Sunday, August 10, 2014

Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions

Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard TopicsAnswering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Give Them Grace, by mother-daughter pair Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, remains one of my favorite books and one I recommend to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers...basically anyone who interacts with children.  When I saw that Fitzpatrick and Thompson were teaming up to offer another work on parenting, saturated with grace and focused on the glory of God in the Gospel, I knew I was going to have to read it.

Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions makes an early and strong case that we, as parents, make sure we present sin for what it is and that we clearly teach the extent of humanity’s depravity—not to make our kids more outwardly compliant but to make them more prepared to see their need of grace and to see just how great the grace of God actually is.

“I don’t think we take Christ’s commands and the life we are called to live seriously enough.  We don’t understand or feel the full weight of how infected with sin we really are.  In part, that’s because the world feeds us a steady diet of it’s-okay-if-you-are-a-nice-person sprinkled with a bit of if-you-try-your-hardest and topped with a strong drink of you-meant-well…

Kids and parents alike should feel desperate about our wretched state.  There should be no doubt in our minds that we will never be ‘good enough’.  And this knowledge should drive us to our feet of our Savior, which is precisely where the forgiven rest and rejoice…Our children need to know the terrible reaility of sin.  If we fail to explain it, they will not see the beauty of God’s grace.”

Give Them Grace would be great preparatory reading for this new book since it makes this very case extensively.  The beauty of Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions is that it offers very practical counsel on how to point our children to the grace and love of our Father.  And it does so in light of the very difficult questions that will inevitably arise if we seriously engage our children with the Scriptures and their day-to-day life.

And I am talking about hard questions.  Suicide.  Rape.  Death.  Tsunamis. Hell.  Divorce.  War.  Doubt.  These are issues that terrify most parents to even think about dealing with.  Fitzpatrick and Thompson give clear, biblical teaching on these issues, and more, and then give sample discussions to have with kids at different age levels.  They encourage the reader that these are not “scripts” and that it is critical that we know our children and recognize their individual needs.  These are great examples and offer great encouragement to the parent—both that the questions need to be answered and can be answered.  Not only that, I also believe that with slight modification these sample discussions could be utilized in some sort of teaching setting.

Fitzpatrick and Thompson encourage the reader to answer many of these questions before circumstances force the questions to arise (i.e., a suicide, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, death of a loved one, etc..)  This new volume will aid parents and teachers in preparing for these difficult questions that kids struggle with and need answers to.  Answering Your Kids Toughest Questions will be a blessing to many parents, and especially their children.

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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