Particular Benefits Only Rural Living Can Provide?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Rutherglen1794, Mar 7, 2018.

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  1. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    My family and I may have the opportunity to move from a city of 150,000 to a more rural setting in the coming year, if it be the Lord's will that everything happens accordingly.

    Do you think there are real benefits to living in a rural setting - on land with some animals and surrounded by nature, &c. - that can only be found in this type of place and lifestyle? I know a good work ethic can be taught anywhere, for example, so I don't mean that. I am looking for positives that only this lifestyle can offer.

    I am thinking mostly of my two boys (1, 1) who could grow up in a busy, expensive, soulless medium-sized city; or they could grow up on a piece of Grandpa and Grandmas land, working with their hands from a young age, spending their childhood under the open sky and amongst the trees, &c.

    I know there are multiple factors in such a decision, but would this kind of life be truly better than the city alternative?

    I myself think so, but I would appreciate any input.
  2. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    The first, second and third considerations in a move like this should be church, church and church. If you are a pastor, God's call would trump any advantages/disadvantages. If you are not, is there an excellent church you can attend? A rural church might fit the bill as well as a city church, but in a rural area there are likely to be far fewer to choose from. A number of people on this board travel a distance to get to a good church, and I suspect most of them would prefer not to have to drive so far and lament the difficulty of being thoroughly involved from a distance.
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  3. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    It absolutely is more beneficial. I grew up in a tiny town in the south on a big piece of land where my grandpa would have us doing work outside to help him build his barn, working on the landscaping, etc. My brother and I would play outside a lot riding bikes, playing "Army", running around with our dogs, it was amazing when I look back.

    Now I live in DC and I wish I could go back to an area like that. Unfortunately, my work background keeps me tied to this area but now I have a one month old daughter that I keep thinking would have a much better time if she had a yard and a place to just walk out and run around instead of being cramped in this house on top of house environment. If God gives you an opportunity like this, go for it. I know God has me here for right now, but I hope one day he'll open that door for me (although it might take my wife some convincing since she loves being around people).

    The only downside is being in a small town means there's much less to do and less people, which introduces more bored teenagers who go to drinking and drugs to resolve their boredom, and more adult people who know each other and (from what I experienced) a lot more gossip that floats around. You would just need to be careful that you stay true to God's word and make sure your kids and spouse are too. And I'm not sure what kind of area you're looking of moving to, but the small towns in the "Bible-belt" are mostly sinner's prayer churches which is why so many people call themselves Christian down there that aren't (most of my friends went to church every Sunday and youth group every Wednesday, said the sinners prayer at some point, and then had absolutely no outward signs of Christ in them. This might be happening in churches everywhere, but my point is it is very prominent in the small towns around where I grew up.

    I hope this helps and please reach out if you have other questions!
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Here are the 'advantages' I can think of:

    1) Limited access to good churches. How many threads have we seen over the years from folks in rural areas that don't have access to good churches. Compare that to the Dallas Metroplex where there is wide access to true churches (more or less pure).

    2) Limited access to advanced medical care. (Depending on how remote, perhaps limited access to any medical care). Probably not something someone in their 20s or 30s would focus on. Until they had to.

    3) Limited access to public safety. Compare the response times of the local volunteer fire department to a professional department in a suburban area. And if the deputy is at the far end of his patrol zone when your wife calls 911, she better be prepared to deal with the threat herself.

    4) Limited social interaction for your children.

    And a stroll in the woods might give you an opportunity to interact with a meth maker or a commercial pot grower, depending on the location.
  5. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    My parents have not yet bought their land, nor are they sure where it will be, so the particulars of church and work can't be figured out yet.

    That is why I just want to contrast rural and city life at this point.
  6. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    Fair enough, but now is the time to be thinking of that, before they purchase the property. Too many people fall in love with a location (for all kinds of understandable reasons), move there and then discover that there is no good church. That can happen in a city as well, but as Edward underlined, your options in a city context are generally more abundant, and so it would be especially important to think about churches if you are choosing to relocate to a rural area. Any other benefits of rural life are considerably secondary, if that is not present.
  7. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I grew up on a ranch in Montana. For a lot of years my wife and I lived in Tacoma WA and I worked in Seattle.

