“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’ Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” Ephesians 6:1-4 (NIV).
I talked earlier about a great show on the Discovery Channel called North America. During one episode, they highlighted prairie dogs. I had no idea how communicative and family oriented those cute little creatures could be. They have a different sound/call for just about everything. They make a special noise when there’s trouble brewing and a predator is nearby as well as an “all-clear” sound to name a few. I was incredibly fascinated by how protective they were of their family unit and community.
My prayer is that every family have that type of bond. I want our children to protect and look out for each other. I want us all to have certain gestures and glimpses to let our kids know when there’s danger around or when it’s safe to relax and have fun. I want to live in a community where we’re not afraid to stand up to the enemies and defend our spouses, children, and friends.
It’s nice to think that in the “olden days” it was like that. I remember growing up in a small church and it was that way to an extent. There were maybe one hundred twenty people total, around forty families, with a handful of children ranging from babies through high school. The parents in the church didn’t differentiate between “my children and your children.” If there was a problem, they stepped in and took care of it, knowing that the other parents would be supportive. If there was something to celebrate, we came together and celebrated as a family unit. We celebrated Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and New Year’s altogether with homemade ice cream and eclectic food. There was lots of laughter, plenty of games, and many late nights.
I believe that’s how God wants us to be. He wants us to reach toward others and share His love in a community type setting. He wants us to look out for each other, stand up for those who need defending, and cheer on each other’s accomplishments. With the invention of modern conveniences that supposedly make life easier, sometimes I think they just make life busier. Facebook, iPhones, and other electronic gadgets and chances to network are great, don’t get me wrong. I love them
as much as anyone else. But, sometimes, I really miss those days when the only form of communication we had was face-to-face conversations and heart-to-heart talks.
I’ve come to the conclusion after watching North America that I think I would like to be a prairie dog. Or at least have the sense of community that is naturally bred in them.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell