The Expository Files.

"It Takes A Village"  

Mantras of the 90's (#1)

New Series for '97

A mantra is defined as -- "...simply a word or phrase which, when repeated, influences the human mind." 1 In keeping with this, advertising slogans and jingles are mantras. The term is more generally used to describe those chants used in yoga or Oriental mystery religions.

Transcendental Meditation is essentially a mantric art. When you are taught TM, you are given a personal mantra - a couple of words, or a phrase that may or may not have meaning. The alleged purpose is to get in tune with your "personal vibrations." Various phrases are associated with Buddhism; one common mantra is translated, "Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus." In the Islamic religion, there is the common mantra: "Hua allahu alazi lailaha illa Hua," which is translated, "He is God and there is no other God than He." Mantras became popular because of their usefulness in creating alleged changes in consciousness. They are an integral part of Eastern religions and the current New Age school of thought.

In our society, there are certain sayings or slogans that take on great power and influence merely through repetition. For Example ...

"It Takes A Village"

About a year ago a new book was released by Mrs. Clinton. It is about children, and what she believes it takes to raise them. In her view, "It Takes A Village."

Actually, she did not coin the phrase. It is an oft-repeated African proverb which has become the mantra of every international women's conference (Cairo, Beijing). The phrase captures the view championed by feminists and the "politically correct police."

The original African slogan was offered from the context of the ideal group of people surrounding a child and contributing to his early education and training: grandparents, friends, teachers and others who in many ways supplement the primary care and oversight of the parents. Mrs. Clinton grants that "parents bear the first and primary responsibility for their sons and daughters." Then, in her description of this "village," she goes far beyond friends, neighbors and extended family to include all the agencies, government projects and social institutions she advocates. One reviewer said, "By the end of the book, it appears that Mrs. Clinton has never met a government program she didn't like," (Kerby Anderson). 2

What is needed to raise children? Must parents depend upon day care centers, educrats, bureacrats and humanistic programs?

It takes a sense of obligation and respect toward God.
There are certain things we do for our children, and basic needs we provide for them, unconditionally, because we have made a commitment to God as parents. We bear the responsibility of parents, because we have made an earlier decision to please the Lord. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it," (Psa. 127:1).

It takes love.
There is a natural affection, a love parents have for their children that is unlike any other relational bond. In the absence of this love ("without natural affection," Rom.
1:31), the best village enjoys little power in raising children. Children need fathers and mothers who love them (Titus 2:4).

It takes moral conviction.
If we put up with rudeness and defiance; if we just "let them" act out of rebellion and selfishness, we demonstrate no moral courage and further - our tolerance of their rudeness only produces more of the same in them. On the basis of obligation to God and the moral conviction and courage that produces, we will set high goals, resist lawlessness and accompany all our efforts with prayer.

It takes patience.
Sometimes we will find ourselves under tremendous pressure to give up; to run out of patience, and assume the worst possible fate for our children. Throughout God's word we are repeatedly told that people who have made mistakes can resurrect their lives from wrongdoing, be forgiven and change. Even after horrible mistakes and long struggles, young people can change, mature, repent and make us proud. "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged," (Col. 3:21).

It takes the influence of Godly examples.
When the apostle Paul remembered the faith of Timothy, he immediately thought of two great women who had illustrated faith in God to Timothy from his infancy. Paul wrote to Timothy, and commended his faith, "...which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded in you also ... that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," (2 Tim. 1:5 & 2 Tim. 3:15).

"Hillary Clinton says it takes a village to raise a child, but the real 'village' is founded on strong parents, supported by family, friends, churches, schools and the
local community. Big government isn't a village. And bureaucrats in Washington are not better able to make decisions for children than loving parents. The village must be an environment in which families are supported and strengthened. The problem today IS the village. Cultural pollution, crime, violence, liberal government policies, sexually explicit images, unresponsive educators, and anti-faith bigotry are among the 'village forces' that work against families trying to teach their children right from wrong and trying to give them a sense of the American dream." 3

Body, Mind & Spirit, by Eileeen Campbell & J.H. Brennan; 1994, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc. p.#145,146.
Kerby Anderson quote from the computer homepage of Dallas/Ft. Worth Heritage. She is an author, broadcaster, and CEO of Probe Ministries, Richardson, TX.
Gary Bauer (quoted in Family Research Council News, Jan. 29, 1996).


 By Warren E. Berkley  
From Expository Files 4.1; January 1997