Tuesday, March 14, 2017
When God Made You
As parents we are constantly looking for inspirational, motivating, God-centered books for our children to encourage them along. I was optimistic when I saw this book from Matthew Paul Turner - The back of the book reads:
YOU, you...God thinks about you. God was thinking of you long before your debut.
From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe will encourage them to spread their wings and fly.
Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God's diving plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.
'Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew That the world needed someone exactly like you!
Unfortunately, when I picked up this book online I was unable to read this back description or I would have lost some of my optimism about this book. This gives you a very good feel for the book. The book is NOT about God - the book is about YOU. Every page is focused on you (aka the child reading the book) and whenever God is mentioned it is in the context of him thinking about you. Reading this book you seriously walk away with the impression that God is completely and totally absorbed in you and everything you have to offer and give with your unique and amazing talents.
This is a false idea. And a problematic one, on a theological level yes, but also on a practical level. We keep filling our children's heads with delusions of grandeur. We constantly fill them with grandiose ideas of greatness and uniqueness only they can bring. They are special and unique - it's true, but, intentionally or not, we belittle common, ordinary things in the process of trying to build them up.
Is it any wonder we have disgruntled college graduates? They expect to have the world handed to them, instead they can't find a job in their weirdly specialized field. They can't even find a job in their normal field sometimes. Or it doesn't have the pay "they deserve" or some other perk "they need".
We don't give them the idea that maybe their talent is best used in a ministry, not a full time job. Or that maybe its ok if they have an ordinary Joe job, like being a plumber or mechanic or electrician. These are jobs that are regularly demeaned, but in our modern world we can't live without them.
Maybe the point isn't on US and OUR special abilities, but doing *whatever* we have using whatever talents we have (because not everyone actually has a special talent) to the best of our abilities to bring glory to God.
Bringing glory to God is something entirely lacking from this book, and yet that is one of our biggest purposes in life. The closest this book gets to anything remotely Biblical is when it vaguely mentions you being a peacemaker and loving each other.
The God of this book is an undefined "other" being that fits into just about any religious framework, yet it is intended to be for Christians. There is NOTHING in this book that makes that evident. And it's a shame.
I received a complimentary copy of When God Made You in exchange for my honest opinion from Blogging for Books, but I won't be hanging on to it.
(I also didn't dig the illustrations. They might work for some people, but I found them odd.)