My friend Jean has an encouraging blog and last week she linked to several online articles, blogs and commentaries that she had found helpful. This one by Kathy Keller (married to Tim) came via The Gospel Coalition and it was a thought provoking read for me for several reasons.
I grew up in the country and at 18 years old fled, ran…not really looking back. The city held all the allure and appeal of a ‘real’ life for me. Real people, places, experiences, university, friendships, music, food, culture and more. Thankfully, by the grace of God the partying did not last long and a wonderful group of faithful young people including Jean, helped me find Christ in my city life! The city was then my home for many many years. And then because of my man’s work we had a short stint in London (which to this day is a lifetime highlight!) and then back to the country, to the place where I grew up.
Our home town is no more than ten thousand people. It is country, regional and conservative. There have been days, weeks, years when I have found being in the country difficult – and yes, there will be another whole post about that. But we love the city even more now because we can go back and visit and taste and see all the great stuff. We visit with family and close friends, we take our children to favourite places – a cafe, a park – and we drive past our old houses and reminisce.
Kathy Keller’s apprehension about raising three children in New York is worth reading and contemplating. How does our place, our home, our town or city impact on how we raise and encourage our kids? Have you ever thought about this? For many of us we don’t have a choice. But it is great to read how someone has seen good in what she thought was going to be a difficult situation. She begins like this:
In 1988 when Tim first mentioned the idea of us going to Manhattan to plant a church, I reacted by laughing. Take our three wild boys (the victims of below-average parenting, as well as indwelling sin) to the center of a big city? Expose them to varieties of sin that I hoped they wouldn’t hear about until, say, their mid-30s? My list of answers to “What is wrong with this picture?” was a long, long one.
I would love to know what you think about the city life for your kids. I will share some ideas about country life here this week.