everyday talkby: John A. Younts published by Shepherd Press copyright 2004 151 pages
This is a great book with a needed word to parents about how to talk to their kids about God. In a world and culture that offers quick fixes and immediate results, this books reminds parents that parenting is a long haul process and the key ingredient is faithfulness.
What I liked:
Every day talk warns parents (as well as pastors and teachers) that the words we use everyday, in the normal routines of life, will have the most impact either for good or bad. God needs to be part of everyday speech. Our children need to see that the words we use, are an overflow of a heart that has been radically changed by God. It’s not a only about a system or time of family devotions, but must also be seen in the ordinary, unplanned, day-to-day conversations we have.
The question comes up, how do I plan for the unplanned, spur-of-the-moment, God-designed conversations that the book talks about? I believe that goes back to a concept that I have been reading (and thinking) more and more about: It needs to be in you, before you can pass it on to them. In other words, you as a parent, need to be so into the Gospel and Christ, that it spills over on to your children. Your heart needs to be so captivated by the Gospel that your kids see it and want it for themselves. Therefore the way you as parent prepare for the unexpected is to be the best student of the Word that you can.
The other part of the book I found extraordinarily helpful was the chapter entitled “Don’t be ordinary!” In it the author explained that “... God is not ordinary, He is holy.” pg. 63. God does not want our parenting to be ordinary, or just focused on the outward (behavior), but on having a holy response focused on His holiness and honor. As parents we fall easily into the trap of focusing on changing our kid's behavior without worrying about what is truly important; God changing their hearts. This is another concept I spend a great deal of time thinking and praying about: focusing on the heart and not behavior. The author gives great insight into how this is actually accomplished in real life. “There is no better opportunity to do this than when your children sin against you.” pg. 58. This is hard but this is what God has commanded, therefore it is He who provides the strength to accomplish it, if we trust Him.
What I didn’t like:
I wish the book were longer. I could have used more examples of how this is applied. Maybe I just need more time to digest it more fully. There was nothing I disagreed with or could have done without.
This is a great book on parenting and is a great resource for parents at any stage of parenting. It’s set up perfectly for individual, couple, or even group study. Take these words to heart and transform your family for His glory! I recommend this book for parents and pastors alike.