Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links--thanks for your support!
So this book has been on my wish list since I heard of it and have to thank Sarah for her help in obtaining a review copy. If you’ve read much here at Happy Little Homemaker, you know that I am all about practical things you can DO. When I requested Raising God First Kids in a Me-First World, I expected it to be full of things that I could (or should) add to my (overly packed) schedule.
It’s not. But it is full of things to do. Just not in the way I expected. Barbara Curtis and her husband were on the typical worldly lifestyle when they became Christian. In 2007, they fully converted to Catholicism. She shares her journey from world-ism (my term, not hers) to Catholicism. I have to be honest here. This wasn’t my favorite part of the book. Maybe it was too close to what could have been?
Barbara Curtis spends the rest of the book covering several main areas where the battle to protect your kids need to be fought: being a parent instead of a friend, TV/music/movies, advertising, purity & priorities, and sacrifice & service. Truly, the fight to be a GOOD parent is both easy and hard. It’s easy in that the things you should do are almost no-brainer–limit TV, don’t dress like a hooker, don’t listen to poisonous music, etc. But it’s also hard–you have to be diligent and not afraid to buck what “everyone else is doing.” And your kids need to be taught to be discerning as well.
If you are still more worldly than “weird,” she shares research and historical information about the changes in our culture and why the things she suggest are for our own well-being, both as individuals and as society. For instance, she shares about how even TV shows that allude to sexual activity (as opposed to showing it) causes teens/Tweens to think everyone is “doing it.” Add that to sex ed, books, magazine articles, ads everywhere and even clothing stores like Victoria’s Secret, Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch, and they are just BOMBARDED with it. I had never really thought about that particular aspect to teen sexual behavior, but the statistics are sobering, to say the least.
All that to say that Raising God First Kids in a Me-First World does a great job of helping you raise good kids without giving you an endless list of tasks to add to your already overflowing day. Rather, it gives you a vision of what life should be like without being legalistic or rule driven. You are given the information about what is bad & why and then given the freedom to choose how that looks for the people in your family. If you are already doing most of the things she suggests, it’s a great encourager. If you aren’t, it provides information why you should in a gentle yet insistent way.
Despite the fact that this Raising God First Kids in a Me-First World was not what I was expecting, it was better. I walked away with assurance that we were found several things right & a reminder to work on others. It also showered me with grace that helped me to see that despite my (MANY) personal failures as a mother, building these elements of family culture will go a long way toward raising good children. I recommend Raising God First Kids in a Me-First World to anyone wanting to do better as a mother or who needs encouragement. While Barbara Curtis is now Catholic, she was an evangelical for many years and so her writing will appeal to Catholic & non-Catholics alike. There are a few references to Catholicism, but not so much that it would be hard for other Christians to get through. Barely any is theology, so I would really recommend it to anyone.