing up, I felt it was essential to take my children to church. The community that the church offers has many excellent benefits in a child’s life. There are three reasons that I feel a church community is important for children.
- The church is where they learn about God and grow in their faith. As they go through the Sunday school years, the teachers will enforce what is being taught in the home.
- Church teaches children a lot about social relationships. Becoming a member and belonging is essential. They learn to cultivate friends and care for them. Peer-level accountability is beneficial for children and teens.
- Every child needs a variety of role models to help decide what person they will become. I cannot think of a better place to find a wide range of role models than in the local church.
In thinking about the most significant impact on my life and my family – I have to say my church. I love the ladies I worked with in the nursery and learned how to get through those terrible twos. When I was reciting Jr. Bible quiz answers and making angel costumes for the Christmas pageant, friends were meaningful and helpful during those grammar school years. Then there were those youth choir years and trips; thank God for other parents to pray with that were going through similar situations. Having other adults in my children’s lives that they could talk to was so essential. I appreciate so much the ladies in my connect group. These dear sisters bear my burdens in prayer, teach me the word of God, and hold me accountable to the word of God. Yes, I would have to say hands-down, the church has impacted my life the most!