When I learned Robin Jones Gunn had paired with Cindy Hannan to write a devotional book for “sister chicks” (A SisterChick’s Devotional: Take Flight), I was curious. Would the book appeal to mothers and daughters? Could it encourage mother/daughter devotional times for teen girls and their moms?
Gentle is the word that comes to mind after reading this devotional book. Now, I am the first to admit, most devotional books don’t do anything for me. I think it has something to do with the hurried feeling many of them have. Sisterchick’s was different. Instead of feeling restless after reading several entries, I wanted to continue reading to see what was next.
Trips to bookstores are one of my favorite ways to relax and even splurge occasionally. I enjoy lingering through many sections just to see what interesting books are being published. I have even been known to purchase a children’s book so I could read it for myself.
There is one section though that disturbs me. The next time you walk into a place selling books, amble over to the teen section. Most likely, you will find it overflowing with very dark books. Yes, the covers are almost all dark now, but what lies inside the covers is often worse. Stories are crammed with demons, wizards and dark magic. Not to mention the ones encouraging ugly behavior or making girls think they are somehow defective if they aren’t experimenting with alcohol, sex and/or drugs.
Remember when you and your spouse started dating? If you were like us, you spent hours talking about everything under the sun. You learned about each other’s families, shared hopes and dreams and eventually decided to share your lives permanently.
Fast forward a few years and now you have a child. Or children. Perhaps lots of children! Each child seems to come with his or her own set of needs and dreams, which often keeps us in constant motion. Some days, you are lucky to give your spouse a quick kiss before collapsing in exhaustion. An actual meaningful conversation seems an impossible dream.
Our marriages aren’t necessarily bad, but over time couples with children can slowly start drifting apart and may even divorce. Yet study after study teaches us children fair better in homes with healthy marriages. I would imagine the stronger the marriage, the better the possibility for positive results.
We know the health of our marriage is important, but that requires work we don’t think we have the time to do right now. All of those meaningful conversations during dating have long sense dissolved into discussions of who will take whom where and what needs to be fixed around the house. You are not even sure you have time to know yourself anymore and your spouse is slowly becoming an acquaintance.
Walk into almost any church and you will find boys with names like Caleb, Noah, Daniel and John. I would assume many parents chose those names in hopes their sons would grow up to become strong in the Lord, just like the men for whom they were named.
Unfortunately, giving a child a name of a godly person does not guarantee your child will be faithful. If it were, every child in most churches would have a biblical name! Parents have to do something more to set their sons on the paths to becoming heroes of faith. But what?
Raising Boys by Design by Gregory Jantz and Michael Gurian gives parents a blueprint for helping develop the character traits your sons will need to become the men God designed them to be. The authors use a combination of recent brain research, counseling experience and their own personal journeys to explain what most boys need and very few are receiving to help them grow to be godly men.
Conversations between grandparents and grandchildren are often hysterically funny. The older generation still tells stories featuring typewriters and record albums, while the younger ones are texting and discussing the pros and cons of the latest gadgets. Sometimes there are more puzzled looks and “huh’s?” than actual communication. It’s almost as if they are from different countries.
Although aimed primarily at problems generational differences cause in the workplace, there is a lot for the parent and teen child to glean as well. Shaw defines the types of problems in our homes and workplaces that are actually caused because of generational differences. He spends a lot of time attempting to help readers understand why the other generations think and act the way they do.