I often speak of the unbelievable support and benefit of having my family so close by. 39 members of my family living in the Austin area. 32 within a five-mile radius. We are an anomaly, no doubt. Functional marriages, happy kids, love for Jesus, and a desire to actually spend time with one another. I can safely say that nearly every day I speak to at least two or three family members, (and I only get sick of them sometimes). We are in community with one another, raising kids together, and are each others' first go-to in times of joy and celebration, and in times of need or sorrow.
I know that not everyone has this. It's a blessing.
What is probably an African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," is also backed by scripture. Yes, it's nice to have my brother and his wife take my kids so I can get a date night with my husband. And it's so cool that my kids have tons of cousins that are their first best friends, and that we all love each others' kids as if they were our own. But I think it takes a village to get through life, too. Not just in the kid department. And this is where the scripture comes in.
Where kids need discipline and reinforcement through love and acceptance, we as adults also need people who speak truth into our lives. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
If you don't have the benefit of close family, you probably have (or need to build) a spiritual family. People who are in your lives, in your kids lives, in your business. And people who have investment in your well being. People who carry your burdens, and whose burdens you carry. Whether it is spiritual burdens, financial burdens, child-rearing burdens, or burdens of sin, as the context of the scripture presents.
Don't get me wrong. We all need to carry our own load. We're not to continue in being a burden (see v 4 and 5). But don't be surprised when your load becomes light because of all those around you who are carrying similar burdens in close proximity. That's what happens when you live in true fellowship.
Today, I am reminded what a gift I have. I love my village. I thank God for each person.