Here’s a question where it would be nice to hear some of your input. Jul asked, “I am wondering where are some good larger family friendly cities/states to live in? I cannot tell you how long I’ve been praying for the Lord to send Godly mentors our way and, I find it a rather dismal commentary on our times, that it’s pretty rare to find in one’s own community.”
I’d like to focus this answer on the what I think is the more important aspect, finding Godly mentors.
It’s much less about being “larger family friendly” and much more about finding an area where there is a community of believers who are passionately committed to the Word of God. If you find a community of believers who are passionately committed to following Christ, they will be large family friendly.
Mark and I have been talking about this a lot, trying to put our finger on why we have such wonderful, lovely, encouraging, faith building fellowship with some groups of believers and struggle to get past a casual “Hi, how are you doing?” relationship with others.
Our conclusion has been that when you find people whose first obligation is to the Bible, everything in their lives becomes subject to that standard. They will change how they view children, how they worship God, how they educate their children, their church affiliation, how they live their life, they will change everything to be more conformed to the Scriptures.
These Christians will change their lives in order to build relationships with other Christians and this is what we’re talking about when we talk about mentors, other Christians who are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to build the faith of others.
This type of commitment is unusual in Christians today. Most Christians do not believe that Christianity will change our lives, churches and the world, but if it doesn’t then it’s not true Christianity.
We’ve been very welcomed and loved in places with mostly smaller families and we’ve been in places with mostly larger families where we felt isolated and alone.
So what are some signs of people who are passionate about following God’s Word wherever it leads?
- They rejoice in being with other believers and make time in their lives for fellowship with other Christians. (John 13:35) They are committed to hospitality. (Romans 12:13, 1 Tim. 3:2, Titus 1:8, Heb. 13:2, 1 Pet. 4:9)
- The men primarily choose to talk about doctrine, God, the Bible and how it impacts their worship, food, education, activity choices, budget, children, etc. They don’t just about sports and work. They do not shy away or avoid talking about difficult issues because they are passionate about iron sharpening iron and learning God’s truth.
- They are unafraid to admit they are wrong and to change course.
- The men, especially church leaders, are characterized by a humble, sacrificial, servant-leadership.
You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.” ~ Mark 10:35
- Their lives and families will look different than the world, at least here in the God hating culture of America.
- They are committed to sacrificially serving each other in the name of Christ because they realize that everything they have is from God and it to be used to serve Him by serving others.
All of that said, perhaps a good place to start looking for a specific larger family friendly area (and more importantly a church that is passionately committed to following Christ), is the NCFIC website.
The NCFIC website provides a directory of family-integrated churches. When you click on a specific church you can see what that church believes, their style of worship, their denomination, etc. They also provide contact information so that you can speak to someone directly.
Mark and I have lived in Kingsport and Bristol Tennessee and Bristol Virginia (all one area) and then in Knoxville, TN. In both areas we’ve found churches and communities that fit what I described above.
Do you live in an area that is large family friendly? What tips do you have?
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Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to find out what questions they are answering:
KimC at Life in a Shoe talks about courtship, dental bills and diapers.
Connie at Smockity Frocks offers room sharing and tub toy storing tips.
Headmistress at The Common Room shares family updates, managing socks and how to get the 4 Moms Parenting ebook on Kindle.
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.