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Rebecca Hagelin’s new book is out and it has the intriguing title 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family. Everybody knows that it is practically impossible to shield your children from pervasive cultural pollution, but Rebecca presents 30 practical, down-to-earth suggestions that parents can implement one day at a time to help protect their children from negative outside influences as they instill solid values and nurture their children toward the right pathways through life.
I have to admit that the magic-bullet kind of book that presents a list of things that will transform your life just does NOT appeal to me. The formulaic approach to serious issues does not interest me. So I was hesitant to read Rebecca’s book for fear it would fit into that detestable, predictable pattern.
It definitely does not. Rebecca presents workable ideas for handling real-life situations with kids who want to live “in the world” without being “of the world.” Anybody who has been inside a public school in recent years or been around average teenagers (even those inside most churches) will understand that today’s world is a difficult place to negotiate, especially for college students and teens, but also for children in elementary and middle school.
Every parent has days when the whole world seems to be working against their childrearing goals. You try to inculcate manners and respect for others in your own child and you hear one of their friends respond in an airily arrogant manner to an adult in your presence, “Well, that’s your opinion,” as though a child’s reaction is just as relevant as an adult’s wisdom. You try to teach your teenage girl modesty but quickly discover that it is a major undertaking to find a blouse that is stylish without exposing cleavage. You try to preserve your teen girl’s innocence but half of her friends at school talk openly and explicitly about their sexual activity. You try to raise a fine young man, but your middle school boy already hears trash talk at every turn and boasting about sexual exploits. You try to provide good entertainment, but even the games and movies with good ratings promote values contrary to your worldview.