How “See Something, Say Something” Parenting Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting

How See Something Say Something Could Revolutionize Your Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIf you have lived in or visited a major urban area recently, you may have noticed a sign that read “See Something, Say Something”. Designed to encourage citizens to report information that could help authorities prevent a terrorist attack, the phrase could also be the best Christian parenting advice I can give you.

Years ago when I was a child, we knew without a doubt that if just about any adult saw us doing something we weren’t supposed to do, they would correct us or worse yet, tell our parents. In fact, it wasn’t always misbehavior.

I had gotten carsick on a school field trip four states away. When we stopped for dinner hundreds of miles from home, by coincidence a family from our village had also stopped to eat there. We drove all night, but by the time our bus pulled into the school parking lot, my parents greeted me with “Why didn’t you tell us you got sick?!”

Oh, how times have changed. Most of us are terribly afraid of correcting a child who isn’t ours – even if their life is in danger. We would never think of allowing anyone to tell us anything about our kids – except on a rare occasion their school teachers. In fact, we were in a situation where a teen was making some scary choices and we were honestly afraid of being sued or worse if we let the parents know what was happening.

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Can One Day of Kindness Really Change Everything?

Can One Day of Kindness Really Change Everything? - Parenting Like HannahRecently, I was asked to review a new book, Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything by Hal Donaldson and Kirk Noonan (Sorry, but I believe ghost writers should get equal billing.) Social justice has taken front stage in our world lately and I was interested in reading what was billed as a Christian book on the subject.

Before I share some of the very serious issues I have with this book from a Christian perspective, let me say I don’t actually have many problems with this book if it were marketed as a secular book. Ultimately, that’s what this book really is – a secular book on social justice – with the lightest coat of Jesus varnish on it.

The subjects covered range from serving others to showing kindness and more. The discussions include a wide range of topics on a rather basic level. Each of the 22 chapters ends with several ideas of concrete ways to implement the concepts in that chapter. Most are what you would find on any list of service project ideas for kids and honestly, a couple of them sounded almost trite, or at least forced.

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Finding the “Right” Bible for Your Child

Finding the Right Bible for Your Child- Parenting Like Hannah

 

If you haven’t thought about it before, you may think buying a Bible for your child is just going to a bookstore and picking out the cover you think your kid will like. Sadly, picking the “wrong” Bible can discourage your children from ever developing the habit of independent Bible reading – for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, asking yourself and your child these questions as you purchase a Bible for each of your children (this is one of the most important purchases you absolutely must make for each child – or ask your local church to help) will help you choose the “right” Bible for your kids.

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The Christian Child’s Hero

The Christian Child's Hero -Parenting Like HannahThe author of a book I read asked several people whom they considered their spiritual “masters”. In the author’s mind, the term meant someone to whom the people looked for spiritual guidance and to gain understanding and wisdom. The answers ranged from Zen teachers to Vincent Van Gogh to Charles Darwin and more. Some cited religious writers like Annie Lamott, various Catholic saints or the Dalai Lama. Others leaned towards pop culture with names like Dr. Andrew Weil, history with Ben Franklin and even Gloria Steinem. Yet not one person, mentioned Jesus.

One would assume if the same question were asked of people in your congregation, Jesus would top the list. Yet, when one examines the behaviors of one holding up someone as a hero to whom they look up and follow, I would imagine a very different picture would emerge. Whom do they quote the most? A preacher? A Christian author? When someone asks them for advice, whose writings do they suggest the person read? To whom would they give lots of money to hear speak or rush to buy their latest book? Who do they secretly wish they were most like? Whom do they talk about all of the time? Unfortunately, I am afraid even in our churches, the answer would quite often be someone other than Jesus.

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The Simplest Way For Your Family to Change the World

The Simplest Way for Families to Change the World - Parenting Like HannahOne of the things I constantly suggest families do regularly is to entertain people in their homes. There are so many benefits to your family when you host others. I was obviously interested then when offered an opportunity to review a new book on the subject, The Simplest Way to Change the World by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements.

Willis and Clements make the case that through bringing others into your home you can more easily accomplish two of the main goals of Christians – serving others and sharing your faith. In fact, one of my favorite concepts in the book is that hospitality is not a nice, optional activity for Christians – if they have a large house, nice furniture, extra money for great food and plenty of free time. Instead, they maintain hospitality is actually commanded of Christians.

Indeed, Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” and I Peter 4:9 “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” are only two of several verses in the New Testament commanding Christians to practice hospitality.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)