The Importance of Others in Your Kids’ Lives
It takes more than two.
It takes a village to raise your children.
Your “village” has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a fast-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Today’s children are faced with a myriad of challenges, opportunities, and temptations. Navigating parenthood can be a daunting undertaking whether married or single – friendships and support should be welcome and necessary to prepare your children for tomorrow.
It’s vital to recognize the importance of other women in your daughter’s life; ones that build deep meaningful relationships that will contribute to the well being of your daughter.
As I look back over the years of my girls growing up and the important “other” women in their lives, I am so grateful that I was not the only one contributing to their development. Of course, as their parents you have the largest role and influence on your children, but grandparents also have a huge role. This is a natural extension of you; next to you, grandparents are quite possibly the greatest influence that they will ever have.
Since most children’s formative years are spent with mothers or mother figures, you are to transfer your faith and wisdom to your children.
This is not the job of the daycare, the school system, your friends, the television, or video games. Children ought to first receive godly training at home and then, through some of the other systems, they can be an extension of your principles.
First, allowing your mother or mother-in-law to be a part of your daughter’s life can bring much joy, help, and love. There is a wonderful scripture of a grandmother’s godly influence in 2 Timothy 1:5, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
Notice in this scripture, Timothy’s grandmother and his mother both shared their faith. Thus, making Timothy a third generation Christian. Timothy’s faith in Christ was genuine and sincere; it was real and true. One of the major reasons for his strength in the Lord was the strong and sincere faith of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois. They had rooted and grounded him in the faith as seen further in 2 Timothy 3:15, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Secondly, along with your mom, God brings other women into your life who are spiritual mothers to you. They first pour into you and then into your children. Their influence is superior to others and you trust them. This is a woman you can talk to about anything and she lovingly guides you and sometimes corrects you. She helps direct your decision making and has most likely walked the road before you, which helps her draw from life’s experiences.
I know for me and my husband, we were so thankful for the like-minded community of friends we had around us as the girls were growing up. They were friends that we spent endless hours with from Friday night pizza dinners, to church activities, to school projects, to vacations. Intentionally building community is a critical part of raising your girls.
1 Peter 2:4-5 says, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
You and your friends are like living stones. Each one of you portray a stone that makes up a spiritual temple. One stone is not a temple. You are a community with many stones building into you and your children’s lives.
Having like-minded, prayerful women in your daughter’s life is important as there will be times your daughter will listen to them more attentively than she will listen to you. And if you and your friend are on the same page, you will have the security of trusting she will give good advice.
Our friends were such a big part of our kids’ lives. Even now that our daughters are grown, they still want to hang out with us when we are together. Our girls seek out lunch dates, visits, and now mentor some of our friends’ daughters.
Having friends and family that live out their Christian walk is the greatest influence on your children. Words are not even needed at times, it is their faith walked out that is an example of their inward beliefs. In addition, you will want to be this woman to your girls’ friends as well. You may be the only positive influence in their lives. You may be the only Jesus they meet.
At Moms in Prayer, we have a new program for teaching girls to pray called Girls in Prayer. Find out more here.
Jessie Seneca is a national speaker, leadership trainer, and the founder of More of Him Ministries. She is the author of books like: Raising Girls Diaper to Diamond and Friendship, Sisters for a Journey. Jessie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, John. They have two daughters and a two wonderful sons-in-law who bring with them, her two grand-dogs: Harvey and Breck.