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Monday, November 19, 2012


WHAT I WANT MY CHILDREN TO KNOW by Todd Hoffman is a wonderful book by a father to his children. I have never read a better one! Mr. Hoffman’s talky, approachable, and loving style and his real appreciation for the Word of God make it an excellent book for both parents and teens. It covers a broad range of topics, including respect, values, prayer, Satan’s tactics, pleasing people, love and marriage, loving God, and moral excellence.

Mr. Hoffman weaves well-known Bible stories into his instructions to his children. My personal favorite was Lazarus' sickness, death, and being raised from the dead. He told it three times: once from Martha’s point of view, then from Mary’s, then from Lazarus himself—from inside the tomb and afterwards. Great!

There was so much to appreciate in this book, it’s hard to pick one thing that stands out. Here’s a quote about values:
            “ Gold cannot fix being trapped in that cave of doubt and anguish. Gold cannot mend a broken relationship or teach you how to control your temper. And nothing you can hold in your hands can ever substitute for that compass you have been given by God called the Bible.”

About the pursuit of godliness:
            “Wishing to be godly will not bring godliness. But desiring God to the point of obsession, then planning definite ways to draw near to God and serve Him, and continuing in that persistence which does not grow weary in doing good, will produce godliness and a deep relationship with God.”
            “Godliness is not developed through apathy and lack of concern. It is not awarded to the lazy, who hope they can spend their time however they choose, and yet bear fruit as if they were a well watered garden.”
            “If you are serious about knowing and loving God, then let Him become your life. Seek Him daily through prayer. Praise Him daily for each aspect of your life, whether those things are good or bad.”

On trials:
            “When life is hard—as it will be—take courage, for those experiences are making you into the likeness of Christ, and are thus of incomparable value.”
            “Every trial in your life has been allowed by God, which means, every trial is a stepping stone and a reason to praise God.”
            “A proper understanding of God prevents anger and frustration with the way God does things. It produces praise rather than resentment.”

I liked this:
            “Many times so-called Bible teachers give a description of God that’s nothing like who God is at all. The Bible alone is guaranteed to give an accurate and true picture . . . .”

I also liked this metaphor:
            “Drifting away from God comes easily. A ship does not need coaxing to get off course. But it does take much effort and attentiveness to stay on course for an entire journey.”

Needless to say, although my own children are grown and married, I gleaned much from this sound, biblical and timely book. I would recommend it to anyone—parents, children, and to people who are neither. Definitely five stars.

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