It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, Part 1of2, Evans Olang

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1Chronicles 22:1-5, vs. 5,”Now David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.” So David made abundant preparations before his death”

I spoke to three young guys I met in a train while going and coming back from NYC a couple of weeks ago. I felt compelled to witness to them but first thing was to find a starting point (ice breaker). Their talk about schools became my entry point to start a conversation with them. I asked them what they thought of shooting in schools and high rate of suicides among young people plaguing our society. I asked them what they believed was the cause and how to fix the broken system. After sharing with them what I will share I believe is partly the problem, they agreed with me.

In the present world, the rate of children coming from broken homes (divorce, single parenthood, children abandoned etc) is increasing at an alarming rate. Besides that, a number of children from certain homes are growing but shielded from things that ought to prepare them for life in the real world. And because some were never prepared for a possible hard life, they find the world hard and not fair. A number even feel its not fair that some are succeeding and not them.

Children are left to run wild in some homes with no sense of hard work, responsibility or accountability. Many parents even cripple their children when they say, “I will give my children all I never had” when some of those things they never had helped them become what they are today. I have seen parents set unrealistic expectations for their children even affirming them on what they know their children could never do or become while saying they can become anything in life, sky being the limit, eg. singing, sports etc setting them up for failure right from the start. And when professionals challenges or disagree with them, they become enemies. While we might think all these are outrageous, there are parents who side with their children even when they know their children are wrong, a recipe for disaster.

In the last 20 years or so, a lot has changed in my judgement. Back then, great discipline was huge, there was structure, hard work, responsibility, accountability etc. Parents, grownups and teachers worked together for the well being of the children. The quote “it takes a village to raise a child” was a reality. Nearly every parent supported teachers and often gave their unruly child a few more licks when they got home as good discipline. Parents respected teachers, and students listened. Today, over-indulgent middle-class parents are fueling a rise in bad behaviour in schools by failing to set boundaries for their children, and that is why I believe we see many bad behaviors that lead to violence as they escalate. The biblical principles that children lived by have been thrown out the window. The values shared and cherished at the dinner tables are now considered by many worthless and we wonder why we have high rates of shootings, suicides, crimes among other great issues affecting our young people.

In the light of our current world, I draw biblical wisdom from David who prepared his son for the life ahead with serving the Lord as priority. We will see how David prepared his son Solomon giving him charge and great responsibility. And may the Lord help us in our day. Blessings, Ev

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