Motivation for the Marketplace
Motivation for the Marketplace
Info about Larry James & Central Dallas MinistriesTable of Contents for Motivation for the Marketplace

Time and energy spent improving family life is never wasted.
Village or Family—What Do We Really Need?

        Bob Dole argues it takes a family to raise a child. Hillary Clinton insists a village is required. The debate rages on in the rhetoric-driven media frenzy of an election year. I think both have a point.

        The children of unhealthy families find growing up to be an extremely difficult experience. No other influence assumes more importance for a child than that of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Current research substantiates the fact that children who grow up as members of loving, intact families have a much greater prospect for success in life. Moms and dads make the best mentors for their own children. Values, ethics, faith-systems, work habits, decision-making ability and countless other essential life skills flow most naturally and effectively from the family. Time and energy spent improving family life is never wasted. Most of us need to recommit ourselves to this investment strategy. It definitely takes a family to properly raise a child!

        Of course, the fact is millions of children grow up in what might be described as  “injured” or dysfunctional families. An ever-growing percentage of children live in single parent households where mom and dad work long hours to make ends meet. In most cases these days, even for intact families, both parents work outside the home forcing children into day care environments. Most of America’s poor happen to be children living with one parent. Unlike my parents’ generation, our mobile society scatters families across the nation far away from absent parents, as well as grandparents and other extended family members. Regardless of what seems best, children often need more than their families can provide.

        I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. My hometown helped my parents raise me. I couldn’t get away with anything in small town Richardson without neighbors, teachers, church members, ministers, coaches and friends reporting things to my parents or on occasion providing direction for me themselves. If definitely takes a village to properly raise a child!

        Families today need all the help they can get with learning how to function as families. Some moms and dads need assistance with sharpening parenting skills. Children and teens need lots of love, support, affirmation and guidance. Most should come from home, especially early on. But, much profitable direction and support comes from other significant adults in the community. We need to learn how to live and cooperate as communities of caring neighbors. Genuine community life is a dying art in our fast-paced world of garage door openers, eight foot fences, caller ID, cyberspace relationships and deep cocooning.

        I’ll keep listening to the debate between Hillary and Bob. I’ll try to gain something from both perspectives. But, I already know that it takes a family in the midst of a genuine village to raise a healthy, productive child. Families thrive in strong villages. Villages prosper when populated with thriving families. Why should we not recognize and champion the benefits of both?


Return to Main Index      |      Return to Motivation for the Marketplace Index

  C O L U M N S
Two-Minute Meditations
Making Life Work
The Caring Touch
Motivation for the Marketplace
Special Feature
Heart Gallery
Daily Light
Heart Links
Heart to Heart Chat
Heart to Heart Forum
Heartlight by Email
HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996, Larry James. Used by permission.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.