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Why Children Matter

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In the Garden of Eden, there was only one "No." Everything else was "Yes." In this short book on childrearing, Douglas Wilson points out that we have a Father who delights in us and makes it easy for us to love and obey Him. If that is the kind of Father we have, shouldn't we earthly parents do the same? Wilson explains how parents should not just try to get their kids to In the Garden of Eden, there was only one "No." Everything else was "Yes." In this short book on childrearing, Douglas Wilson points out that we have a Father who delights in us and makes it easy for us to love and obey Him. If that is the kind of Father we have, shouldn't we earthly parents do the same? Wilson explains how parents should not just try to get their kids to obey a set of rules or to make their house so fun that following the rules is always easy. Instead, he calls for parents to instill in their kids a love for God and His standards that will serve them well all their days. This book also features an appendix in which Doug and his wife Nancy answer various parents' questions about various applications of the principles discussed in this book.


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In the Garden of Eden, there was only one "No." Everything else was "Yes." In this short book on childrearing, Douglas Wilson points out that we have a Father who delights in us and makes it easy for us to love and obey Him. If that is the kind of Father we have, shouldn't we earthly parents do the same? Wilson explains how parents should not just try to get their kids to In the Garden of Eden, there was only one "No." Everything else was "Yes." In this short book on childrearing, Douglas Wilson points out that we have a Father who delights in us and makes it easy for us to love and obey Him. If that is the kind of Father we have, shouldn't we earthly parents do the same? Wilson explains how parents should not just try to get their kids to obey a set of rules or to make their house so fun that following the rules is always easy. Instead, he calls for parents to instill in their kids a love for God and His standards that will serve them well all their days. This book also features an appendix in which Doug and his wife Nancy answer various parents' questions about various applications of the principles discussed in this book.

30 review for Why Children Matter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian Kohl

    This is some of the most practical, grace-based parenting advice I've ever read. Four of my favorite Douglas takeaways: 1) The most important thing you can do as a parent...is enjoy your kids. 2) Liberty is not a compromise between legalism and license. 3) When your kid touches a glass vase over and over, the lesson you're teaching them is NOT about being careful with glass -- the lesson is how to deal with someone who is frustratingly contrary or disobedient over and over. (After all, your kids This is some of the most practical, grace-based parenting advice I've ever read. Four of my favorite Douglas takeaways: 1) The most important thing you can do as a parent...is enjoy your kids. 2) Liberty is not a compromise between legalism and license. 3) When your kid touches a glass vase over and over, the lesson you're teaching them is NOT about being careful with glass -- the lesson is how to deal with someone who is frustratingly contrary or disobedient over and over. (After all, your kids will be parents themselves sooner rather than later...) 4) Discipline is about formation, not punishment, so keep calm and discipline anyways. The short chapters sting like lemon juice in a paper cut, if like me you have areas where selfishness or laziness have crept in -- but of course "Why Children Matter" points you back to the rest and sweetness found in the Gospel. I'd definitely recommend for any parents of toddlers and elementary kids. Christy and I really benefited from talking through parts of it together.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Logan Thune

    Yup.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Paterson

    "The best thing you can do for your children is enjoy them!" This book is a great short read for everybody - because we're all children. "The best thing you can do for your children is enjoy them!" This book is a great short read for everybody - because we're all children.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    One of the best I've read on parenting. This book really gets into the details concerning the parents behavior & responses to their kids. Amazing book, highly recommend it. One of the best I've read on parenting. This book really gets into the details concerning the parents behavior & responses to their kids. Amazing book, highly recommend it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    Why do children matter? Because they are cute. And they will live forever. This is the best sub 140 page introduction to Christian discipleship and parenting on the market. It can be read in one sitting and there is an excellent Q&A section where both Doug and Nancy get into the helpful specifics of childrearing. Internalizing the principles here will sanctify you, regardless of your stage in life. So read it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    Excellent book on parenting. The second part on imitation was really good and convicting. The first part felt a bit repetitive, probably because I have read so much Wilson.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    Fantastic! This is a book about parenting in the context of the Gospel and imitating God as our Father.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Valerie Kyriosity

    One of my great struggles is to understand God as my Father. It occurred to me that a book on parenting might help reorient my thinking about God's parenting. While this is a great book on parenting, it didn't quite work for my oblique purpose. It was enough to provide a glimpse of God's fatherhood, but not enough to really open my heart's eyes to it. I can give intellectual assent to the idea that God rejoices over us with singing, but I can't hear Him delightedly singing. I can only perceive H One of my great struggles is to understand God as my Father. It occurred to me that a book on parenting might help reorient my thinking about God's parenting. While this is a great book on parenting, it didn't quite work for my oblique purpose. It was enough to provide a glimpse of God's fatherhood, but not enough to really open my heart's eyes to it. I can give intellectual assent to the idea that God rejoices over us with singing, but I can't hear Him delightedly singing. I can only perceive Him exasperatedly sighing. Grace remains an academic abstraction; the perceptions of shame and impatience are much more tangible. How can we say we love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love our brother, whom we have seen? And how can we receive love from God, whom we have not seen, if we have not received love from our parents, whom we have seen? Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe. It must be possible to believe without seeing, but I haven't managed it yet. I am in Christ, the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased, but I struggle to believe His pleasure in me. God disciplines His children in love, but I seldom see the discipline behind any suffering, much less the love behind the discipline. "Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:15 that one father is tantamount to ten thousand instructors. If you do not have a dad, it doesn't matter how many lectures you get." Or maybe not how many books you read, either.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Shirkman

    This is a mercifully short parenting book that helps refocus and reframe parenting on helping your kids grow into Christ-loving adults. A crushing blow for self pity in parenting and a beautiful reminder that one of the best things you can do for your kids is to *enjoy them.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    mpsiple

    Great. Simple and straightforward. Wilson is at his best talking about the Christian family. He shows that proper discipline is not anti-gospel, but *depends* on the gospel. (A few quibbles, but) I'd recommend it for anyone with kids of any age (but especially little ones). Great. Simple and straightforward. Wilson is at his best talking about the Christian family. He shows that proper discipline is not anti-gospel, but *depends* on the gospel. (A few quibbles, but) I'd recommend it for anyone with kids of any age (but especially little ones).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Boomershine

    Solid, concise, witty advice concentrating on Gospel-saturated principles. "In the Garden of Eden, there was one 'No.' Everything else was, 'Yes.'" Solid, concise, witty advice concentrating on Gospel-saturated principles. "In the Garden of Eden, there was one 'No.' Everything else was, 'Yes.'"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Roberts

    Children do matter This is a great little book! Totally for parents, grandparents and teachers of all kinds!!! I highly recommend this. Go get it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mason Sherrill

    This book is a wonderful explanation of how important biblical childrearing is. It gives great practical advice on discipline and family dynamics but also provides an encouraging and loving perspective on parenting. I really enjoyed the question and answer section at the end! So helpful!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Profoundly useful book; I would recommend it rather than Standing on the Promises, in hindsight.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Addresses many of the common confusions of common church folk. Good biblical application.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Simon Esmond

    Solid, convicting, and practical.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    A condensed refresher on Doug’s other teachings on child rearing. Always convicting, accessible and practical.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Loved it, in all the ways. Conversational wisdom earned through experience. I love that Doug Wilson has a clear way of seeing an issue for what it is; seeing the sides/extremes that we naturally want to fall into, and then setting up the middle ground. Love your children. Love what you are doing for them. And most importantly, love the God that makes it all glory.

  19. 4 out of 5

    William Schrecengost

    A good parenting book. The topics are shorter and more concise than his Standing on the Promises. I liked this one better and will probably return to it over the years as a good refresher and reminder. His other one is much more theological and goes into more depth in some areas, which is good at first but would make rereads more tedious.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Great little book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Van Sickle

    Pure gold

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Mulnix

    The Q&A in the Appendix is great!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shaina Herrmann

    Excellent. I'll be returning to this again and again! Excellent. I'll be returning to this again and again!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    If you are a parent or intend to be one day, you might find this book helpful. If you are someone who is asking the question "why do kids matter?", you as well would find this book a solid answer to your question. If you, like me only read this because Doug Wilson wrote it and you've heard good things about it, you'll find it very educational, amusing and solid. Really, its good. If you are a parent or intend to be one day, you might find this book helpful. If you are someone who is asking the question "why do kids matter?", you as well would find this book a solid answer to your question. If you, like me only read this because Doug Wilson wrote it and you've heard good things about it, you'll find it very educational, amusing and solid. Really, its good.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Frankly, I am shocked by the content of this book. 100% not what I expected. Listen, I don’t recommend anything from Canon Press. Absolutely no reservation, I do not recommend. It would also be completely, and totally disingenuous for me to rate this particular book anything lower than a three. (Although, it’s incredibly tempting, for no other reason than who authored the book. I’m being facetious and I know it wouldn’t be an objective review to just willy nilly give it a one star because I’m pe Frankly, I am shocked by the content of this book. 100% not what I expected. Listen, I don’t recommend anything from Canon Press. Absolutely no reservation, I do not recommend. It would also be completely, and totally disingenuous for me to rate this particular book anything lower than a three. (Although, it’s incredibly tempting, for no other reason than who authored the book. I’m being facetious and I know it wouldn’t be an objective review to just willy nilly give it a one star because I’m petty.) So, although my flesh really wants to press “1 star” to be fair to the content of this particular book, I must rate it fairly. And I must rate it according to the content. I honestly expected this book to be a primer on conquering the culture with raising arrows of children who we launch into the world as world shakers who are firmly rooted in Christ because of the promises of God contained in the covenant. Full stop, that’s what I expected. And that was not what I found. I was genuinely surprised that Doug had a much more gospel centered approach to parenting. Some people may think me crazy for saying this, you may be thinking “Doug is always gospel centered?” And no, he is not. In this particular case, he was. So yes, I will admit it for all to see. I was pleasantly surprised. Opinions on corporal punishment aside, the content of this book had much more good than bad. It was much more practical and boots on the ground with compassionate parenting that is centered around gospel indicatives. It’s really short, and I could see Doug’s own hermeneutical framework at times. For example, he continually assumes the child’s status as “saint” and “Christian” and watching sermons of his on this subject, I know he believes that children born under the covenant are by consequence objectively in the covenant and viewed as a Christian even if they are not. So although he wasn’t fleshing out his covenant theology - it was still present. Still don’t recommend, but it’s probably the best book of his I’ve ever taken the time to read (and I’ve read several.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Douthit

    There were one or two issues I think Wilson may have come down too hard on, but oh my goodness, so many amazing nuggets of wisdom in this book. He talks about how God gave Adam and Eve a thousand “yeses” and one “no” in the Garden, and that our homes should follow suit. I also loved when he emphasized how important it is to ENJOY your children in every phase of their lives. There is some really great stuff in this book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Drew Svendsen

    Such an encouraging and challenging book for parents, self included. I loved the focus on the gospel and the easy correlation to how it plays out in parenting. The focus on principles rather than methods is much needed today in our culture, but also the real examples at the end of the book were encouraging as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Strieby

    Excellent! I highly recommend this book to all parents or those who want to be parents. This book is a quick read but full of biblical and practical wisdom that's been seasoned by years of parenting. Excellent! I highly recommend this book to all parents or those who want to be parents. This book is a quick read but full of biblical and practical wisdom that's been seasoned by years of parenting.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kofi Opoku

    Good material. I found the Q&A section very helpful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Wilson is brief, witty, and sharp--per usual.

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