My wife and I were tremendously blessed last night by one of Church of the Cross’ Missional Communities who watched our kids so we could have a date night. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but remember, we currently have eight kids (yes, I know, All Aboard The Crazy Train)!
We went to an Indian restaurant that used to be a Black Bear Diner and was still decorated as such. For most of the time, we were the only customers there, which was both nice and semi-creepy. The food was great, but I digress. I say that we were tremendously blessed, and that’s true, but not just because my wife and I got to spend some much-coveted time together. It has reminded me about so much of what we as the Church of the Cross family value and hold dear. I was reminded of the importance of community in discipleship. Consider just some of the ways this is true even when we watch one another’s children for a date night:
We are tangibly bearing one another’s burden. When that Missional Community offered to watch all eight of our children, they were indeed helping to bear our burden. I don’t mean that kids are a burden, but come on, eight kids is a lot. We are simply tired. All of the time. So, for our church family to give us a break, even for a few hours, is something more tangible than it might initially seem.
We are being reminded of the importance of marriage. By watching our kids so we could go out, everyone involved, even the children, were reminded of the importance of marriage. One of the things I often talk about with couples in pre-marital counseling is that, once they marry, they are a family. They don’t have to wait until they have children to “become a family,” children enlarge the family, but they do not make it. And marriage is at the center of the family. If the marriage is suffering, odds are the home-life is also suffering. Our Church of the Cross family recognizes the importance of marriage so much that they are willing to help make dates happen for others.
We are learning to parent better by doing it with others. Though we are not always as conscious of this as we maybe should be, when we come together as a group of several adults to watch a large group of children, we are continually watching how others do it and we’re talking notes. Or at least we should be. Not everyone parents the same way. And frankly, some are just naturally better at it than others. So when we come together and care for children in community, it is a great opportunity to learn from those who do it better than us, and to humbly admit where we might improve.
Though there is much more that could be said, I’ll just leave it at this for now. When community comes together, even for something we might not think is a big deal, like to watch children, we grow stronger. We get a glimpse into the daily routines of others and we get a better idea of how to serve one another.
Thank you to the Church of the Cross family for living this out.