Monday, June 27, 2011

Babysitting for Eternity

I had a conversation today with a friend about the importance of babysitting. Releasing couples to go out, be alone, strengthen their marriages, and grow in communication. Giving them time to evaluate their lives (Eph. 5:15), their relationships, their parenting, etc.

We talked about how it's a joy and privilege to be able to, as a Single in the local church, directly build into the future church: the next generation. It is all of our responsibility to pass the Gospel onto them- whether they're our kids or not; to be an example and a light. The most direct way I can think of, is this. (Surely there are others.) But when we support marriages, we strengthen the core of the family. The parents can take a breath, gain composure, set their face to what's important: pursuing the Lord and keeping their spouse as their #1 ministry. When that is in line, parenting is far more effective. The Gospel is communicated and demonstrated more clearly. Discipline is more consistent and grace-filled. And hopefully, the result is softer hearts and better soil for the seeds to take root.

The beauty is that we are family: so we can make ourselves at home in other people's houses. Pick up toys, make meals, do dishes, bathe kids, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc. Because we "live life together" its no big deal to lend a helping hand-- just as you would at home.

We talked about how much parents need date nights. How much their kids need them to have date nights. How helpful it is when we volunteer to babysit without being asked.

...and we also talked about the importance of "taking an interest" in your babysitter. It is very easy to accidentally put a single in the "babysitter" category...forgetting they have a soul, and needs, and desire relationships too. At times, there may only be a small difference in your just happen to be seasons apart. But even then: Married couples, please invite your single friends to events even if only married couples are going. Certainly there are times you're not able...but singles still want to hang out with you. Better to be a 3rd, 5th, 7th, or 9th wheel than not be invited to something just because the title "not married yet" is held. It's best to let the one being invited say, "No thanks" instead. (Well. In my opinion.)

And, I told my friend I'd blog about our conversation.
Here ya go, Meghann. Love you.

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