My husband’s been having a particularly difficult time lately dealing with the children. Don’t get me wrong – he’s an excellent father. I mean, he works long hours at a day job while I stay with the children during the day. But, when he gets home, he has to take charge of the household duties (including the children) while I get my writing and editing work done in the evenings. So, his days are even longer. He gets tired. And children are demanding (ours, especially, because they’re only 3 and 5). I know they’re demanding. I’m with them, basically, 24/7 (except for the time, now, that the oldest one is at school).
One early, quiet morning (he’d already gone off to work, the oldest was at school, and the youngest was still in bed sleeping) I read a passage from this book – THEIR NAME IS TODAY by Johann Christoph Arnold.
When I think about it, it is much easier to live with children who fear you than it is to live with children who love you, because if your children fear you, when you come home they’re gone. They scatter. …But if you have children who love you, you can’t get them out of your hair! They’re hanging on to your legs, they’re pulling on your pants, you come home and they want your attention. You sit down, they’re all over your lap. You feel like a walking jungle gym. You also feel loved.
I cried when I read those words, feeling the truth of them for both my husband and myself. Our kids love us, and they know that we love them. I called him immediately and read that passage to him, and I think it did exactly what I meant for it to – it encouraged him in the knowledge that we may not be doing everything right as parents, but we are doing SOMETHING right. We’re teaching our children about real love…and letting them know that they always have a safe, welcoming, accepting place to come back to with Mommy and Daddy.
It was just the right message at just the right time, and I’m grateful I got the chance to read this powerful little book.
There were some things I didn’t like. The author’s political ideologies were a bit too liberal at times, especially for someone who is a pastor. Also, there was too much (I thought) “bleeding heart” sentiment – this idea that children are born completely innocent. I don’t buy that. I can’t, as a Christian, because I believe in Original Sin and in the fact that we are all tainted by it (except for Jesus) at birth. I do, however, believe that children are closer to God than those of us who are older because they have not yet had as much time to act on their inherent sinful natures.
I agree with much of this book. Children are oversexualized, overmedicated, and objectified and are basically not allowed to be children anymore because it makes it easier for the parents to “handle” them…or, in other words, to not love them or raise them properly. This, I think, needs to stop. And this is the one main point of Arnold’s book. All parents should read it…and most educators could benefit from reading it too, although often (as Arnold mentions) their hands are tied by the system that continues to keep children from being children.
Wise words from a wise man that are well worth a read. And you have the chance to win your very own copy of this thought-provoking book right here on this blog. Just leave me a comment before 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, and you’ll be entered in the giveaway.
About the book:
Softcover / 192 pages
“If you want to glean insights into how to raise and influence children to be more compassionate and considerate, more courageous and confident, more independent, secure, and unselfish; if you want your children to be more loving and joy-filled, then get reading!” —excerpt from Mark K. Shriver’s Foreword (President of Save the Children Action Network)
Despite a perfect storm of hostile forces that threaten to deny children a healthy, happy childhood, courageous parents and teachers can turn the tide. Yes, we can reclaim childhood, says Johann Christoph Arnold, whose books have helped more than a million readers through the challenges of education and family life. In Their Name Is Today, he highlights drastic changes in the way our society treats children. But he also brings together the voices of dedicated parents and educators who are finding creative ways to give children the time and space they need to grow. Cutting through the noise of conflicting opinions, Arnold takes us to the heart of education and parenting by defending every child’s right to the joy and wonder of childhood.
About the author: Johann Christoph Arnold
A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years, as well as serving as an advisor at several innovative private schools. Arnold’s message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Cėsar Chavez, and John Paul II. Born in Great Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the US in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, forty-four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York.
Acclaim for the author:
“A much-needed message not only for South Africa, but for the whole world.” -Nelson Mandela, on Why Forgive (one of Arnold’s books)
“In this book we find a message needed today in every part of the world.” -Mother Teresa, from her foreword to Sex, God, & Marriage (one of Arnold’s books)
“Written in a way that is easy to grasp…indeed, very beautifully.” – Pope Benedict XVI, on A Little Child Shall Lead Them (one of Arnold’s books)
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”