Who Makes Up Your Village?

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that’s true. But I don’t just think it takes a village to raise a child, but a village to raise and strengthen a Christian.

That doesn’t just mean when we’re young, but throughout our entire walk as a child of God. I have been thinking a lot this week about the people in my life who have been essential in my growth spiritually and personally. It may be partially knowing that Father’s Day is coming, tomorrow in fact, and for many of us, our fathers have meant the world to us. Beyond our immediate families though, there are still so many others who “raised” us and continue to “raise” us, no matter how old we are. I think this beautiful Saturday would be a perfect time to share with one another some of the most important influences we’ve had over the years.

For each and every one of us, we’ve had both people close to us and people we don’t even personally know placed in our lives. For me, I think of all of you. You guys have been such an important part of my becoming a Christian adult. I still have a lot of growing to do, but you guys continue to be part of that process as the fellowship we have here is really powerful.

Those who are in my life physically who raised and continue to raise and strengthen me include my grandmother and my friends. My grandma is beginning to age to the point of needing virtually around the clock care, but she continues to be the loving grandparent with so much life experience to share. She has seen it all it seems, from being raised in the Catholic Church to falling out of faith, and then finding a church and a husband who brought God into her life. She has been a member of the same church now for fifty years, and she is an inspiration to me.

My friends, even if they are the same age as me, have been just as critical as the elder role models in my life. I have many moderately close friends who I either work with, or go to school or church with. These friends play a huge role in my life, even if we don’t always see eye to eye.

My really close friends however are absolutely essential, and I’m not sure what I would do without them. I don’t always share the most time with them, but I share everything with them, even if we’re apart for months. What I share most with my friends Jake, Aaron, and Max is our love for Jesus. This is really an important similarity to have with anyone who is such a big part of our lives, as we truly are impacted by those closest to us more than we often realize. I find that when I spend more time hanging out with the more negative influences in my life, there is a difference. Simply put, I seem to be less filled with the Fruits of the Spirit. I think we can all relate to this at one point or another.

I guess I have to assume that those we come into contact with on a regular basis are most influential in our lives. But still, there are those we don’t even know who have an impact on our development.

For me, Tim Tebow has taught me a lot that no one else really ever could. Despite not seeing 100% eye to eye, Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church has been a blessing to me. Even the talented musicians on Christian radio. I’ve never met any of them, but how could I not consider them a part of my village?

So many people in our lives have a continued impact on our walk on this earth whether we realize it or not. This Father’s Day weekend is a perfect opportunity to reflect on who these people are. With this reflection comes gratitude, which is something I know I struggle with terribly.

This is an open thread. But if you could, share a quick list of who you consider to be in your village. I’d love to see who we all have learned and grown from! It is a great exercise to once again remind us that our God is living and active, and that we are blessed as His children.

Have a laid back and awesome Saturday everyone!

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17

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