I am an avid reader and have been since childhood. Naturally, I started devouring parenting books as soon as I found out I was pregnant. The bookstore was the first place I headed as soon as I left the doctor’s office with a positive pregnancy result. (I also locked my keys in the car, but that’s another story!)
After having my daughter I continued to glean as much information I could from book, blogs. and advice from others. While I found helpful information in most of these, I also began to doubt in our parenting decisions. Almost every time I brought my concerns to my husband, he would ask, “You’ve been reading a parenting book or blog again, haven’t you?” My answer was always yes.
While my husband sees value in books, he has a much more balanced approach than I do. “I don’t think we should base our parenting decisions on what we read. We need to pray and ask God to direct us as parents, not trust man’s opinion.” His truth of his words struck a chord deep inside. Obviously, he was right.
After mulling over this on my own for awhile, I realized that I easily allow books and information to become a god in my life. Instead of dropping to my knees and asking the Creator for direction, I consulted the advice of men. Instead of reaching for the Bible, I scanned the pages of a non-fiction book or opened a search engine on my laptop. What a tragedy!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” –James 1:5
In light of this, I am not reading parenting books for a time. Not because I believe that reading them is a sin or that they are of no use. But, for me, they are a stumbling block. A distraction. I am following the advice of Hebrews 12:1-2:
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
While I don’t believe everyone needs to take such an extreme action, I do want to challenge and encourage you to evaluate your heart. Information you find in books and blogs are only tools and advice from imperfect people. Let us make sure we are consulting the Lord first in the matters of parenting and and following His leading above all else.
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