We need every different voice: men, women, the older, younger, all the family.
If we isolate ourselves from others (whatever “other”) then we get weird and wrong headed.
Grandparents, parents, children can all join together to do great things. I saw my dad and his granddaughter working on a project. It was beautiful. At one moment three generations were working together, pulling in the same direction, and this should be normal.
We need to hear Nina, equal to the Apostles, and Holy Constantine, equal to the apostles. Our roles are different, but our voices are necessary, all our voices, to hear the image of God. Male and female God made us and so male and female must be at the table.
When we can, let us model multi-generational work that is friendly to child raising! We can find ways to work together. Are we friendly to older folk? Do we find ways to hear their wisdom and involve them in our activities?
Travel globally, read historically, and one sees that the family is an economic unit. The family farm divided labor by who could do what and generations worked together. Why shouldn’t we do the same? Like the villages in traditional Greece, we can all work together so each gift is maximized.
A simple, practical, way any Christian school and college (and shouldn’t many of us be K-16?) can help is to make sure that everyone in a family can use all their gifts by having free or heavily subsidized on-site childcare that simultaneously maximizes how often parents can be with their children and allows them to exercise their God given skills.
What if we all helped as we can?
Some can mind children, some can do web design, some can teach college students. All of us can pray together and nobody has to be kept to one job, role, or task all the time. We can lead here, because traditional Christianity is heading for life in a city: a community kept in safety for all time. We are not afraid, but motivated by love. As a result of our end goal, we should be setting up intentional communities that maximize perspectives and the utilization of every gift.
Most people have multiple talents. A good feature of the family farm or nomadic community is the ability for all people to use whatever gifts they have. The person who can does! There are many jobs the community must do and any community member who can do the job is enabled to do that job. If you can tar the roof, then like my great-grandmother in old age, you tar the roof.
We need to emulate that cultural ideal. We have made a mistake, a deadly error, when we say to someone in our communities: “You are just this role.” Nobody merely is a job or particular task and everyone has numerous gifts. The reduction of anyone to a job, or a single task, is a massive waste of talent leaving aside the immorality.
Fear God, but no man or ideology. Love men, because they are weak. This is the basis of a community and so we serve rather than being served. How can we help extended families work and pray together?