    Now we live in a pretty rural area.

    The most important factor for our move: the location of our current church, which our Tacoma church planted almost two decades ago. Without that, we would not have moved here.

    I think priority should be church location over everything else. I've seen a lot of "back to the land" Christians end up being subsumed by their land and dropping church.
  8. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have to concur with everyone. We had mostly Arminian and charasmatic churches, only had one PCA church in the area, and no Reformed Baptist churches so that was the issue. An even smaller area than mine would have probably have none. Definitely keep that in mind.
  9. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I understand. That is the biggest decision involved in this.

    Where we live currently is within a valley, and if the rural destination was still within the valley, our current church would still be accessible.

    So it could come down to weighing the positives vs longer drive to church. Unless, of course, my parents buy a in a valley or two over; in which case there will not be a good church nearby.

    We currently live in Kelowna, in the attached map. The towns to the south aren't overly far away. IMG_2588.PNG
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  10. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    You can sometimes get the best of both worlds, depending on proximity to job and your area. Around here, a good way to do that would be to work in a suburb, and then you can go further out and get a bunch of land for cheap, but be close to the suburb for work and shopping (and church if necessary). My church is in a relatively rural location (has farmers and other people with a lot of land in the congregation too), but within 30 minutes of a lot of job opportunities.
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Kelowna actually sounds about the ideal size - large enough to have basic amenities without the issues of a big city. And a short drive to fairly remote terrain.

    It looks like there is a PCA church up in Vernon. I think there used to be a work in Kamloops, but I don't see any sign of it on the denominational map.
  12. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you for the responses. It definitely is a multifaceted decision.
  13. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    #1 could definitely be an issue depending how far from Kelowna we were.

    As far as the others, I don't think those, particularly 2+3 are issues as the area is well stocked with first responders and hospitals. The living location would most likely not be too far into the mountains; rather, on the fringe of a smaller community, which is itself fairly close to a bigger centre.
  14. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    It really does come down to where is a good church, and unfortunately they are few and far between here. The hope is my parents would stay close enough to Kelowna to commute to church in a reasonable time.
  15. Braden

    Braden Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm having difficulty understanding; the decision seems to come down to where your parents are buying their property, but you seem to have your own wife and kids. Are you only moving to be near them? Are they Christian (it doesn't seem they're concerned with a good Church but I could be totally misunderstanding that)? What do you do for work - can it be done remotely or are you some sort of tradesperson or labourer?

    Edit: do you live with your parents?
  16. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    In this part of the country, there are no true suburbs, and there is no cheap land. That is part of our potential predicament; the cost of living in this valley is huge, hence the desire to move on parents land.
  17. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have a wife and kids.

    We live in an expensive city that can hardly be afforded; my parents currently live here too.

    My parents are looking to buy some land, which we would like to live on if possible.

    I currently work doing building maintenance, but have no certifiable, transferable skills to ensure good work elsewhere.

    Parents are not concerned about a church. (mom Christian, dad not)
  18. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    The issues Kelowna has are expensive houses and and expensive rent.

    We could not afford the cheapest house in town by a long shot, and even rent (not ideal) is a recognized regional issue for its high price. More than I make a month to rent an old, small house.

    It is ballooning in population and a tourist town, so it's a hectic, expensive city crammed into a valley that can't handle it, with road systems that weren't built for it.
  19. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    So far we have agreed upon:

    1) Living close to a good church is of the utmost importance.

    And whether or not there are particular benefits of living and raising children on the land is up in the air, depending upon who you ask.

    Let me try another question:

    Could an argument be made from Scripture that raising children on the land does have definite benefits for the children? Not necessarily a monopoly on these advantages, but advantages nonetheless.

