Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Training up a Child

"A very young child can comprehend the truth that God in His love sent His Son into the world as a little child, with the name Jesus-or Saviour; that Jesus grew up from childhood into manhood, that He loved little children, that He died for them, that He rose again from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, that still He loves children, that He watches over them tenderly, and that He is ready to help them in all their trials and needs, and to be their Saviour forever.  With this knowledge of Jesus as God's representative, a child can be trained to trust Jesus at all times; to feel safe in the darkness and in danger because of His nearness...and to rest on him as a sufficient Saviour."
-H. Clay Trumbull, Hints on Child Training, p. 79

Remember when I wrote about Shepherding a Child's Heart?  My neighbor also graciously lent me Hints on Child Training, warning me that this book was harder to read because of it's antiquated language.  It was originally published in 1890 and the tag line under this edition's title reads: "A book that's been helping parents like you...for over 100 years!"  The book has chapters on Sabbath observance, taste in reading, denying a child wisely, etc.  Super, super practical, which I love.  It's been a quick read for me because the chapters are so short, but there is a lot to ruminate on.

I just finished the chapter on "Training a Child's Faith."  I think (read: worry) about my daughter's faith journey a lot.  I want her to grow up as a Christian.  I want her to see my husband and I modeling the Christian life for her.  I want her to love the church and to have an expanding desire to know God.  It was great to read this little synopsis of the Gospel and see how Trumbull made it relate-able to children.  It gives me hope as I strive to show my daughter the true meaning of life on this earth: that Jesus is the One to live for, and that even as we are living for Him, He is caring for us!  What a great reminder...not only for my daughter as she grows in her faith, but for me as I walk through life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Reality of Marriage

"There are certainly times when marriage seems much more like play than work, the rewards far greater than the exertion.  I praise God for these times!  But often, the labor in building a healthy and holy marriage is anything but effortless and comfortable."
Jerusha Clark, When I Get Married: Surrendering the Fantasy, Embracing the Reality, pp. 16-17

My beloved twin sister lent me this book after she stayed with us for a week.  I'm not sure how she came across it, but what I do know is that she is preparing herself well for marriage by reading this book.  And to be honest, this book is kicking my newly married butt.  In it, Jerusha Clark unveils many myths that women believe about marriage, such as "I'll always feel loved" or "I won't have to worry about money anymore."  I wish I would've read this book before I got married.  In the nearly three years I've been in wedlock, I've learned a lot about myself and my unrealistic expectations I have towards marriage.  I didn't always expect it to be "play" as Jerusha describes above, but I honestly never expected it to be so hard.  For example, I've let myself go into a funk over little things like thinking my husband would share my same level of cleanliness for our house or want to tell me EVERYTHING about his day when he gets home from work!  Little things like that can definitely build up in a relationship and cause a lot of bitterness (reminds me of the saying "small foxes spoil the vines.")  This book is helping me deal with those little things.  But most importantly, Jerusha continually returns to the point that God is the one who ultimately fulfills all of our needs. Being reminded of that takes a lot of pressure off of my husband to be "all" that I ask him to be and frees me to understand and know God in a more intimate way.  I'm so glad I can turn to Him when my marriage journey is full of sanctifying effort and discomfort as He uses it to make me more holy.  Thank you, Jerusha, for kicking my butt and writing a great book for women who hope to have a godly and healthy marriage!