It Takes a Village: 3 Reasons to Parent in Community (for FamilyLife.com)

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If you came to my house and listened to me parent, you’d hear several things I’ve robbed and duplicated from my village. My kids are called “lovey,” and I say, “That was kind,” instead of “nice” because of my friend Erin. “If you choose to disobey, do things go well for you?” came from Laura. I remind my kids that we are blessed so that we can bless others because of Shelley. And whenever I think my head might explode from parenting and working at home, I’m comforted by Shannon’s voice: “Working moms are not okay. We’re just not.”

These phrases have become woven into my parenting because of the privilege I’ve had of parenting alongside these gentle, wise, and generous parents. God gifted me, my spouse, and my kids a village.

The season I saw “it takes a village” played out clearest was when we lived overseas. For a year, we had just about the most ideal setting for community anyone could ask for: four expat families in one neighborhood on similar schooling schedules.

I got a front-row seat to watch them comfort, coach, and teach their children (and sometimes mine) in all kinds of situations. And they saw gifts (even when they’d gone awry) in my children, encouraged me in my struggles and weaknesses, and just generally shared the load of parenting. Our village formed mini-search parties when kids wandered too far, provided last minute dinner invitations and babysitting, and organized neighborhood holiday celebrations.

Why it takes a village

Maybe you long for a village like that. I find myself longing for it, too. I may never have that ideal aligning of proximity and life stage again. But my taste of parenting in community has given me a hunger to go out of my way to pursue a village for me and my family.

Here are three reasons it takes a village and why we’d all benefit from praying for and pursuing one.

1. We learn parenting tips and tricks.

. . .

Head over to FamilyLife.com to read the rest!

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