CARING FOR KIDS TAKES TEAMWORK!--"Who is My Mother? Who is My Father?"--Mat.12:50 Maria #141 DO 2670 11/90
1. I was rather surprised when I heard the reactions of some of our leaders to the Techi GNs & realised that the main lesson that some of them were drawing from these GNs was that the flesh parents needed to get more involved with their own children.--"Mama, you're leading the way & setting a great example for the whole Family that the parents need to spend more time with their children!" I must say I was taken a little aback by that, since it had not even entered my mind that this would be one of the conclusions drawn.
2. The major point that I was expecting them to get from the series was, "Now we see that we need to take more time with our children! We need to take time with our children to establish a good, open channel of communication, which will greatly help in dispelling their doubts, worries & fears, answering their questions & increasing their faith." The emphasis was supposed to be on "taking time" & what kind of time to take, instead of on who should take it.
3. In publishing these Techi GNs, it wouldn't have mattered if I was the mother or the childcare helper or the Aunt; the whole point I was trying to make was that children need time & open communication with someone! We would have still published this series if Sara or Dora had been the one talking to Techi. The reason I got involved in the first place was not because Techi needed her flesh mother to talk to her, it was because her precious foster parents were asking questions & needed counsel about how to handle the difficult problems that had come up.
4. I honestly didn't really know what to do any more than they did, but we prayed about it together & we discussed it together. Then, in order to really find out for myself what the problems were, I started talking to Techi. Following the direction the Lord was leading us, I was able to answer her questions openly, help her express her doubts & fears, show her how to fight them, & help her to see the great rewards that result from honesty & openness.
5. I believe that the Lord could have shown Gabe & Amy how to proceed, just as well as He showed me. But because He knew the whole World needed this instruction & counsel, He wanted me to get involved, so I could pass this counsel on, & give an example of how to do it. He knew that in the eyes of the Family, it would carry more weight & authority if it came directly from the King & Queen.
6. But if we are going to conclude that the major problems our kids are having are a result of their biological parents not getting involved enough with them & leaving their spiritual training to others, then I am very much at fault too!--And I would be considered very delinquent & negligent with Techi for the past 11 years! If the main conclusion we draw from the Techi Letters is that the natural parents must continually spend a great deal of time with their children, the fact that Dad & I have not been doing this with Techi for 11 years would make us very delinquent in our responsibilities for all that time! Have we been? And if we have been delinquent & if we should have been spending our time with David & Techi, how could we have been spending it with all of you, our spiritual children?
7. Those who have taken care of our children have loved them & cared for them as real parents, because Dad & I were busy loving & caring for all of you as real parents! I consider that our children have had wonderful parents, parents who, in many ways, were much more capable than I was. They loved the children, they loved to be with them, they had creativity & imagination. I don't think they could have loved them any more if they had been their own children & they were the flesh parents.
8. The Lord has made us one Family, One Wife, & given us children who belong to all of us. He has patterned our Family after the Book of Acts, where all who believed were together & had all things common, including our children. He has given us a Family in which we share what we have; we share our homes, we share our finances, we share our clothes, we share our food, we share love, we share the Word, & we should share the responsibility for our children. We share the joy of our children in our Homes & the life & hope & happiness that they bring. We share the teaching of our children with others, so why shouldn't we share the spiritual responsibility for them as well?
SHARING THE LOAD OF CARING FOR KIDS!
9. Are we living by the Book of Acts or aren't we?--"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Those with the most ability, those who are the most capable, should be the ones who do the job. We usually take our best teachers to teach our children, our best provisioners to do the provisioning, & we try to take our best leadership to be the heads of our countries, our best singers to do our musical performances etc. If some of our parents are best at administration & shepherding Homes, then it follows that someone who is best at training & caring for children should be with their kids.
