Everyday Talk :: a book review

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One of my goals for 2013 is to complete 12 book reviews. That means I also need to read 12 books. Imagine my extreme delight when I finished book #1 on January 18th. I know, I know…some of you are crazy speed readers and aren’t impressed. Just humor me for a split second and be happy, please? I definitely would not have made it to the rabbit reading group in elementary… {harhar}

The first book I read this year is entitled Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children.

Everyday-Talk

Many times, we have “Sunday best” talk that we use when others are listening. This kind of talk is sweet, polite, and patient.

Then there is our “everyday talk.” This is what we use most often and can be heard when explaining a day’s joys or problems, giving commands, and responding to questions.

Younts states the basic thesis of his book in the introduction:

“The problem is that everyday talk is far more important than “Sunday best” talk.
It reveals us as we really are – our character and our priorities.
Our children model our everyday talk because that is what they hear most of the time. [emphasis mine]
By it we teach them our worldview, our ethics, our theology, and our relationship with God.”
[page 7]

The entire book is centered around the fact that we are teaching our children mostly in – what could be called un-teachable moments. Those moments when something unexpected comes up and you immediately begin fuming? Your daughter just learned how you view God’s sovereignty. The ride home from church when you rehearse the ridiculous comments that were made to you? Your kids just discovered that it’s okay to talk about people – as long as they don’t know.

Among other things, Younts discusses:

  • how your children learn your functional understanding of the Gospel from your everyday talk
  • how to give “holy directions” that stem from a conviction that obedience brings life
  • the importance of honoring God even when you are hurting from your child’s disobedience
  • the value of learning to listen
  • teaching your children about sex
  • warning about the deception of the world
  • how to understand and explain God’s purpose for music

Everyday Talk was a fairly quick read – very practical and easy to understand. I found that the chapters not only convicted me as a parent, but also challenged me as a person. If you are a parent of teens or younger, the truths in this book are foundational to building a strong relationship with your child. I would not be who I am today if my parents had not taken the time to listen and talk to me as they did when I was a toddler, child, teenager, and beyond.

If you have children younger than teens in your home, let me urge you –

listen to your kids.
Talk with them.
Get to know them as the person God has made them to be.

The more you talk with them now, the more natural it will be to keep talking when they become teenagers. As a person who works with teens, I have the privilege of seeing up close the relationships parents and teens have with each other. Make sure your kids know you love them and love talking with them now. You’ll have such a better foundation to build on when tough times come in the future.

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