Published by Apologia press, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids is written by a homeschooling mom of seven. Although it is sometimes written from a homeschool perspective, the vast majority of it is applicable to all moms. Rachael addresses topics such as learning to truly accept your child, learning to release your child to God, keeping the focus that your marriage deserves and more.
H--Have a Heart for the Things of God
E--Enrich Your Marriage
A--Accept Your Kids
R--Release Them to God
T--Teach Them the Truth
Rachael had such great topics that she covered in her book! From her chapter entitled, "Release Your Children" I was able to glean a lot. One of the biggest helps to me from this book was the reminder that our children are not our own. God has sent them to us to raise for Him.
Rachael writes, "These kids we refer to as ours are not ours. They are His. God has graciously loaned them to you and me at this time and for His glory....Initially, this can be a terrifying thought, but I believe it is ultimately liberating. It's a simple truth but a difficult one: They are His, and He has assinged each child specifally to you and your family for the purpose of living and acting according to His perfect plan."
It can be a struggle to trust God with our children. But, knowing that He is sovereign (always in control--in a loving Heavenly Father way) and powerful enough to do what needs to be done, is such a comfort. God loves His children, so therefore his actions towards us are always good.
God's Word tells us that all things work together for the good of those that love God (Romans 8:28). God's good may not look the same as what we think good looks like. God's good might look like allowing trials into our lives so that we realize the fraility of life and our need for Him. Good to God looks like preparing our soul for eternity, not necessarily making our life more comfortable on this earth. Knowing that His good helps me to grow more into Christlikeness helps to carry me through the difficult times and not be so focused on this life, but the one that counts more--eternity.
Rachael also encourages her readers in her chapter entitled, "Accept Your Children." "Your kids were sent right on time, on purpose, 'for such a time as this' (Esther 4:14). They are not randomly generated picks in the genetic lottery. God looked at your marriage, your life, your family, and your relationship with Him and decided to send each specific child to you, uniquely designed to bless your family. He sent these children to your home as tools to mold you and the other members of your family."
In this particular chapter I was encouraged to really get to know my children beyond a surface relationship. It was a good reminder to take the time to find out what their interests, struggles, and strengths are. Not just what I think they are.
I learned a lot from this section of her book. One thing being, that we are to tell our children how much God loves them--not just how much we love them. If our children are grounded in the truth that God always loves them, it will be a sure foundation for them. When life is hard, we may feel as if God isn't very loving. If our children are grounded in the truth that God loves them--always, they will see that trial as something to draw them closer to the loving arms of God.
I came away from this book encouraged and challenged. Rachael wrote, "He [God] has a plan for how your particular personality, experiences, temperaments, gifts and perspective will work in the lives of your children to prepare them for all He has planned. When parenting seems hard or downright impossible, and you're certain you've messed things up beyond repair, don't forget that you serve the great Redeemer and all of that stuff in your life that you regard as junk can and will be used by God for good (Romans 8:28). He works through it all, redeeming it all, and turning it all around when you trust in His providence and intervention."
I strongly recommend this book. It has some great, godly information in it that I know would bless you. And after reading it, I certainly wouldn't mind checking out her other book entitled, Soundbites from Heaven.
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