10. I have always felt that those who cared for my children were much more capable than I was in that area, whereas I was more capable in the area of shepherding the Family. Therefore it seemed to work out much better when we each stayed in our ministry & our responsibility & the role in which the Lord had put us. If I'd had to be responsible for the fulltime spiritual care of my children, I would not have been able to accomplish nearly as much in the spiritual care of the worldwide Family.
11. If I'd had the fulltime care of David when he was young, I certainly would not have been able to spend much time on the worldwide Family. Likewise with Techi, if I'd been trying to care for her at the same time that I was trying to help Dad with his ministry, both would've suffered.
12. I always figured if my children had one set of good parents, then they didn't need two or three sets! Of course, they always knew we were Mommy & Daddy Number One, & they enjoyed the little bit of time that we could spend with them whenever we did. But we were very satisfied that those who were caring for our children loved them as much as we did & were capable, with our oversight, of caring very well for them.
13. Our responsibility, we felt, was to see that those who cared for our children were cared for, & that they had an open channel of communication with us so that we could discuss & agree on the children's training. But it was more important for us to spend time with them than even with the children, since in instructing them, we were able to instruct many others--either through our own writings, or through theirs. Whereas the time we could have spent with the children could be filled by others as well.
14. I guess the question comes down to, "Are we one Family or aren't we? Do these children the Lord has given us belong to all of us, or don't they? Does the responsibility of our children fall on all of us or doesn't it?" Though our children, of course, have only one set of natural parents, they can have many spiritual parents. All of us can play some part in their spiritual parenting. Do we really believe that these in this Family are our mothers & fathers & brothers & sisters (& sons & daughters)--these who do the Will of our Father in Heaven?--Mat.12:50.
15. Once we establish that these children belong to all of us & God holds us all responsible, regardless of who physically bore them, we'll have a little more to work with, a few more people to work with, & we won't be giving all the responsibility--physical, intellectual & spiritual--to only the flesh parents. Even the System knows they have to share the responsibility of their children with the churches & the schools.
16. However, what's everybody's responsibility is nobody's responsibility, as Dad has often said, & therefore the responsibility has to be assigned & labelled specifically so that each person knows the specific area that he or she should be responsible for. In the System this is more clearly defined, since intellectual & religious training usually take place, for the most part, outside the home. In our Family, however, because their entire training takes place within our Homes, we ourselves must define the responsibilities & who shoulders them.
HOW THE FOLKS' HOME TEAMWORKS ON CHILDCARE!
17. In our Home, everyone does what they're most capable of doing, but at the same time they all have the added responsibility of sharing in the children's care & upbringing & parenting & shepherding. All of us get into the act & all of us help whenever needed or whenever called upon. Each one has their own major ministry, but when it comes to the care of the children, some of them have a specific assignment in childcare. For example, we have one cook whose main job is cooking, but he teaches the children a class one day a week. One of our secretaries often takes Get-Out with the children, & someone else has an assigned time to have prayer vigil with the children.
18. We have Amy, whose most important responsibility is the children, although she too is involved in other ministries in the Home, but her main job is to care both physically & spiritually for the needs of the children, teaching them daily, etc. Grandpa spends time teaching a class to the children five nights a week, in addition to his other heavy spiritual responsibilities. I often have report times with Techi before bedtime & walks with David, to keep directly in touch with them.
19. Whenever problems or questions about the training of the children or about their work or about interaction between the adults & children come up, then the adults in our Home meet & discuss the children & how they can better help them. Sometimes in these meetings they discuss their own sample & how they can be better samples & shape up in certain areas so they won't be bad examples for the children. Even though they have very important jobs, our Family here knows that the children are just as major a responsibility for them as anything else, if not more so, & that if a problem comes up with the children, that takes precedence over most of their other work.
