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Craftsmen, reading to your children

Craftsmen: Skilfully Leading Your Family for Christ , by John Crotts
(Shepherd Press, 2005), pb., 160 pp.

This is not a book for reading to your children but a book particularly to Dads about leading their families. The author draws from the Old Testament wisdom literature to talk about being a wise man in your family. I think the subtitle promised more than was delivered, but Proverbs is so good that simply the gathering of some of them along topics and then citing them is helpful itself. So, in the end, this is a fine book, and will be helpful. I was just looking for more direct application to the role of husband and father. At some places he does more of this but, it is not consistent.
My point in listing it here though is his last chapter, “Sources of Wisdom,” which was one of the best chapters. In one section he discusses ways that parents can impart wisdom to their children (p. 146 ff.). He opens with a great quote:

“The biggest beneficiaries of a wise man in the house are his wife a children” (146).

Well put. As I often say to myself and other men, “If you want to bless and help your family, pursue godliness with all you have.”

Crotts goes on though to list several ways a father can impart wisdom. Among them he lists stories. I was pleased to see this. He focuses primarily on the relating of your personal story as Solomon does in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Then he also does mention the value of other stories. Here is the key paragraph.

“Of course illustrating God’s wisdom through stories should reach beyond your own experiences. Tell your children all kinds of stories. Read biographies of heroes of the faith. Use their accounts to instruct your family. Enjoy fictional tales as well. God seems to have given children an incredible appetite for stories. Satisfy their hunger and impart true knowledge at the same time.” (148)

AMEN! This is what this is site is all about. In our home, the dinner table is the typical place for telling our stories. My second son will often plead for another story from “when you and Momma were little.” These stories frame their worldview in ways beyond what we can imagine. They remember better than we do what we have told them. Then bedtime is especially given to reading other stories.

So, this is an encouraging book. I am glad to see the encouraging of fathers in this realm. Too often only the mothers are involved- it seems that mostly mothers read this site. I am not in any way hoping for a decrease in the involvement of mothers- far from it! (see 2 Tim 1:5; 3:14-15) However, I do long to see an increase in the involvement of fathers.

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