Thursday, September 1, 2011

How To Have a Heart For Your Kids - Review

Product description from Apologia site:
“How well do you really know your kids? What has God shown you about who they are and who they will become? He has sent these children into your home at this specific time for His glorious purposes. Indeed, you have been invited on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey on which you will see walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. You don't need special skills or training for this journey—you need only to seek God and hold tight to His mighty hand! As with so many things, the first step to having a heart for your children is knowing your heavenly Father.

Written by: Rachael Carman
Published by: Apologia Press

When we see a book titled “How to Have a Heart For Your Kids” your first thought may be, “I don’t need that book, I already love my kids.” Well, the same thought crossed my mind when I first saw it, too. But, boy oh’ boy am I grateful I was chosen for this review.

Have a Heart for the Things of God
Enrich your marriage
Accept your kids
Release them to God
Teach them the truth

How to Have a Heart For Your Kids begins with a wonderful introduction called Heart of The Matter, in which Rachael takes us on a personal walk as she shares her joys, struggles, and the series of events that lead her from being a mother of 3, overly egger for her oldest to be of age to attend kindergarten so she could have “her life back,” to ultimately becoming a homeschool mother to 7.  

Chapter 1: Have a Heart for the Things of God tells us the importance of having an intimate relationship with God. About how when we develop a close relationship with Him we soon learn and understand just how much He loves us, and that He is always with us. 
When God calls us to complete a task, such as homeschooling, we often hesitate and try to reason with Him about how unqualified and unable we are. We are God’s children and just as we equip our own children with tasks we require of them, He faithfully does the same for us. When we’re having a bad day and nothing seems to be going right, “Don’t white knuckle it,” as Rachael says, but rather pray and ask God for help, direction, and guidance.   

eHe hkChapter 2: Enrich your marriage teaches us the importance of having a godly marriage. Having a godly marriage sets a solid foundation for our children.  Our children are watching us ALL the time whether we know it or not. They see how we handle conflict, how we show affection, how we worship, how we handle stress, how we communicate with others, and so much more.  Every moment of our lives our children are learning from us.  So we must ask ourselves, is how and what we are teaching our children pleasing to God?

Chapter 3: Accept Your Kids teaches us the importance of accepting our children as they are. Do we really know our children?  Yes, we can recite their favorite activity, color, or food, but do we know the longings of their hearts? Their aspirations? Their dreams? Our children are gifts from God and we should accept them for who they are, for who God created them to be. We should see them as God sees them. 

Chapter 4: Release them to God helps us understand that ultimately our children belong to God and that we are not to raise our children with our dreams in mind, but be willing to allow the plans God has for them to take form.  We may have dreams of our children one day becoming doctors, lawyers, astronauts, or even the next President of the United States. However, God may not have the same plans for our children. When we release them to God, we stepping back and allowing Him to be in control.  Our primary focus should be to raise our children to lead a God honoring life. Through consistent prayer and studying His word He will help us "train our children the way they should go..." Proverbs 22:6.

Chapter 5: Teach them the truth, well this title speaks for itself.  It is a how-to for releasing them to God. We are to teach our children the ways of the Lord. Equip and prepare their hearts and minds for what is to come. Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 (NIV) tells us to, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

At the end of each chapter there is a Heart Check. Each Heart Check consists of 3-5 thought provoking questions, such as “Are there characteristics of your children you find difficult to accept? If so, what are they? Pray for those specifically and ask to see God’s perceptive about these areas of your children’s lives.” OR “Are you currently building the foundation of your home on the rock-solid truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible?”   

My thoughts:
Chapter 3: Accept Your Kids spoke to me the most. It has helped me to see my children in a different, brighter light.  Although I love them dearly and they mean the absolute world to me, I now see that I wasn’t always seeing them the way God sees them; I wasn’t fully accepting them fully as they are.  Too often I try to change or correct the things I don’t understand. Thankfully we service a merciful God who is full of grace.  I know that with His help I will learn to fully accept my children for who they are, who God created them to be, even the things I don’t understand.   

I felt Rachael was open and honest while sharing her strengths and weakness, not only as a mom of 7 children, but as a homeschooling mom, as well as a wife to her husband, Davis.  While reading How to Have a Heart For Your Kids I felt encouraged, sometimes slightly offended, which only caused me to pray more, I laughed out loud, and even cried a few times. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you will too.  I plan to add a few of Rachael’s other books to my personal library. If you would like to add this book to your personal library or purchase one for a friend, click here. Here is a sneak peak at the introduction Heart of The Matter.

Be sure to stop by the TOS Homeschool Crew hub and read what my fellow crew members had to say about How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids.


I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received the book How To Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids from Apologia free of cost in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like such a good book, thanks for reviewing it!


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