20. I don't have to involve myself daily with the children's training, because I have confidence that if problems come up, Gabe & Amy will communicate them to me & we can then counsel together & pray & find the solutions. I have confidence in their discipline of the children as well, but as in all good teamworks, we counsel together on general policies. If they discipline on the spot & later report it to us, even if we may sometimes feel that they might have been mistaken in some way, we realise that they often have to go by their faith & as they feel led. Not everyone operates the same way & people have to have freedom to do as they feel led within certain bounds.
21. It's so important that all those involved in the training of our children counsel together & agree on policies.--Educational, disciplinary, recreational--every area of childcare should be discussed & decided upon together. In fact, not only should childcare matters be agreed on like this, but all other areas of the Home as well. All such important matters take teamwork!
WHAT IS THE FLESH PARENTS' ROLE?
22. So you say, "Does all this mean that there's nothing special about being a flesh parent?--That they're no more important to their children's upbringing than anyone else?" No, please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that the natural parents don't have to take any special responsibility for their children & that others can fulfil all their children's needs equally well. I believe that our flesh parents do have a special role to play in their children's training--both physical & spiritual--just as Dad himself has pointed out for so many years.
23. First of all, as their natural parents, you give them their family name, you give them their legal status as a part of your little family, you give them a home base, some place that they know they belong to within your little unit. You give them some connection with someone who loves them & cares about them, which they desperately need unless or until they become connected to or bonded with others in the greater Family. Furthermore, because you are the one who has a Godly inborn natural love for them, you will probably be the one most interested in their getting their needs met, & the one who will be most concerned in trying to do something about it.
24. Because of this, you will probably not only try to help them physically but will be much more concerned about helping them spiritually. If you cannot give them time & attention yourself directly, you will probably be the one who spends the most time in prayer for them & their needs. If they know you as their flesh parents & look up to you, love you & respect you as such, if they are apart from you physically you will still have the special responsibility of communicating with them at least occasionally on a regular basis to let them know that you still love them, care for them & are praying for them. (More from Mama on writing your kids coming soon, D.V.!)
25. Though some of you may be very busy with other important responsibilities, part of your responsibility is to reassure them in some way that you do love them & care about them. If you are not able to care for them in person yourself, it is your responsibility, as much as possible, to see that they are well cared for by others. Where you cannot or do not have much say or ability to do this yourself, you can certainly pray for those who care for them. You can be assured & comforted that the hand of God working in your children's lives & the lives of those who care for them, can do much more than you could ever do in the arm of the flesh.
26. What you can do, you should do; what you can't do, the Lord will do for you. But one thing you can always do is pray, regardless of the circumstances, whether your children are in your care or in someone else's, whether they're with you or apart from you. One of the most important things you can do is to pray for them. This is one of the most important responsibilities that God has given you as their biological parent. Prayer is the responsibility of all of us, of course, but God knew that the flesh parents would have an added incentive & motivation because of their natural inborn love & concern for their children, & He expects them to do just that.
27. So yes, the natural parents are very important & must get involved as much as possible in their children's lives. But all of our other Family members are going to have to get just as much involved because we are all called of the Lord to be parents! When He gives us this many children, we must all be parents, & we must all ask the Lord to give us a vision for our children.
28. In our Home, the reason I have been able to attend to my other ministries is because there have been enough people to parent our children, so that Dad & I were not required to help so much in their care. The Lord, of course, allowed & privileged us with this extra help because we had to be free to do what only we could do in shepherding the entire Family. However, in our Homes worldwide there are so many children that the few good childcare helpers & foster parents are unable to do the entire job on their own, & the children suffer because they are not able to receive enough personal time & attention. Therefore there is no alternative but that their flesh parents help in physically giving some of their time, along with everyone else.
29. We're all going to have to do it because we have so many children to care for! It's going to take all of us. That is the primary reason that we're all going to have to get directly involved in some way. If we had just a few children, it would be easier for the natural parents to care for them. But because so many of our mommies have so many children, they can't possibly do it alone, even if their full time is devoted to their children. And how much more do they need help & understanding if they have another important ministry? I believe we all have to share the responsibility & divide the load among us, so that everyone will have some responsibility.
