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.
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