By Natasha Crain
I haven’t blogged in a few weeks because I’ve been especially busy since the release of Talking with Your Kids about God. Speaking events and interviews take a lot of time! But it’s been a truly encouraging few weeks, as I’ve had the opportunity to hear from the first readers how the book is already impacting the discipleship of their kids and grandkids (you can read almost 70 excellent reviews on Amazon!).
One of the best parts of the book release experience has been my launch team—a group of people who agreed to read a pre-release copy of the book in exchange for their honest review and to help share about the book on social media. These early readers were passionate about getting the word out after reading it. This led to several of them in our Facebook group asking something to the effect of, “I’ve shared with my personal circle, but how do we get more Christian parents—in churches everywhere!—to understand the need for this knowledge? It seems so hard to get people to care about seriously discipling their kids.”
It was both heartening and discouraging to hear the question. It was heartening because it indicated that they felt the sense of urgency I so passionately wanted to convey in the book. It was discouraging because it reminded me of the challenge I have known so well over my years of writing and speaking—it’s tough to get most Christian parents interested in getting equipped to train their kids with an understanding of apologetics (the evidence for the truth of Christianity).
I’ve reflected a lot on this challenge and could say many things about it, but I wanted to share just one reason for it today, as it relates to moms especially: Christian moms often look for encouragement more than guidance.
If you do a survey of popular books, blogs, retreats, and conferences targeted at Christian moms (and reflecting the market demand for this kind of content), you’ll see a predominant theme of general life encouragement. These messages:
Help us find joy in the midst of our “messy” lives (a favorite descriptor).
Let us know it’s normal to be overwhelmed by laundry.
Inspire us to feel we’re doing an important job with our kids, even when cleaning.
Encourage us to find release from various “traps” in our lives.
Demonstrate how we can make the most of small moments in our day.
Confirm that finding balance is difficult.
Relieve our fears that we’re not as good of a parent as we should be.
Remind us that comparing ourselves to other parents is a bad thing.
Let us know we don’t have to be perfect.
These messages are all important. I know what it’s like to feel discouraged by the day-to-day parenting life, both as a working mom and as a stay-at-home mom. I really do. There is a need for these messages.
But when the predominant messages moms consume are words of general encouragement, we create a self-indulgent culture focused on increasing our satisfaction with life rather than our effectiveness as Christian parents.
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