As we finally start meeting for coffee, going for walks and even having people in our homes, Joy Vee asks the Church to reach out to her teenage children.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. As a parent, I’d like to invite my village – the Church – to help. For the last 16 months I have been encourager, discipliner, teacher, friend, pastor and parent. I’m tired of my voice. My children are definitely sick of it.
The most influential people in my life growing up were not related to me. Some were not parents themselves, but God placed me on their hearts, and they heard the call to come alongside a sulky, intense, self-absorbed child and love her. They asked my parents’ permission to be in my life, then prayed about how that would work. That is how my crochet, knitting and baking lessons began. “Can you come over and help me with this?” said one. “Let me show you how to change that tyre,” said another.
The great news is that all these things are coming back. Crochet is now on trend, according to my daughter. Does anyone want to teach her? My son loves making things. Any woodworkers out there? They both enjoy feeling as though they are making a difference in the world. Do you need help? They would love to come over and paint your living room…or maybe they could start with a shed or fence!
“Teach [these words of mine] to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up’ (Deuteronomy 11:19). The Bible talks about weaving God-lessons into the everyday. My kids would love to do everyday stuff with people outside our family bubble.
Eternal lessons in the beauty of the mundane
I sit in my garden and enjoy a quick five minutes with the sun on my face, watching a mother starling fiercely defend her babies in the nest she has built in my roof space. She fights off a magpie twice her size and a seagull half the size of me. And God speaks to my heart and says: “That’s how I watch over you.” For a moment, my heart lifts in worship.
My daughter comes out and we watch the valiant mummy bird together. “That’s how God feels about us,” I say. “Protective and fighting for us.”
She rolls her eyes. She’s 13. But she watches a little longer, nodding without realising.
It doesn’t need to be any more than that. She doesn’t need a lecture and a Bible verse, because we serve a God who wraps lessons of eternity around the everyday beauty of the mundane to show that he can be found anywhere.
So my heartfelt plea to the Church is this: would you pray about coming alongside my kids? It doesn’t need to be super-spiritual or super-trendy. Share your everyday revelations, your stories. Let them hear a voice other than mine as they learn how to experience God in their everyday.