Jaxson is the most adorable child! His grandmother and I have been best friends since middle school. His aunts are like my children—I’ve been able to witness these young ladies grow into wonderful, brilliant, beautiful women. Thank God for Zoom and the ability to attend his christening virtually. It was so moving to see the love for this child by his parents, grandparents, great grandparents, relatives, and dear friends of the family. It reaffirmed two very important facts—no child is a mistake, and the village is necessary.
All of us from the day we are born have a purpose. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5) God has a plan for our children and as parents, it’s import- ant that we realize that their lives are greater than our goals and plans for them. Each child is special.
The Bible says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3) Parenting isn’t easy. It is one of the most difficult jobs to have and yet, one of the most rewarding. I remember when my daughter was a little girl, I couldn’t wait for her to walk, get potty trained, to drink out of a cup, start school.
I was always thinking, if I could get her to this next level, things would become easier. Now that she is an adult, it’s easier in some ways and yet, I never stop being a parent. My worries are different now. My worries are about the crazy world that we live in, the people she may encounter, her safety and that she makes wise, Godly decisions as an adult.
I often hear adults say they are raising children and I always disagreed. I was raising a child to become an adult. So many grown people are not truly adults because there were never given expectations, had no responsibility or accountability or boundaries when they were growing up.
A very popular R&B singer (Summer Walker) in her new song goes in about a former lover who fathered her child (his fourth baby momma), and she blames his mother for not “whooping his ass” and that “she never called him out.”
I won’t go into detail here because it takes two to make a child but it’s critical that we understand that parenting goes beyond putting a roof over a child’s head. It’s about teaching them to be better, to do better, to under- stand that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that the decisions they make impact their lives and the lives of others.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
It’s about spending quality time, training, and listening to them so that when they are adults, they may stray, but they will always come back to the foundation they’ve been taught. What happens when there is no foundation, or the foundation has been inconsistent? They fall.
“If a child is trained up in the right way, even when he is old, he will not be turned away from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 (BBE))
Raising children can not be done in isolation. You must have support from others so that when your children aren’t listening to you, there are others that serve as guides and mentors that can speak wisdom into their lives.
The village is critical and what we are experiencing in our communities is a village that is fragmented. Our strength comes when we are collectively sharing, lamenting, laughing, and loving.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) We are to carry the burdens of one another. (Galatians 6:2) Our children need us, and our communities will thrive when we invest in them and in each other.
Jaxson is destined for greatness. When all our children have this love and support system, they, too, will have the assurance to fulfill their destiny. They will thrive and not just survive.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.