Why Community Matters for Your Family
When my first child was born, I was consumed by the overwhelming feeling of desperation. The sleepless nights, the acid reflux, and the exhaustion all began to drain me day after day. All of the things that I didn’t know or expect as a new mom began to isolate and distance me from others. I believed the lie that I was all alone, because my close friends and family lived somewhere else. Instead of seeking friendships and community in my life, I wallowed in the idea that my life was doomed to be tied down to needs of my child.
Even as my child grew older and we added more children to our family, the thought of being alone in my journey never went away like I hoped it would. I thought maybe I just needed more confidence in my parenting to shake this feeling.
Over the past few years, God has used this loneliness to bring me to my knees. I began to pray and seek friendships with women outside of my circle. Through this process, I’ve learned that as moms, community is hard to commit to, but it is so worth it in the end.
Thankfully, God has brought a small group of women to my life that encourage me to think about the scriptures and pursue a deeper walk with the Lord. Today I want to share with you why striving for meaningful relationships within the church is important for you and your children.
It takes an (encouraging) village
We’ve all heard the sayings, “it takes a village to raise a child,” or “I’ve seen the village and I don’t want it raising my child.” The truth is that as believers we do need a village, but one that always points us and our children to Christ. When we isolate ourselves, it becomes easier for us to judge others and hide our struggles and sins.
When we are open with those around us, we can lean on each other when life is hard. This may look like taking a meal to a friend that just had a baby and reminding them that they are not alone. Or taking a friend’s kids for the day when they are sick and need some recovery time. Loving others and creating meaningful friendships is an opportunity for us to serve without receiving anything in return.
While it’s important to surround ourselves with others, it’s also important that we find a group that strives to love and honor God through everything in their lives. We must seek community with those that know the Word and love us enough to speak truth in our lives.
When we have worldly friends that seem to care more about the latest trends, reality t.v., and celebrity gossip, it can influence us in a negative way. It can cause our thoughts to be consumed by things that don’t matter.
But if we find community in those that are truly seeking the Lord, it can change our lives. I encourage you to get involved with a local women’s Bible study or become more invested with those in your church. Finding people that will encourage you in your relationship with God can change how you view those hard feelings that we all deal with in this life.
I also want to point out that it’s important and beneficial for us to join together with singles, married couples, and families. Sometimes the people that encourage us the most in our Christian faith are those that are different from us. In fact, having a mentor that has grown children and may now have an empty nest could provide tons of guidance during your parenting hardships.
How our children benefit
It’s significant when we show our kids that community isn’t divided into groups but that it is good when we join together with other believers. When we pursue meaningful friendships with people or families who love God, we can lean on each other through training our children with the same goals in mind. When we fellowship with other families, it can be a great way for our children to make new friends. By knowing families that strive to honor and know God, we can hope to set our children up to also seek intentional relationships.
Whether it’s a single woman from church, or another family from your local homeschool group, inviting others into our home and serving them can be a great way for us to teach our children how to show God’s love to those around us.
How do you find time for community and fellowship with other believers?
New to this community? Start here, friend.
My husband had a stroke 18 months ago. He is fine physically after 6 months of therapy, but will always have cognitive issues. He has trouble with crowds, so we don’t gather with many people anymore. It’s so similar to your story after having children. We can be with friends, just smaller in number, and friends who understand my husband’s difficulty.
Thank you for your post, it has brightened my day.
I’m so glad!