30. The point I'm trying to get across is, yes, we do need to get the parents involved.--But all our parents!--Not just the flesh parents. Everyone needs to take the responsibility for our children, we all need to be assigned specific responsibilities for our children, & we all need to love & be concerned for & pray for our children. They are our most important possessions. They are God's little children, & He's made us responsible for them, & one day He's going to make us account for what we have done with them.
31. We're the only way He has of training & shepherding & parenting them. He's expecting us to do a good job of it, & He's holding us all responsible for the children He's given us. Each one of us is going to have to give an account to God for what we've done with our children. Have we played our part--no matter how large or small--faithfully, diligently, lovingly & responsibly? Have we done our best to help our children?
MAMA'S "REPORT TIMES" WITH TECHI!
32. Some people have expressed surprise at how much time we've spent with Techi, personally counselling her & listening to her. I suppose it's true that cumulatively we have spent a lot of time with her, but we're not spending nearly as much time with her now as we did when she was having such severe battles. This is another point I want to bring out--that we don't always have to spend the same amount of personal time with our children.
33. After they're on the right track & after they've gotten their questions answered & their fears allayed & their doubts dispelled, most children don't need constant personal counselling sessions. Most of them can probably do fine in their groups, & in their Word times & their pow-wow times, if they're getting the kind of in-depth training & spiritual education that they need. They may not have to have this intensive, individual counselling except when they have a problem, or except when they have questions.
34. But as we said before, I still think they need a regular time, at least once a week--no matter who they are or no matter how problem-free they seem--to have some time that they know they have that opportunity for open communication with an adult who can help them.--Because kids are always bound to have some kind of problems come up! But unless they're having major problems, I don't think they have to have that extra, personal heart-to-heart talk every single night. I think that's a luxury, & I don't know that we're going to all be able to do that all the time. We have so many other important jobs to do for the Lord.
35. Maybe initially with our JETTs & Teens who have stored up so many things inside & probably have so many questions & fears & doubts & worries & misunderstandings that they need to get off their hearts, maybe that's what it's going to take, just like it did with Techi. But now that she is very well on her way to recovery--in fact, almost completely healed, & has won great victories in these areas--her regular Word time & her regular pow-wow time with the others in our Home are often enough.
36. She still gets hit with worries, critical thoughts or the occasional bad picture, but now that she's won such great victories in these areas & learned to fight, now that she's learned what to do when facing these challenges to her faith, now that she's learned that she doesn't need to be afraid, she often can deal with it herself.
37. She often goes on the attack in the Spirit herself & quotes Scriptures & attacks these things in the Spirit without being so fearful & having to run to us for help. Because she has fought & overcome, the attacks are not so great now. The Enemy's lies have been dispelled & she is not hit nearly so severely with bad pictures, only occasionally. The latest attacks have mainly been worry attacks, & we're trying to teach her that she must deal with those in the same way she would with bad pictures.
38. She knows, however, that if she has a question, or if she has something she wants to ask me or Dad specifically, she can always do that. She sees us at night & she is free to have that time if she needs it. But the hour is usually quite late & often she is too tired to just sit & chat. So unless she has some important question or worry on her mind, she doesn't feel the need to have a report time.
39. She also knows that throughout the day she can talk to Gabe or Amy about anything bothering her, & she does. She knows that she doesn't have to save it for nighttime, since she's learned that she can be honest with all of us & that we share & counsel together about anything that has to do with her. Of course, if she starts to worry about something at night & I'm the one who's there, then she will ask me about it. If it's something during the daytime that she thinks of, she'll probably ask Gabe or Amy.
40. So to her, whether she asks them or whether she asks us is not that important. She knows that if they can't answer it, they'll ask me, but she's found that we usually come up with the same basic answers.
