I am always skeptical of a new non-fiction author. Because I am much more inclined to read fiction than non-fiction (I learn so much through stories!), I want to know that a non-fiction book is definitely worth the time required to process through it. For this reason, I tend to be rather hesitant to accept non-fiction for review.
But, I did accept Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. Being unfamiliar with either of the authors, I did not know what to expect. And, it took me quite some time to get around to reading the book, unfortunately.
Worth My Time
Looking back, though, I can definitely say Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions fits into the “worth my time” category. In fact, I was already promising to loan it out after the first chapter! Anyone who quotes Tim Hawkins right off the bat has my attention. But, this quote from page 13 (in the introduction) didn’t hurt either:
My theology will come out in every question I address, but it is not my purpose to be provocative or pushy. So as you work through the different answers, I encourage you to ask yourself what you believe and, as always, go to the Bible for further understanding and growth.
Typically, an author or teacher who tells you to take their words and verify them via Scripture truly wants to help and is usually worth listening to.
And yes, the authors* of Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions are worth listening to. Will you agree with every perspective? Probably not. Will you always want to use their suggestions as you explain these tough truths to your children? I doubt it. I won’t. But, their discussions stirred my thoughts.
So, what are the questions raised in Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions?
- What is sin?
- Why do people die?
- Who is Satan? What is hell?
- Why do people get divorced?
- Why does the Bible say that (difficult Bible stories)?
- Why and how do some people sin sexually?
- Why does God let natural disaster happen?
- Why do people fight and kill?
Each chapter begins with a discussion of the question, evaluating from Scripture why we have to deal with these questions in the first place. The chapter ends with a sample explanation for children in each of three age groups: preschool, ages 5 to 10, and ages 11 and up. In every chapter, readers are reminded to not automatically lump their children into an age category. They are also encouraged to not just recite the authors’ suggested answer. Instead, the authors remind parents continually to know their children. Any answer given must be based on an understanding of where our children are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The chapters definitely made me think. A couple of times, I felt that the authors were too extreme in their view. But, as I hashed out the concepts in my own mind and compared them to Scripture, I usually came to agree with the authors.
Will I use their suggested discussions with my children? Actually, probably not. Why? Because in many situations I felt that the answer was better explained within the chapter itself than in the discussion example. I’ve already used several of the illustrations with my children.
Bottom Line: I like this book. I will recommend this book. I will loan it out. And if it doesn’t come back to me, I’ll buy another copy to have on my shelf so I can “loan” it out again. It is that useful.
Bethany House sent this book to me in exchange for my honest review. A positive review was not required.