Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review-What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer

For my second book, I read What is a Family by Edith Schaeffer. It was recommended by the author of A Woman after God's own heart, Elizabeth George.

It was published in the 70s and as long as you can get past the outdated references, it is a great encouragement for us (as women) to invest/foster the  family atmosphere in our home. She paints a picture of a multi-generational family reunion and uses Scripture, but draws mostly from her personal experience.

Here are the take-aways:
The home is meant to be a safe, warm, and inviting environment.

Being a wife and mother IS a career. It is "a most exciting possibility of turning the tide, of saving the species, of affecting history, of doing something that will be felt and heard in ever-widening circles." Just think both Billy Graham and Hitler were both people who changed history, we can influence the future (to a certain degree) for good or evil.

Be intentional in being a family, plan reunions, attend special occasions in person, ie. weddings, anniversaries, significant birthday celebrations, etc. If the family unit is intact and healthy, we wil have strong communities, states, and nations- it is worth fighting for. It is where people learn that they are "significant, important and worthwhile." It should be a place where children learn that they are made in the image of God and are told repeatedly about God's truths in hopes that they are saved. We need to teach them: 1)who God is, 2) what He has done, 3) what He has said, 4) what He means to you.

In regards to formal education, she says to pray that our homes will be places that keep things in persepctive and that the education received outside of the home would not "rock" our children or their understaing of God's truths.

It is important for us to realize that God can speak to our kids too and not to hinder a direction that God may be leading them even though it may not fit into our "plan" for their lives!

Be hospitable and have boundaries, ie. guard family nights, dinners, etc.

We MUST provide an "atmosphere conducive to creativity"
It is so important to our kids to RESPOND to their requests for help or to show us something, even if it is the 15th LEGO creation or whatever and to be positive.

That pretty much sums it up, if you would like to borrow it just ask. The last one was from the library.Confused smile
Sorry for the bullet points, that is how I think best these days!
Enjoy!Winking smile
sarah

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review-Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson

I chose Bringing up Girls-practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of women by Dr. James Dobson. If you have read Bringing up Boys by the same author, this one reads a bit more like a patched together commentary with each chapter almost standing alone. In it, he addresses numerous topics, ranging from teaching our daughters manners, the Disney Princess craze, Father Daughter Purity Balls, Girl Scouts of America, bullying, hormonal changes, STDs and sexual predators. Yes, he does provide some eye-opening data regarding early promiscuity and the dangers that are all around us. It is only scary if we let Satan have a foothold on our fear!

Some of the things I took away from it:

1) the HUGE role of dad's in their lives-did you know researchers have identified a hormone that is emitted by the father and sensed or smelled by the daughter. This hormone is only emitted when dad is involved, not just present in her life. This hormone, called a pheromone, can actually delay sexual maturity and the onset of menstruation! WOW, considering some girls are getting their periods at age 9.

2) Girl Scouts of the USA has changed in recent years and is no longer recommended by Dr Dobson due to their moral relativism. It was alarming when he cited things like: their definition of right and wrong-"whatever is consistent with your character," their openness to the New Age movement and the well known fact that references to "God" are optional. He mentioned that the curriculum has an anti-boy/father tone, they are not taught pride of country since the US is "antiquated and incompatible with globalism" and the scariest part- one program involves girls in the United Nations Population Fund (an effort to limit human procreation by means of abortion.

3)A list of 10 practical steps a parent should take (in regards to cyberspace, entertainment and media)-this really applies to anyone, kids or no kids!

4) he actually likes the thing Disney has done with the Princess stories, mostly because they get married (novel idea, huh!) and aren't the sex icons that Barbies have become. BTW what did they do with Skipper? I haven't seen her lately, but I also haven't shopped for a doll in the last 10 years! Dr Dobson feels that every girl should be allowed/encouraged to dream about romance and being rescued or wanted by a prince or beast, etc. It was food for thought- let's just put it that way. Jon and I have not come to any conclusions on this one, mostly since there is an evil character, usually a scary one in the movies. You decide...

So, not sure if you were thinking about picking this one up at the library, but ... like I said lots of research went into this book and the topics that were chosen were very deliberate. He writes as a committed Christian, but remember he is a psychologist- please read it critically and Biblically, taking his opinion for what it is, merely his opinion.

Hope you enjoyed this commentary! If you would like to continue to receive these monthly reviews, please come back!
Thanks for reading/skimming,
sarah