Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Book Review: Start Your Family

While this book wasn't on my official summer reading list that I shared back in May, as Rob and I were packing up for camp, I grabbed a few more books in case I finished everything else on my list (or to be honest, got bored with the ones I was reading and wanted to start yet another book).  Among them was a book that I bought last summer on Amazon, which was a "recommended read" called Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies.

The book, written by Steve and Candace Watters (you can visit their website/blog here), challenges couples to be intentional about starting a family early in their marriage while in the peak of fertility, even though doing so goes against the message of culture which says that couples should be "settled into a home in suburbia, out of debt and in good position financially, etc." before even thinking about having children - let alone encourages them to bring children into this world at all instead of pursuing their professional and consumeristic dreams.

The Watters' encourage couples to think about they have to give and gain in the task of raising children, and share so many of the positives and blessings from God that are given to parents through children that couples do not hear from society, or frankly, even from the Church.  They invite couples to step out in faith when starting their family, trusting God to provide (along with the work and preparation we must do ourselves, of course) and bless, as He did throughout the course of history in struggles and worries that couples have had, as revealed in Scripture.

My favorite chapter in the book was Chapter 3: Crucible in the "Why Start a Family?" section of the book. Their main points for the chapter are that children reveal who we (the parents) really are, that they help us work the selfishness out of our lives, and that they condition us to serve others.  Here are some things that really stuck with me:

"Our culture teaches us image management - to look our best and make good impressions. Our children teach us... 'Who do you think you're kidding?'... Parenting provides an 'incarnational' version of our faith - projecting our beliefs into flesh and blood. We see now how God gives us a family as a mirror to see ourselves, to push us to recognize who we really are and what we're capable of, both for good and for evil... Parenting gives us a God-supplied glimpse at how He sees us.  When you start a family, you're signing up for a responsibility that requires all of you... The demands of another person start with the pregnancy, are painfully obvious during the delivery, and continue in waves throughout the season of raising children."

This book really challenged me to look at my own goals and priorities in life, and to think about continuing the conversation with Rob about when we want to start our own family, in light of some of the challenges of the book.  If you are getting married soon, have recently gotten married, or even if you already have children, I would encourage you to read this book. Even though I do not necessarily agree with everything the authors write, it will be a good starting place for conversations about why, how, and when to start our family.



  1. Sounds interesting! And very pertinent to our next Bible study meeting with the girls... We're reading Radical Femininity by Carolyn McCully. Want to come visit? ;)

  2. When is it? Rob and I want to come visit Faith one Sunday as soon as camp is over! We miss all you guys!

  3. We miss you too :) The Bible study is every other Monday night... the next one is July 5th at my house. We'd love to see you after camp or anytime!

  4. Katie, first off, you have a really lovely blog! Thanks for "inviting me over". :)

    Secondly, this book sounds so fascinating. Admittedly, I have often fallen into that category of wanting to have it "all together" before bringing kids into the picture. A close friend and her husband recently announced their pregnancy. One of the things she told me was, "You know, I just realized that I'll never "be ready" or "have it all together"." I think the quote you have from the book is also very telling... kids force us to look at ourselves in an entirely different light. They bring out the worst, so that we are humbled and drawn closer to God. So much to think about...

    Thanks for reading b*spoke! It’s great to have you as a neighbor.

  5. Hello, Katie! I found your blog via b*spoke...and what a happy find!

    This book sounds really interesting. I was surprised with a "honeymoon baby" and was so devastated at first. God has turned it into the biggest blessing! -- doesn't He always know best? His plans for my life are bigger than my own dreams and I think having a baby has chipped away at my selfishness like nothing else could. I'm happy to hear that other people are prayerfully considering starting their family (and on happier terms than I did!). God bless you!


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