When Moses told the nation of Israel to follow God’s commandments and “impress them on your children,” (Deut. 6:7) he was not speaking just to parents but to an entire community. He knew individual families were vulnerable. He knew that a family was only as strong as its community. He knew they would need each other in almost every way if their faith was to be passed on from generation to generation.
In the context of struggling with sin, the Bible tells us to carry each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). Yet, most parents try to take care of their problems themselves to avoid embarrassment or imposition.
In our individualized, isolationist culture, parents may communicate cautiously about their struggles, but still continue to deal with them alone. Recently, after listening to a couple painfully share their family struggles, I asked, “At what point have you asked someone in your community to carry your burden by coming to your home for a few hours so you could get out and connect with each other or with Jesus?”
Their confused look preceded a quick response, “We could never do that! That would be too much to ask.”
As a result of this desire to not “ask too much”, parents often deny their family the outside support that they need, and the body of Christ loses the opportunity to function as God designed it.
Actually sharing the joyful labor of raising your lively children may not be easy. But choosing to open up about your challenges can allow the body of Christ to be an emotional and practical source of encouragement. You can either refuse to “impose” on anyone and struggle on alone, or you can invite someone to help you carry the burden.
The choice is up to you.