When we travelled the South Island earlier this year, one family we stayed with was a definite stand out for us.
They are a homeschooling family with 8 children. We only spent a short time with them on their 5-acre section but were amazed at the joy, character and Godliness of the whole family. Talking to their teenage children was a welcome change from most teenagers we have met before (who were surly, self-absorbed and sometimes plain rude). Instead, they were mature, passionate about life and very respectful of their parents.
One of the things we had struggled with while raising our family is the worry about whether our children will rebel when they become teenagers. The common belief is that there is nothing you can do to prevent this and all you can do is pray that they will come back to the Lord after their rebellious phase.
We asked the family about this “rebellious phase” and they said that none of their children had ever gone through it.
When we came home we started re-evaluating where we were heading as a family and as disciples of Christ.
We were unsatisfied with simply having our own house and a lot of possessions. We had also become frustrated at having no effective way to disciple new believers after leading them to be born again. We didn’t want to just let them be sucked up by the church system which is, at best, very slow to lead people into maturity and at worst, actually prevents people from maturing in their faith.
We realised that the answer to these issues was living with other believers in community.
We know that there will be challenges and it will be a humbling time of learning to live together. But we believe it is where God is leading us.
We will learn:
- to share resources instead of simply trying to provide for ourselves, and
- how to raise our children in a Godly way.
Most importantly we can imitate the early church as recorded in Acts chapter 2:
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added daily those who were being saved.”
We are currently in the process of selling our possessions. Our house is now on the market and hopefully sold by Christmas.
The plan is to move to this new place early next year (2020). We will be living with another mature family of faith with a view to create a place of learning, worship and refuge for those that need it.
We will keep you updated on our progress in future blogs.