    I think of things such as developing a good work ethic; being immersed in God's creation more often, as opposed to buildings and roads; valuable skills can be learned (animal husbandry, use of tools, ability to build and work with hands);
    growing up knowing nothing of the hustle and bustle of city life, with its perpetual busyness and discontentment/American Dream obsession.
  20. beloved7

    beloved7 Puritan Board Freshman

    Less crime, lower taxes, and peace and quiet certainly do come to mind. Like anything, there are pros and cons. I would much rather live in a rural area than a city.
  21. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    As far as spiritual advantages, I can see none to being in the country versus a city: it is God who has appointed man's dwelling places, and His arm is not shortened that He cannot bless those in a city as well as those in the country. There are dangers to the soul in both places, but God's goodness is also in every place, even though you should walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or if you should take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea.
    I personally have a horror both of cities with their thugs and of the countryside with its rednecks and livestock and all. I would prefer a small seaside town, if I could find one where there were no other people nearby. But still a bunch of good stores close enough to walk to, since I hate driving cars, but abhor public transportation. And a good Reformed Baptist church around the corner.....
  22. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    The closest to a Scriptural argument would be a general principle of wisdom lived out and applied in a rural setting.
  23. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't believe there is such a thing in Scripture. Wisdom can be lived out in metro areas too.
  24. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    That's what I mean. Wisdom can be applied anywhere, only it may look different in different places.
  25. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I guess all of the big rural advocates are too busy feeding their chickens to post!
  26. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    You seem to be seeking validation for your position (which you generally aren't getting.)

    Do either you or your parents have any useful experience in the business of running a farm? Can they buy the land for cash, or will they need a loan? Animals or crops, and do they have a comprehensive business plan, or is this a disaster waiting to happen?

    Instead of going rural, you should look toward a more urban location where you might be able to learn skills which might enable you to better care for your family. Or perhaps the oil fields. With oil over $60 a barrel, the tar sands might be viable again. Although I looked it up, and around here, building maintenance engineers average a little over $21 US an hour (eqv $27 Canadian).
  27. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    These things are too far from the original intent of my post. When it comes to making a decision, yes these are all important factors. But all I wanted to talk about is if, and how, the rural life can be better than the city, especially for children.
  28. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I spent some of my childhood in a rural setting on our family farm about 10 miles outside of a town of 4000. Much of it I loved. Many boys would. I like the outdoors, ATVs, telescopes, hunting, fishing, guns, archery and so forth. We always had a 4wd vehicle to get into town. Though my family doesn't farm anymore I wouldn't mind living in country provided a solid church (and gainful employment) was nearby.
  29. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I'm a country boy through and through. I've also had a small vineyard and raised chickens in a city. Setting doesn't matter a whole lot for raising up children, I think.

    I learned all sorts of things on farms and ranches, and I had a lot of self-directed fun, but I'd say a majority of the practical things I learned could be learned anywhere.

    My Dad taught me to respect elders, to be diligent, to be prompt. He also got me started on electrical wiring, woodworking, mechanics, construction. We remodeled lots of houses growing up. My mom made sure I knew my multiplication tables and English grammar by the third grade, and she taught me basic cooking.

    I grant that my small town high school was impressive in shop, math, science, and English. I learned to weld, run lathes and milling machines, overhaul engines, grind valves, plus I learned how to derive Euler's identity, the foundations of trigonometry, and how to do basic stoichiometric chemical analysis.

    So I think that was pretty good--but then I met a friend who grew up near New York City who did all of that plus he got to be on the swim team--something we didn't have.

    There may be good personal preference reasons for moving out of the urban environment, and I wouldn't gainsay those. Expense might be a point. But a rural environment is no panacea. For what it's worth: I've been a criminal defense attorney in the city, and now in the country. Crime is here, it's just as bad, and, in some senses, closer to the average person than in the denser areas.
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  30. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    No problem. It's incredibly important to do what's financially responsible for your family but you also have a duty as the head of their household to provide them with good spiritual fellowship so having a good church body is of upmost importance. If you have to drive a good bit, so be it. I was driving 40 minutes to my previous church. Sound teaching is too rare to compromise.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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