Good books are great, BUT…

SNOW and good books?!

The other day, it snowed quite a bit around here. And it was absolutely beautiful. A fresh snow is always so breathtaking. But as I stood there, admiring through our window with squinted eyes (it’s so bright!), I realized something. I love the snow, but I hate the cold. I mean, I detest the cold. I want nothing to do with the cold. If I could be in a warm place 24/7, I’d hands down choose that. It’s one of those funny ironies – love the snow, but hate the cold that’s necessary to have said snow.

In a similar way, good books are great, BUT… Hmmm, where to start? In our culture today, we have so many reasons why we don’t read books. We’re too busy. It takes too much time. Books are boring. Books aren’t entertaining enough. The storyline doesn’t move fast enough.

Has anyone else heard these excuses?

Good books

But I would argue that if we want to see the fruit of a mind that has been steeped in good books, we must encourage our children to make the time to read and focus their energy on persevering through those good books. Even when it’s hard and uncomfortable at first.

Of course, we can feed our children’s minds with books that are “meh” at best. We rationalize that at least they’re reading. It’s something. Right?

Something rather than nothing?

Well, not exactly. I’ve been shocked at how many families would rather have their children read anything than nothing at all. Clearly, I understand the logic. However, this is not a binary choice. This is similar to a mom I once met who swore that her child would not eat anything other than Doritos. I could not believe she was saying this, but she was completely serious. She looked at me exasperated and said, “Yeah! I know! But she won’t eat anything else, so what else am I supposed to do?”

I had many (many) thoughts but at that moment, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Apparently the word, “NO” never crossed her mind. Can you imagine the state of that child’s digestive system? Ugly would be putting it mildly. What a short term gain with a terrible long term loss!

Who’s choosing?

Again, we can extend this analogy to the books we allow our kids to read. If left up to themselves, LORD knows most kids would read what is easy and entertaining (at best). In some homeschooling circles, this would be referred to as “twaddle.” Books that have words on a page, but teach nothing. Yes, they get kids reading, but why are we setting the bar so incredibly low? Essentially, Doritos for the mind (now don’t get me wrong – Doritos have their place, but definitely not as the front and center main meal).

Or to think of it another way, no beautiful snow to enjoy, since the sacrifice of that “cold weather” was never embraced or tolerated. Either analogy works here. We can’t expect to receive the beauty of snow unless we accept the cold weather that goes along with it. No, it’s not super fun always. Especially when we start. And yes, it’s work. But most definitely, it’s worth it.

They’ll get used to it

Additionally, there’s something to be said of acquiring a palate for good books. Although some of us naturally gravitate towards reading classics, for example, I’d have to say most of us don’t. But just like we lay down the law to feed our children good, wholesome food so that they have strong, healthy bodies, we need to encourage our children to read good, wholesome books to have strong, healthy minds. The more used to it and normalized it is, the more they will have a tendency of wanting to do it on their own as they get older.

There are too many benefits to reading to do otherwise!

Think long-term benefits

Of course, we all know, life is busy. Believe me, I get it. We don’t do this perfectly in our family. Some of our children are great readers, others, not so much. But knowing the areas of concern should prompt us all to act for the long-term benefit of our children. Building a love of reading in our children NOW is extremely important. Just 15/20 minutes of reading a day is a wonderful habit for our kids to have. But again, not just words on a page, but books that share something that is good, beautiful, and/or true.

Loving God and His Word always comes first. But instilling a love of learning about His Word and His world should come close to the top of our priorities. A great way to do this is through good books. We can learn so much! All for His glory, and our good.

We have so many awesome books that help foster that love of reading! Check them out!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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