41. It's important for her to know that she always has someone that she can ask whenever she wants. But she does not now seem to need a special time every day where she pours out her heart, because she has already verbally gotten those major victories. Her normal day-to-day activities & Word studies & schedule seem to be sufficient, along with her OHR, knowing that if she asks any questions therein, she will receive an answer back shortly thereafter.
LOVE WITHOUT PARTIALITY!
42. We need to all ask the Lord to give us an impartial love for our children.--Love that can only come supernaturally from the Spirit of God! But it is possible, & some of our Family members do manifest this impartial love for the Family's children, loving children born to other Family members just as much as children that they have borne themselves. This is a supernatural love, & must come from the Lord. It often does not come easily, so we should pray for it.
43. Many parents have difficulty even loving their own children impartially, & unfortunately & very sadly, some show favouritism to some of their children over the others. To me, that is one of the saddest things I can think of, as it must deeply hurt the children who are not so favoured. And the next saddest thing is for our Family members to show their own children partiality in front of other Family children.
44. In all the times that I have observed Dad with my two flesh children, when he was with those children along with children of other Family members, I never once saw him show favouritism or partiality to David & Techi over Davida or others. Of course, if you're with your flesh children privately, that's one thing, & that's not hurting others. Or if you give your children special attention on Family day or parent time while other parents are giving their children special attention, that, of course, is perfectly all right & is not showing partiality or favouritism. But when you are with any of our Family children, you should try to treat them in a manner that will cause none of them to feel unjustly isolated or put down or neglected or shown less love than the others.
45. Now I understand that when you're with a large group of children by yourself & the little ones are demanding your attention & are crying & whining, the older ones may get shoved aside a bit just because the urgent necessity at the moment is the howling, insistent demands of the little ones! In a case like that, you can't do much about it except to explain the problem to the older children & try to find some special time for them later on. Show them that they're loved just as much & you're just as much concerned about them as the little ones who have to have their physical needs taken care of without delay.
46. I like the idea that someone proposed, that some parent days or parent times would be much easier if the parents would live the One Wife vision more & group their children together according to age groups, with some parents taking care of one age group, & other parents taking care of another age group, enabling some parents to rotate the children for special, individual walk-talk time, etc. To do this, we would really have to live the One Wife, one Family vision, to be able to treat our children impartially & without favouritism.
47. How can we teach our children what the Family is all about & what God's Love is all about, if we hang on to our flesh children selfishly & are willing to make them exceptions & favour them above the others, reserve their discipline for ourselves alone; or discipline others & not discipline our own, speak harshly to others & not to our own, or give ours gifts & not give others the same? For them to realise what God's Family is all about, we've got to go all the way, we've got to live by Acts 2:44 & 45.
48. Paul wrote Timothy, "I charge thee before God, & the Lord Jesus Christ, & the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."--1Tim.5:21. And the Bible says, "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, & easy to be entreated, full of mercy & good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy."--Jam.3:17.--Pray for the Lord's impartial love for our children!
49. We ourselves have got to live by our convictions & practice what we preach if we are going to expect them to do so. We can't have one standard for ourselves & another for them. We must not only avoid favouring some of our flesh children over any of our other flesh children, & avoid favouring our children over the children of others, but we must also beware of showing partiality to ourselves over our children, in allowing ourselves to get away with a lower, looser standard than we require of them.--Let us pray for more Godly wisdom, wisdom that is truly "without partiality & without hypocrisy!"
TEAMWORKING ON CHILDCARE!
50. To bring our children up being true to the Godly principles of our Family we must merge our manpower, we must merge our resources, we have to merge our ideas, our love, our faith--everything. If we hold back in any area, the whole plan falls apart. We've got to get together, we've got to work in teamwork & harmony & unison as one Family, all loving each other & loving our children together & equally, doing all, not for our own selfish purposes, but for the glory of God & the furtherance of His Work! Amen?--Are you? GBY! ILY!
Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family