Talking with Mary DeMuth, author of Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture
In this blog, I usually review, discuss, and throw my two cents around about fiction, primarily, today’s hottest Christian fiction.
But there’s always exceptions.
Lately, my wife and I have been talking about raising our three daughters in today’s postmodern culture. How do we train them up to be “in the world but not of it?” How do we train their hearts, and not just their behaviors? How do we come alongside them and guide them through the rough waters of postmodernism? Today’s world is so much different than the world we grew up in just thirty years ago. Then along came Mary DeMuth’s book, Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture. If you have children, get this book. Mary delves into the postmodern world and the challenges it presents to parents raising young children. We found answers to all our questions and then some. Below is a brief interview I did with Mary:
1) With your background being what it was, with the lack of propermodeling, how did you learn this stuff? Trial and error? Digging deepinto God’s Word? Voice from the sky?
No one has asked me that question. It’s a great one! I watched other parentsI admired. I read a lot of books. I prayed. I failed a lot. I asked a lot offorgiveness. I read the Bible. I journalled. I asked other parents for help.I had the support of good friends who prayed me through. I was blessed inthe early years with an older woman who mentored me, which helpedtremendously. And, I had the sweet voice of Jesus whispering encouragementto me even when I felt inadequate.
2) What should be the church’s role in raising children in a postmodernculture?
There’s an interesting book about that called Postmodern Children’s Ministryby Ivy Beckwith. She grapples with that issue well. As to the church, I believe its job is to equip parents and kids to know andlove Jesus, to give them the tools they need to understand a biblicalworldview. One thing I think our church has done well is had a teen/parentmovie discussion group. We all watch a movie together and then discuss themovie in terms of worldview. That way, we’re not withdrawing from theculture, but exegeting it alongside our kids. It’s been a fascinating time.
3) We do you do with a child whose a follower by nature? How do youkeep him/her from “going along” with the culture?
I have one leader and two followers, so this is particularly important tome. To answer, I’ll share a story. My son Aidan is a follower, but,thankfully, he is stubborn. When he gets something in his head about what isright or wrong, he sticks with it. Last year, he shared that it was his goalto make wise decisions. We applauded it. Later in the year, he went to afriend’s house who was showing an evil (demonic) movie. He chose to walk outof the room, tell the parents he didn’t want to watch it, which led to theparents turning it off (all this in French!). What I see at work here isAidan’s internal relationship with Jesus. He didn’t want to watch the moviebecause he was afraid we’d be mad at him; he knew it would hurt his soul. Itwas his relationship with Jesus that kicked in. So, I guess the answer is:model your own relationship with Jesus for your children, encourage each ofthem as they pursue Him, and walk alongside them when they start strayingtoward the culture. Above all, pray, and keep communication lines way open.