I just finished reading a great book called, “Everyday Talk” by John A. Younts. It is about “talking freely and naturally about God with your children.” I strongly recommend it. It has blessed me greatly, stirred my heart, and strengthened my faith.
Here is the author’s purpose statement:
“God is not just a Sunday God; He is for every day. If you live in awe of Him, your children will see that. If you love Him and serve Him, you will talk about HIm every day, and your children will hear that. This book is written to help you understand and use the influence of everyday talk on your children. Shoes come and go. It doesn’t matter at all what my everyday shoes were like when I was a child. But, everyday talk – that different! The everyday talk that your child hears now will influence him for the rest of his life. My prayer is that this book will help you learn how God wants you to talk about Him every day” (Page 8).
Here is the table of contents:
1. Stupid Rain
2. Your Children and the Gospel
3. Listen To Your Children
4. Holy Directions
5. Don’t Be Ordinary
6. Big Sins, Little Sins
7. Thirteen Comes Before Twenty-One
8. Your Home is God’s Greenhouse
9. The World: The Grand Deception
10. Everyday Talk About Sex
11. Everyday Talk About Music
12. You Are On Display
13. For Everything There Is A Season
My favorite chapter was “Don’t Be Ordinary.” It starts by asking, “How do you talk to someone who is angry at you when you have only been trying to help? What do you think of someone who hurts you deeply? If given the choice, do you try to avoid these kinds of people? How do you talk to people who sin against you…what is your typical, habitual response when you are hurt by someone? Do you just “get over it” and move on? Do you get mad? Do you struggle with anger or self-pity? Do you tend to withdraw? Do you give up and think, ‘What’s the use of trying?’ Perhaps you experience a mixture of all of the above. If so, you are not alone. Most people can identify with you. However, these ordinary responses are wrong. God does not want you to be an ordinary parent” (pages 56-57).
Essentially, John Younts argues, by using Moses as an example, that ordinary parents give in to anger, resentment or self-pity at their children’s bad behavior, making themselves the center of the problem. They are loving themselves first and most. Parents must love their kids enough to show them the danger of their behavior. Children need to see that their first problem is with God, and only secondarily with you. Parents must be more concerned for their children than for themselves, and must be concerned most of all of God. By modeling patience, love, self-control – and all the fruit of the Spirit -parents teach their children how extraordinary God is.
How about you mom or dad? Is your response to sin ordinary or holy? Does your response to sin show God as extraordinary? Do you see your kids sin as a chance to practice the fruit of the Spirit and magnify God or do you see it as a chance to explode in anger, frustration, and self pity?