I’ve always had an issue with people who mention that they are not ready for the ‘marriage thing’, while being comfortable with having a child or more, sometimes with more than one partner.
We really do live in a reverse (seemingly parallel universe) world, where those who could have children refuse, or can’t, for various reasons.
While those who shouldn’t (for a number of reasons) pursue parenting, as some sort of given right.
It’s the same for marriage, those who should get married, drag their feet, hiding behind excuses, while others (who marriage is not for) pursue and have a ceremony of some sort, to make a point.
Bringing up children responsibly, takes a lot of work and is a harder task than having a great long-term marriage, much harder.
Parenting is a big chapter for Lois and I, one that I will cover more in-depth in the book(s).
This post is another ‘summary’ type post covering some key points.
Background pre-reading for this post:-
The ‘It takes a village’ posts.
With my background, I was more thoughtful about the whole parenting situation.
Initially, it was placed in my heart, not to have or want children, which now I see, was for many obvious reasons.
After being baptised, that was replaced with a desire ‘albeit cautiously’ to become a parent.
No matter what I thought about children, there were two things I always said, to myself and anyone remotely interested in listening.
1) If I had children I didn’t want to have them all over the place, with a 3 by 2 or 3 by 3 etc. scenario happening.
I wanted to be a father of x amount of children by 1, preferably a wife, not baby-mother.
2) Whoever I had children with, I would stay with, out of partner and parental love, responsibility and duty.
Although I didn’t find out about the specifics of ‘the visit’, until many years later.
My ex-fiance didn’t read the above 2-point memo correctly, as she was encouraged by two of her friends and not wanting to face the wrath of her xenophobic parents, to visit a clinic.
My eldest child would have been around 33 now and I would have (sort of) repeated the path of my dad who had me when he was 19, the difference being, that my baby-mother would have been 18, unlike my mum who turned 17, just 5 days before I was born.
The strange thing is, with the specifics of the clinic visit unknown to me at the time, taking away the option for me to have a say about the events.
I later broke off the engagement and relationship, dated someone else and a marriage and 7 children later (one called to heaven early) I’m a father of 6 living children with my wife Lois, making me a 6 by 1.
Only with Father Yeshua(Jesus)
A saying I have concerning parenting (which may offend some) is, I don’t know how anyone can bring children up in this world, without having a relationship with Yeshua, especially in the times we live in.
I can emphatically encourage all young adults, if you have faith, principles and follow the guidelines of Yeshua’s word, surround yourself with like minded people.
All types of people ‘everyone’, are contained in the Red circle, however, Most of us moving from that outer Red circle to the centre (from religions to a relationship with Yeshua) need to consider a few important things ‘before’ we have children.
We are never really fully informed or prepared, for what a life with a child/children will be like and what navigating our parenting around those with religious beliefs (in that Red circle) including the conservative and liberal Christians, would involve.
This is why it’s important for couples to be on the same page (evenly-yoked) having the same beliefs, morals and values.
You are going to need the strength of that unity, for what will come later.
It’s advisable for couples to sit and talk with in-laws, siblings, cousins, grandparents and best friends about how they would like to bring their children up.
This is never really addressed with any foresight, as it’s these people who may be leaned on for help and support with baby-sitting and children staying over at their houses.
Most ‘cross the bridge’ when they come to it, usually with disastrous results.
Couples should get a feel of the people around them, talk on various life issues, especially concerning the upbringing of children, discipline, peer pressure, the use of technology, what they feel is acceptable viewing on TV or listening to on radio etc.
Listening to the responses of others,they will show what’s in their hearts, as they share their views on those important life issues.
It will give the parents to be, a firm idea of how and what they will expect, with those individuals interactions and their growing children.
Obviously, people can mature and receive their ‘revelations’ which will also help them to move from the outer circle to the centre, so update and recap conversations are also important.
Enemies of the village (family unit)
There is a divine principle which has been set by God which affects everyone, whether you believe in Him or not.
It’s a principle which is disliked by the religious, with some of them ‘incorrectly’ thinking that it doesn’t apply to them or the people they know and love.
The true believer(disciple) in relationship with Yeshua, knows it to be true and has to quickly learn what it means for them and their family, in relation to the people around them.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
The subject of Yeshua(God), the obedience He expects, what He calls sin and how He expects us to love and forgive others, is polarising, creating a dividing line amongst friends, family, associates, colleagues and frienemies alike.
Nowhere is that seen more, than the area of bringing up children, especially concerning age appropriate language and behaviour and what people think is good and acceptable for children to be involved with.
Your family are your parents and siblings but the moment you marry, move out to live with your spouse and have children, that’s your family and priority.
The people you left behind become your relatives, along with aunts, uncles, cousins etc.
Family can also be considered best friends, who support you and always tell you the truth, which include your Church brethren.
When you begin to focus on your household (family) in love, with care, you set your boundaries to keep your children safe and disciplined, especially when those guidelines are set by the Word of Yeshua.
That’s when the differences begin to show in relation to those around you, your village, especially among those who are supposed to be your closest, your relatives.
As I said earlier, conversations with the relatives (extended family) should continue on a regular basis.
Covering what you (as a parent) deem acceptable for your child/children and finding out, what they agree or disagree with.
There will always be those relatives who, to your face, agree (or exercise the right to remain silent) on certain topics and behind your back, allow or do things which you disapprove of concerning your children’s upbringing.
There will always be those, what I like to call, enemy agents in the
education indoctrination system, who are literally hell bent in teaching/telling your children an anti-parental way to live, usually going against moral/Biblical parental upbringing.
The MM (mainstream media) especially in the entertainment sector, is also littered with enemy agents, who are on as mission to both literally and subliminally, indoctrinate young and impressionable minds, especially through the area of TV shows, movies and music.
There will always be parents bringing up/allowing their children to “freegan” it, by bringing themselves up, with a lack of parental care, discipline and moral guidelines.
For example, this is how our eldest became interested in Porn, he was shown it by a friend ‘J’, who had a dumb-phone, way too early, in our opinion.
We had a long battle, dealing with all the mess and negative repercussions which come with that particular situation.
There never seems to be enough parents (who see the bigger picture) to create ‘a majority’ safe village network environment, with similar faith, views, morals and Biblical principles as you.
Parents who want to see their children grow up safely, out of drug and porn addictions, not dabbling in the occult or pre-marital sexual promiscuity, off the streets, away from violence, gangs and out of trouble with the police.
Also, sadly, the children coming from those anti-Yeshua backgrounds, tend to have the biggest mouths, hiding a wealth of emotional pain, while having the influence to lead the children who do not.
This occurs even when you send your children to a so-called faith based school, as we did.
Learning from past errors
Lois and I understand that we (like other young parents) were going though our learning process.
We understand that as we moved to the centre (those circles again) developing our relationship with Yeshua, we made some critical changes but could have gone further.
We removed ourselves from the religious Christian setup but we should have also made the decision to homeschool our children.
We would have also been more selective about who we left our children with.
Looking back, we really only had a few people who loved and respected us enough to village co-parent with us, believing what we believed.
We allowed sentiment and naivety to govern our decisions concerning most of our relatives, on both sides.
Had we made those changes, parenting would have been more tiring on one hand but a lot more easier to navigate on the other.
As I said, parenting is the hardest thing to do as an individual and couple, if you love, care and set boundaries.
Now more than ever, there are so many external entities working against you, even within your relatives circle.
I suppose that’s what happens when Yeshua’s sword goes through every single family/relatives setup on the planet.
If you have young children, as we still do, I sincerely hope you have a good village support system around you.
Watiwa Mtoto wa Yeshua
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