Sundays are for Book Reviews: Treasuring God in Our Traditions

Wes does a “Sundays are for Sermons” blog every week, and I love the consistency and the content of these posts. I wanted to do something similar, but I don’t preach, obviously. I do, however, read. And since I know I myself am always looking for a good book recommendation, I thought Sundays might just be for book reviews on my site. Hope you enjoy these! (And hope that I can keep up with my reading!)

This Sunday, of course, is Mother’s Day. Can I tell you that I think being a mother is the best job in the world? Wes apologized one week for having an event he had to attend on Saturday, leaving me by myself with the girls at home for the umpteenth day in a row, and I told him that he should NEVER apologize for giving me the privilege of spending another day with my girls. When I hear a mom wonder what God’s will is for her life, I want to tell her, with all the enthusiasm and joy I feel about it, that, “You’re a MOM! That’s what God has planned for you!” May we never take this blessing lightly!

This is the same attitude Noel Piper takes from page one of her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions. Mrs. Piper, as you may have guessed, is the wife of Dr. John Piper, and while you may or may not agree with all of Dr. Piper’s theological stances, I think everyone can find great worth in Mrs. Piper’s thoughts and ideas. With the disheartening statistics about how many of our children fall away from the faith as they mature, Christian parents should be looking for ways to make their faith more real and relevant to even their smallest children, and this book is a great starting place. Going through household traditions, holidays, and celebratory times, Mrs. Piper discusses the relevance of these events as they glorify Christ and suggests ways to convey the truth of Scripture to your children through them. The great theme is that Christ should be central in everything you do as a mother, and instead of leaving it at that ambitious but vague idea, Mrs. Piper gives concrete examples from her own experience raising five children.

I loved just about every part of this book, to be honest with you. I was so challenged by the constant emphasis on Christ, on making Christ real to your children, and by the discipline required in making children disciples. At one point, Mrs. Piper tells the story of her then three year old son learning an entire section of Scripture as a Christmas gift for his father. She shares how they accomplished this together, working on the memorization every day, and how meaningful it was for the entire family to share this moment together. Reading this, I could only think of how much time and energy this would take for my three year old to do, bringing home the point that we have to be so intentional in the arena of faith, even at this young age. On a similar note, she describes how she taught her children to have quiet times before they were old enough to read on their own, giving really great pointers and advice to those of us with little ones.

I most appreciated the holiday section of the book where she went through the religious holidays and shared how their family has taught the significance of these events to their children. I was struggling with how to make Easter more understandable for my girls, and her description of their resurrection play-dough scene was an immense help. (We use Little People to do the same thing and then use them again at Christmas time. It makes the stories so much more real when they have little characters in their hands!) My only complaint about the book was that the Noel Advent Christmas Calendar they referenced so often isn’t sold anywhere now and the description on how to construct one was too confusing for me. If you read the book and can figure out how to make something similar, let me know how you did it!

All in all, this was a wonderful guide for mothers (and fathers!) who want to communicate the glory of Christ to their children. Through big events and even just day to day happenings, there are countless opportunities to bring them to a greater understanding of who He is. Read this book if you want to be challenged and renewed!

How about you? What are some of your favorite family traditions?

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