Family of Love, A: The First Seven Years
Children deserve and require good parenting. Unfortunately, good parenting skills do not come prepackaged, spiral bound, or as part of the pregnancy program. The on-the-job training program for parents often becomes an awkward roller-coaster experience for parents and children. Parents need strong, positive role models, but they are often difficult to find.
“A Family of Love: The First Seven Years” offers such a role model. Composed of a collection of stories about the life of the Kelly family, if offers readers examples of one way to raise children in a populated suburban area without gadgets, therapists, loads of money, or someone else to blame. These true stories are a composite of other parents’ stories – parents whose grown children are at peace with them, remaining loving and caring. The Kelly family serves as the vehicle for telling the stories.
This is a book, not a film or video. The book is brief and conversational, teaching by example, not preaching. It is not a how-to manual, a top-ten list or quick fix. It is simply the story of one family and how they achieved their goals regarding family life.
While not all the decisions the Kelly family make will be popular with today’s families, they do deserve more than a casual glance. The parents in this story are very intentional about how they want to raise their family. They set goals and priorities for their family and make decisions about education, discipline, friends, activities, and even bedtimes based on those priorities and goals. Their search for the best way to meet their goals leads them to make some unusual, even radical, decisions for their family. But they do not let the skepticism or pressure from friends, family or society sway them from what they believe is best for their family.
The story mentions the Kelly’s sending their children to the Christian school and the family attending church. Unfortunately, however, no mention is made of their faith or religious beliefs influencing their decision-making in any way. It’s important for Christian families to pray, search the Bible and seek wise counsel from Christian friends when setting goals and priorities and making decisions for their family. This book is helpful as far as it goes, but Christian families should take it a step farther and incorporate their faith into the whole process. A Family of Love: The First Seven Years is a good book for parents to read, especially those just starting out. Many families today could benefit from a good, hard look at their priorities and goals. The choices the Kelly family made may not be the right choices for every family, but they will prompt some serious thinking about priorities and choices in family life.