This combination could bring memories of a midnight run to the store to prevent an unexpected disaster at home. While that may be a noble act by a young parent, what brought this to my mind was a combination of events that happened this past week.
Last Saturday KSBC hosted the first “Growing Families” milestone dinner for parents of newborns. During that time those of us who are more seasoned as parents interacted with our younger counterparts about different issues relating to parenting. Good questions caused me to dig back and think through what and why we did things years ago with our children. But predictably most of the questions were focused on how to start parenting well.
The next event on my calendar was taking my youngest child for her driving test. This rite of passage is the first major step toward independence with all the freedoms and responsibilities that come with adulthood. What struck me was the similarity between my concerns and those of the younger parents. As I am faced with being the parent of an adult child, the same questions ran through my mind. Am I ready for this? What can I do better? Who will help me?
In the middle of all this, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:33, where the apostle Paul points out the importance of the company we keep. Who we spend time with will influence our choices and behaviors. As parents we often think of this when screening our children’s playmates and choosing their education environment. But this is also true for parents. To be the best parent at any stage we need not only godly people around us but also godly people who have already walked the road before us and will share what they have learned. We need the church to be more than a building we go to, but a group of people we experience life with. We need the classes and fellowships, the lessons and encouragements—not only as a person but also as a parent.
The company of older generations can help give us confidence that we will be ready and will do things well. At the same time, as we take our turn in helping in the nursery, the children’s classes and teen activities, we not only can know what our children are learning, but we can learn from others how to help our children grow and learn—giving and sharing ideas to help us prepare our children for the life God has for them.
The distance from diapers to car keys may seem long and bumpy from the start, but in looking back, for Val and me, the company of being in a church has made the road much more smooth and enjoyable.