Who’s the Daddy?

This reflection is not well formed yet but it’s a thunk in progress. Having reflected on parenting and recently spent some talking to parents and watching families in ‘action’ I got to wondering about the Church body as ‘Parent’ to the upcoming generations.
tall window.jpgWho’s the Daddy?
When/If you become a parent your life changes somewhat (note heavy use of understatement here). It’s a wonderful upheaval of everything that went before and an entirely new (and different) adventure. Some of these changes are immediate, some gradual. One of the gradual ones is a realisation that your needs become less important the children’s needs. (I’m not talking about buying I-pods, Wii’s and the like here). There needs to be a sacrifice of time, priorities and money. From simple things like, Right now I’d really like to sit in the armchair for a bit BUT the children really need to have some fun time with me/us, to I’d really like a bit of a sportier car but the kids bikes wouldn’t fit in the back or, I’d like a lie-in but promised I’d take the children swimming, it’d be wonderful to have a holiday but the children need shoes/ an important school trip/ university fees etc ad-infinitum.
Now I have NO problem with this, I love it. For me that sacrifice for the next generation, that total commitment to discipling, raising, encouraging your children (at the expenses of your own desires and dreams) is what it takes, is love, is the responsibility and privilege (not that it’s always easy).
It had me reflecting on the Church and its attitude to the new generations growing up. While I think that Parents can’t abdicate responsibility to the Church for the nurturing and discipling in the faith, I do believe that the Church has a huge PARENTAL role to play. My reflections on parenting made me wonder what we as the church have to learn about giving up our preferences in order that the next generation encounter and contribute to church in a way that is meaningful to them?
Using this Church as Parents metaphor starkly. Are we as the Church being the kind of parents who pack their children off to Boarding school so they don’t get in the way of the way we like to do things!

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