One more reason to encourage reading for our kids

I think it’s fair to say that we are at an important point in history. Will we just go with the flow, and concede to be governed by the powers that be? Or will we reject the various kinds of overreach and run the risk of cancelation? Sounds extremely dramatic, doesn’t it? But that’s what it comes down to when you really think about it. We still have a window of opportunity to push back against a tyrannical government, whether that means rejecting the indoctrination of our kids with CRT or sexual identity politics, or refusing to allow the government to force all of us to give up our bodily autonomy. But if we don’t, that window will shut for who knows how long.

Pushing back

The question is, how exactly do we push back? What’s the best way of confronting tyranny? Or what’s the best way of confronting conflict? One way we learn to do that is by digging into the past. History is painfully cyclical. This world has been through this before, in one part of the world or another. It may not look exactly the same, but many of the same or similar principals that have been at work in the past are at work right now. And those who have gone before us can help us, since they have known what it’s like to be faced with impossible choices and situations.


Obviously, the best way to do this is through books. This is clearly not a quick fix solution since reading takes time, but it is the best way to figure out where to go from here. And besides we can never go wrong with educating ourselves.

We can’t exactly speak to the founders of our country, but we can know their thoughts by what they wrote and what they did. We may not be able to have a conversation with missionaries who stepped on the shores of foreign countries, ready to lay it all down to spread the gospel of Christ, but they still speak to us today through their writings.

I’m still working through Elizabeth Elliot’s biography, and I’m hoping to share more of my thoughts on it soon! But one thing I find so fascinating about Mrs. Elliot is that she is both very normal and very, very incredible. Simultaneously. So many of the questions that I would have, she thinks about as well. She was not an ignorant, blissfully unaware missionary who blindly went into the jungle with the hopes of saving a tribe of savages in Ecuador (I say ‘savages’ not to disparage them as a people, but because I think they would refer to themselves with that name before others shared the gospel with them). Elizabeth Elliot was constantly thinking and struggling with many of the same kinds of thoughts that I do. I find that so comforting and challenging at the same time. Her faith was incredible and an amazing example for us all to follow.

What if…

But I would know nothing about Mrs. Elliot if I never was given this book to read. Or the many other people who I admire, whether still living or long dead. The point is that we have been given such an enormous gift in the written word. Obviously, the most important written word given to us is the Word of God. However, beyond that we have been given so much wisdom that we easily forget about because it’s a bit of work to get through a book when we have instant gratification from Netflix or Apple TV.

Learning from others

We must do the work of learning from those who have gone before us. And I hope and pray that as we set the example of reading and learning from the great people of history, we teach our kids to do the same. That is a huge part of the reason why I wanted to introduce MHM books. Our children need to be taught about our past as well. And there are wonderful resources that we may not even know about right at the tips of our fingers. With so much information readily available, it can sometimes be hard to discern what is best. But I guarantee that learning about missionaries and great men and women of our past is never time wasted (and there are many books on this site that do just that!). And what better way to train our children up than to set the example and read along with them.

Obviously, we can’t just stop there. We must talk with our children about the past and present stories they are reading about, teasing out similarities and pointing out important applicable truths. The absolute biggest lie is that one saying, “Tell others about the gospel. And when necessary, use words.” That is utter nonsense. For example, if you try and serve your children without instructing them on how to serve others as well, just see what happens. You will be raising up entitled brats with no sense of self awareness. We must use words when training a child, when sharing the gospel, and when we want to get the most out of a book we’re reading.

So dig into books. Ask questions. And have all of the reading journeys shared within your family. All will be blessed by it!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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