Monday, August 13, 2007

Authentic Parenting

I first “met” author Mary DeMuth on The Christian Writers View list several years ago, before she and her family left for France as missionaries, then followed their adventures during that two-year period. Since we had taken our 7- and 8-year old children to China for a year back in the 1980’s, I empathized with Mary’s heartache as her children struggled with adjusting to a new culture.

Now, out of that experience, Mary has written a book that will be helpful to Christian parents trying to rear their children in a changing world.

These questions were recently put to Mary:

What inspired you to write Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture?
I don’t parent perfectly. But, we did live through two and half years in France, the hotbed of hyper-postmodernity. We had to learn how to parent our kids in that culture. It occurred to me that the things we learned would be helpful to American parents too.

For Christian parents who might be put off by the term “postmodernism,” why is this book relevant?
The question for parents is how will we mine the current worldview, even as it shifts? What in it can we embrace as biblical? What is not biblical? What I’ve seen in the church is a fearful adherence to what is familiar. So we cling to modern ideas, even though they may not be biblical and shun postmodern ideas even when they might be biblical. Our children will meet this shifting worldview no matter what our opinion of it is.

What are some things we can do to help our children as they grow up in a world that doesn’t reflect our beliefs?
Create a haven for your kids, an oasis in your home that protects, supports, and gives kids space to be themselves. Take seriously the mandate that you are responsible for the soul-nurturing of your children.
Teach your children to joyfully engage their world, while holding tightly to Jesus’ hand. Teaching this comes primarily from modeling it in your own life. Do you engage your neighbors? Are you more interested in God’s kingdom than your own?

What are some of your own concerns about postmodernism?
I happen to believe in absolute truth, so that’s a problem! But more than that, I worry that all our rambling about it, trying to discern what it is, has caused us to rely more heavily on our own intellectual pursuit of God than our heart. When I get caught up in that, I remind myself of my friend Jeanne’s son Jacob, whose heart after Jesus takes my breath away. Living with a brain injury, Jacob throws off pretense as he worships God, arms vaulted to the sky in unashamed heart worship. That’s the kind of believer I want to be. That’s the kind of heart I want. I love this verse: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). For me, for my children, that’s my prayer, that we’d be simply and purely devoted to Jesus no matter what worldview we find ourselves in.

For a copy of Mary’s book, go to (and tell her I sent you!)


Diane said...

I, too, have "known" Mary through her writing while in France and of course her fabulous faith-based novels. I jumped at the chance to be part of her blog tour for Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture. What a timely and important book.

Happy Blog Tour week!


relevantgirl said...

What a perfect blog name for this Authentic Parenting tour! Thanks for being a part.

Mary E. DeMuth

Brenda Nixon said...

Best wishes on your Authentic Parenting tour, Mary.