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If there were 3 classic books that you absolutely wanted to make sure your children read before they leave home, what would they be?
It's a interesting question, because the answer to this question will sum up the most important things you want your children to learn and to carry with them throughout adulthood. Papa the Farmer and I were discussing this and here are the 3 books that we absolutely will require our children to read before leaving home:
Both Papa the Farmer and I wish that we had read the Bible from start to finish when we were younger. Not just Bible storybooks, but the real, actual Bible. There are 3 reasons we want our children to read the Bible from start to finish at least once (preferably more!) before they leave home:
- We want our children to know God and to have eternal life. John 17:3 tells us “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” It is only reading the Bible (not just reading books about the Bible) that will help our children really know God.
- We want our children to have wisdom for dealing with whatever circumstances life might throw at them and wisdom is found in the Bible. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10.
- We want our children to be savvy to their culture and understand Biblical References. When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher read a story that referred to a impulsive child who needed “the wisdom of Solomon.” I laughed out loud but I was the only student in the class who understood why that reference was funny. That term on my report card, the teacher said I “had a wit beyond my years.” It wasn't that, I was simply familiar with the story of Solomon. There are so many Biblical references in our literature, our culture and even the way we speak. Sometimes we have forgotten that the references originally come from the Bible! (Refering to “the blind leading the blind,” the “handwriting on the wall” or the “straight and narrow” are examples) Even if I wasn't a believer, I would want my children to read this book that has influenced our culture so deeply so that they would understand Biblical references when they come across them. Here is an interesting article by Dr. Woodrow Kroll at the Center for Biblical Engagement showing just some of the Biblical References within American culture.
Interested in encouraging your children (or yourself!) to read the Bible? Here are some Bible Reading Programs to get you started:
Bible Reading Programs:
Bible Reading Program for Shirkers and Slackers (My favorite! For an overview of how it works, read this hilarious – and true! – article!)
Bible in 90 Days Reading Program
The One Year Chronological Bible Daily Reading Guide
New Testament In A Year Reading Plan
Bible in a Year Reading Plan
M'Cheyne Bible Reading Program
Pilgrim's Progress is a classic book by John Bunyan. It's an allegory of a Christian's Journey through life and it gives examples of various challenges and trials a Christian might face and teaches children how to overcome these challenges and remain faithful to God. It's an excellent book and a must-read for any Christian.
The original edition was published in 1678 and the language tends to be dated so it can be difficult to understand. As an alternative, our family has enjoyed Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim's Progress which is a 126 page picture book which has simplified the story for elementary aged students. Another favorite simplified version for intermediate aged children is Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen Taylor.
How To Win Friends and Influence People
After reading our previous two suggestions, you might be surprised by our choice of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Yes, it's a secular book but, originally published in 1937, it's certainly a classic! Both Papa the Farmer and I read it as young adults and really appreciated what we gleaned. This book is a fabulous summary of the basic people-skills you need to get through life and navigate successful relationships whether in business, socially or at home with family! (One quote from this book inspired part of my ebook Easy Peasy Chores).
This post is the first of six weekly installments of the Christian Homemaking Community's Summer Book Club. Unlike a traditional book club where everyone reads the same books, each week participating bloggers recommend their 3 favorite books in a certain genre. You can find other bloggers' recommendations using the links below: