We will be encouraging families to partner in parenting, be patient as they raise their children, be present in the raising of their children and most importantly, we will remind parents that they are role models.
In her book on parenting with purpose, Dr. Gladys Mwiti shares a proverb that helps us to understand the meaning of partnership in parenting. The author uses a Tanzanian proverb: ‘‘Two ants do not fail to pull one grasshopper.‘This means that one ant, much smaller than a grasshopper attempting to capture the larger insect for food will have difficulty, but two ants working together can pull the grasshopper with much ease and therefore enjoy a meal. The basic moral of this proverb is that when parents work together in raising their children, they are able to accomplish much more. She goes on to state that the word ‘partner’ is defined as either of a pair of people engaged together in the same activity. In this regard, partnership in parenting refers to a deliberate decision by parents to work together in raising and mentoring their children.
The modern culture we are in has to some extent affected partnerships in parenting due to the busy lifestyle many of us have found ourselves in. Most children have been left under the care of house managers and school teachers because parents lead very busy lives, something that has negatively affected them. God’s intention when He brought a man and a woman together is that they partner in raising their children. Proverbs 22:6 reminds parents to, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.’’
In our scripture reference, we see how Jesus parents worked together in raising Jesus. Every year, they would attend the Passover festival in Jerusalem, and in one instance when little Jesus remained behind and was missing for three days, Joseph and Mary worked together as they desperately searched for their son, whom they found in the temple. Their partnership, especially in ensuring little Jesus never missed the opportunity to attend the all-important Passover event is worth emulating. Scripture presents Joseph and Mary as a good team that partnered well in raising their son. Scripture also notes that Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and all people (Luke 2:52), this is the result of parents partnering to raise their children. As Gladys Mwiti s writes in her book on parenting with purpose, ‘’no fruit falls far away from the parent tree,’’ meaning that children are very much like their parents. Joseph is described as a righteous man while Mary is seen as a woman who believed in the Lord, qualities that are clearly seen in Jesus.