The importance of community never meant as much to me as it did when I became a parent. Since then, countless times I’ve heard it said, “it takes a village to raise a child”. I wanted to know more about this proverbial village. Thus, I began my research.
Those who live in a village may be a part of a certain tribe. A tribe views the rest of the community as a “family circle”.
In a tribe, each individual is responsible to carry out special services- whether old or young. An appointed chief is given a right to govern. He is a leader, a protector, and one who serves his community. There may be a ‘council of elders’; those members who are older and wiser to give advice and good counsel. Other members may be warriors, farmers, advisors, etc. Within the family circle, every individual plays a role in raising up the children of the tribe.
Raising a child is no easy feat. I quickly learned that each member of my family circle does play a vital role in my child’s upbringing.
My husband, his daddy, is the chief. He is the leader and protector of our family, and one who serves our own tribe. Our ‘council of elders’ consists of our child’s grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles. Yes, they are older and wiser. They have raised a child (or more) and know how to give advice and good counsel. His cousins, the youngest of our family circle, carry out special services as well. They remind us all to desire knowledge with such eagerness and zeal.
This sheds some light on the greatest family circle of all. The ‘body of Christ’. The church “village”, if you will. Could it be that this old proverbial saying coorelates with biblical principles?
Surely, it takes a village to raise up a child of God.
A child of God is not just someone who is young and innocent. A child of God is not just someone who is new in Christ.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” (John 1:12)
Therefore, I am a child of God. You are a child of God. And, it truly does take a village to raise up every member who is of the body of Christ.
Those who believe in Christ, that are baptized by the Spirit, and live in paths of righteousness are members of the church “tribe”: Jesus’ disciples.
- The Chief of the church is, Christ, himself. He is the only One with authority to govern. He is our leader, our protector, and one who serves his tribe (disciples).
- The ‘council of elders’ are those who are older and/or wiser. “To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.”- 1 Corinthians 12:8 (NLT)
- Some may be [prayer] warriors. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10, 11, 18 (NLT)
- Some may be farmers, or harvesters. “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”- Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV)
- Some may be advisers. “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!”- Proverbs 15:22-23 (NLT)
- Even the new in Christ offer special services. Just like a child who reminds us to seek knowledge with an eagerness and zeal. “Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”- Matthew 18:3-4 (NKJV)
Collectively, we are a community responsible for raising up each other. Indeed, we all have different roles. However, we are to abide by the laws of God and the truths in His Word. Then, we shall live together in peace and unity. Just as those who live in a village.
“ Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.– Ephesians 2:19-21 (NIV)