Parenting ~ Summer Reading

Our summer began a month ago. We all looked forward to a rest from our busy schedule. One of my goals for the summer was to have us all rejuvenate spiritually. I wanted us to work on something together but I didn’t want to do a Bible study. I didn’t want to do scripture memorization or workbooks. My desire was to have my children think, learn and understand God and how He works without it seeming like schoolwork. I was inspired to have a book club. I would choose a book written about a Christian. We would read and discuss the happenings of the book.

The first book I chose was Rebel with a Cause. For years we have filled shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse and sent them off to places unknown. I thought it would be interesting for them to read about the President of a ministry they were familiar with. In the beginning, my kids complained. They didn’t want to read the book. It was boring unlike the adventure books they normally read. But we pushed through and quickly their attitudes changed. The stories of Franklin’s youth were humorous and engaging. They learned he was normal kid, just like any other.

I finished the book this past weekend and loved it. I loved how he showed the progression of where he was as a boy and God’s gentle movement in his life. He took Franklin’s loves and gifts and uses them in his ministry. I think the thing I like most about the book is Ruth Graham. She was a mom who prayed. She didn’t lecture him or expect him to be anything other than what God wanted. She prayed for him and let God work in his heart. She maintained a good relationship with him working to understand God’s plan rather than encouraging her own. Ultimately, it wasn’t the punishments or restrictions that changed Franklin’s heart; it was the mighty hand of God. He used godly people as inspiration even though Franklin wasn’t looking for any.

I chose this book as a teaching tool for my kids but I am also learning valuable lessons. If I don’t allow my kids to struggle, they will never learn to rely on God. He loves them more than I do. I have to step back and allow Him in to mold and make them. Even if it looks like the battle is lost, I know God is fighting for them. He has a plan. He has a purpose. He made them. And He will lead them.

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