Christian Moms and Thresholds

Christian Moms and Thresholds - Parenting Like HannahIt seems like every time you adapt to your child’s newest stage of development, he changes again. Often this means you are thrust into new and unfamiliar environments. I will never forget my first PTA meeting after our daughter entered kindergarten. The people running the meeting threw out so many unfamiliar acronyms, I felt like I was listening to another language. Thankfully, a more experienced mom took pity on me and translated.

Crossing the threshold into unfamiliar territory can be a little unnerving for even the hardiest of explorers. For some, it may drive you into almost a state of sheer panic. The new book Thresholds: How to Thrive Through Life’s Transitions to Live Fearlessly and Regret-Free by Sherre Hirsch tries to help you tackle those jitters and confidently cross into your next adventure.

This book was a little different for me to review as it is written from a faith perspective, but by a Jewish rabbi. There are parts that refer to the Bible, but obviously, only the Old Testament. There are a couple of things which may strike you as slightly different about her perspective on the Old Testament stories. I have learned over the years, some of the differences are because they have added on to some of the stories through rabbinical writings.

In the case of her perspective on the story of Joseph, I at first thought she was negative or perhaps slightly agnostic. Then I realized what it was. If you don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah, your perspective on some of the stories is different. We see Joseph as the prototype for a God who has a plan for our salvation. A God who wants to forgive us so badly He sent His son to die for our sins so we can have eternal life. Her perspective of Joseph is a brother intent on revenge, who later changes his mind and forgives.

If you don’t get too stuck puzzling through those few spots, you may have one other sticking point. It is somewhat apparent she does not view God as intimately active in the lives of each of His people today. Her ideas are often great, but in my opinion they often remove the possibility of God working in us and the situations and people surrounding us.

If you can ignore those, the book does contain some practical, helpful advice. She counsels how to avoid get stuck in the past or present and moving on to the next thing. Although she didn’t really frame it this way, I think there is spiritual value to that part of her perspective. How can you fulfill God’s plans for your life, serve others and share your faith if you are frozen in fear or mourning the past?

Often the plans God has for us, mean we will be crossing new thresholds and entering territory that for us is largely uncharted. Teaching our children how to have the courage to do what God wants them to do, is a wonderful gift to give them. Each chapter is rather long, but they are broken into sub-chapters. The chapter titles are somewhat misleading. One would think she is a possible atheist from a couple of them. The actual material though, would lean more agnostic from the average Christian perspective.

If you want a strongly spiritual book, this may not be your best choice. If you or your children are stuck and not moving forward, this book may help. I wish she had given God more credit for His ability to help us get unstuck, but her philosophy is more of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” variety. Her practical points are helpful, but I would just suggest remembering to add God back into the equation. He can provide the extra help you need if her strategies aren’t helping. Personally, I would have suggested including God with prayers as soon as you realize you are stuck, then following her ideas with God’s guidance.

Whatever you decide to read or do, don’t let you or your children get stuck in life. God has a plan for all of His people. Those plans often include amazing godly adventures you won’t want to miss. Don’t get stuck and never have the chance to experience what God had planned for you.

 

A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.

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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)