Book cover: A Mom After God’s Own Heart, 10 Ways to Love Your Children by Elizabeth George

A Mom After God’s Own Heart,

10 Ways to Love Your Children

 
By Elizabeth George


I chose to read this book, A Mom After God’s Own Heart, specifically to write a book review for Women in Christ. My own son is in his late 30’s with a growing family of his own, so it is a little too late for me to begin putting much of the author Elizabeth George’s suggestions into practice. Although, I did find some suggestions applicable to a mother of grown children and also useful to a grandparent.

One aspect of the book I did find annoying were the sidebars presented toward the end of each chapter by her pastor husband, Jim George, which seemed patronizing and unnecessary. I am in complete agreement that both parents ideally will be fully engaged in the parenting process and the building of spiritual values into their children’s lives. But I have found no scripture in the Bible that says the husband is the spiritual leader of the home. (There are many on the responsibility of every Christian including husbands to be servants.) The Lord Jesus Christ is the spiritual leader of a Christian home and both parents are obligated by love for God to humbly submit to his teachings regarding their lives in the home and outside the home. Also, Jim George was quick to release the father from his responsibilities while exhorting the mother to do hers and his. He was also quick to admonish the mother to always defer to the husband without an equal admonishment to the husband to listen to the wisdom of his wife.

The other misgiving that I have about the content is the assumption that only full time at-home-mothers can be effective parents. In today’s world and in past ages, many mothers do, and did, have to work outside the home to provide, or help provide, for the family. The Proverbs 31 woman was such a woman.

Even with the obvious shortcomings of its content, the book A Mom After God’s Own Heart does have inspiration for the mother who wants to pass her faith in God and the Lord Jesus to her children. She has concrete suggestions and examples from which to choose that even the single and/or working Mom can implement. These are summarized at the end of each chapter in a section entitled Little Choices that Reap Big Blessings.

I particularly liked the way Elizabeth George analyzed Deuteronomy 6:4-12. As parents, we need first to focus our own hearts on God before we can expect our children to do so. She made a difference between formally teaching our children and informally talking with our children and insisting that both are important.

The other emphasis that I thought was helpful was on the importance of praying specifically for each child and the other parent. I did pray while raising my son, but I prayed more about the immediate concerns and not as consistently about long term concerns. It’s not too late for me to add some matters to my prayers that I had been neglecting. Elizabeth George does a good job of reminding the reader that prayer is a labor of love that we ought not neglect.

She also emphasizes the importance of teaching our children to pray and how and when we can accomplish this activity. She wrote in the last chapter:

Here’s a principle I’ve tried to live by that was passed on to me from an older mentor. She said, “Elizabeth, remember that everything you do and don’t do teaches.” So, dear mom, when you pray, you teach your children to pray. When you pray with your kids, you teach them to pray….And when you don’t pray with them, you are teaching them that prayer isn’t that important. So speak up.

Like most sermons, whether given from the pulpit or written into a book, this message has its good points and its not-so-good points. But the reader can receive encouragement in passing faith on to the next generation from its message.

 

Book Review
By Scarlett Stough

Title: A Mom After God’s Own Heart, 10 Ways to Love Your Children
Author: Elizabeth George copyright 2005
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402
ISBN: 0-7369-1572-9


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