Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Motherhood used to be all about independence. About pushing children to the independence track so that they could start working in the fields as soon as possible, help around the house as soon as they could talk,  take care of more responsibilities and require less care for themselves. And yet, it was about being independent to work, to produce and to help, but not to leave. 

And by "to leave", I mean to leave the community, to leave the relationship with the extended family, to leave the family ties. Most people used to be born and die within the same small geographic area, and they would usually live with their families until it was time to start a family of their own, while still keeping the family ties.

Today, it seems to me that things have flipped up. Children are not encouraged to that same previous level of independence to help around the house and to assume many responsibilities. The parents role has become to provide to their children a great childhood experience, with lots of fun activities and entertainment. And yet, children are also pushed by society to become independent from the family ties, from the community and to leave. 

And by "to leave", I mean to leave for college, to leave to live by themselves, to leave to experience other realities, achieve their own dreams. And while I am comparing both scenarios, I am not placing one in a better position than the other, as there are positive and negatives points to consider on both.

So what is the solution? From a Christian perspective I hope that my children will become as soon as possible very independent to help others, to start serving rather than being served all the time, to start practicing "He who is the greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves" Luke 22:26 But I would also like them to be encouraged to love God above family ties. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me". Matthew 10:37

I pray that their hearts may not be centered around their families or around themselves, but rather centered around Christ. And as a consequence they could serve both their families and their communities with gladness as serving Christ, while not being tied to the point of letting family and community keep them from serving Christ if He calls them to leave family.

That would be a true Independence Day for them: free to serve the only One worth of their service, of their lives, of their hearts. Near or far, wherever He leads them. Not seeking anyone's approval but His. 

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