Roots & Wings


Something we’ve said as parents often is we want to give our children roots and wings.

Roots are a strong foundation. We did this by…

  • having a grace-filled home – lifting up each other with our words and forgiving quickly when needed
  • maintaining a strong and loving marriage – this is probably most difficult when kids are young and need a lot of attention, but we parent as a team and keep the fire alive
  • providing appropriate boundaries when they were young
  • letting them know they are always welcome at home – even when they no longer live in our home

Wings are the freedom to grow to being on their own. We did this by…

  • giving them opportunities to make their own decisions – with larger consequences as they grew up
  • widening the boundaries as they got older – such as later curfews
  • encouraging them to do things on their own and with friends – including road trips once they could both drive
  • giving them additional “life” responsibilities as the grew older – like doing their own laundry

As we near empty-nest season, we are so thankful for God’s grace to sustain us through the time of giving our girls roots and wings. We, too, had to trust God’s grace in our own parenting often.

The church has the same responsibility.

If there are only a few leaders year after year and if people feel they can just show up and be served year after year, it would be like having your forty-five year old children still living at home as if they are still ten years old. We recognize that’s just not healthy in our biological families, why should it be any different in our spiritual families?

As the church we all need to recognize this dynamic. Leaders need to provide roots and wings. Others need to develop roots and wings. This is healthy discipleship. This makes for healthy families and healthy churches.

If you’re interested in more on how this may look here’s a video – Simple Church.

Let’s talk about it –

How are you providing or developing roots and wings within your family and within the church?


2 thoughts on “Roots & Wings

  1. This is a more difficult concept to learn and adopt the older we get, methinks. If it is embedded in us as children, that system of progressive responsibility and maturity is second nature, but if not… It requires labor-some adjustments, usually at very difficult times. I think that’s one of the important aspects of church community- to help with adjustments like these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good thoughts, Phil. In thinking about this within the church context, this may be why so many believers never really “take flight.” They have grown up in a system that may provide roots but not wings. What do we see Jesus doing with the church? He often sent them out – He allowed (forced? 😳) them to test their wings, to strengthen their wings. Then, as the crowning step, He fills them with His Spirit – He provides the power source for their flight. I have to now wonder if some of our structures are now clipping wings, putting us into comfortable “cages”, providing everything for our consumeristic mentalities to just show up and sit down. Have we forgotten that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, FROM THE DEAD, lives within us? It is time to remember we have both roots and wings!


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