A few weeks ago Devin and I received Steve and Candice Watters' new book Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies in our mail. After a few emails with Candice, sharing with her how much their ministry has impacted my life, she so kindly sent us the new book in exchange for a review. ;) Devin and I read the book together and we loved it!
We both have a strong desire to have children, but after all the work required to plan a wedding and transition into a new season of life, my pre-engagment excitement about having a baby dwindled as I simply did not want to transition yet again. All change, even good change is stressful and most of you know I've had a lot going on in the last two years of my life! This book refreshingly reminded me of my desire for children, excitement about motherhood, and the purpose of our new marriage.
Passionate, but not preachy, the Watters' illustrate how their shared heart to see the next generation come forth is not just a personal conviction, but in fact God's heart and plan for His creation, even a means of fulfilling the great commission. Scripture, statistics and scientific facts come to the defense of their thesis, but not once in an overwhelming, dry, or legalistic manner. Rather, all the information is eloquently woven together in love and vulnerability through sharing their own story of having and raising babies.
Together Steve and Candice take on current cultural standards and weigh them against the word of God. Whether it is a matter of fear, ambition, or lack of desire, they challenge readers to evaluate before the Lord the source of our reasons for waiting to have children, with the reminder that a woman's fertility declines much more dramatically with age than many of us realize. Together they explain how the ways we have conformed to the world have put children on the back burner for most young couples. Today we trade having babies for dream careers and dual incomes; the richness of family homes for pottery barn style; and the rootedness of growing mulit-generational family trees for soul-mate inspired companionship marriages. Candice and Steve present a biblical call to once again view having children as part of being married, noting that though the bible condones singleness for the sake of ministry, not once does it condone voluntary childlessness as an obedient lifestyle option for married couples.
In perfect Watters fashion, this book is a call to intentionality, but even greater than that, it is a call to holiness. They don't paint a one-sided happy picture about all the joys of having a family without emphasizing the great sacrifice required to raise godly offspring for the Lord (Malachi 2:15), but with encouragement that this lifestyle of sacrifice produces selflessness and strength of character.
A friend asked me the other day if it made me feel pressured to have a baby right now. To answer correctly, no, it doesn't make me feel pressured (not in the "I'm a sinner if I'm not pregnant tomorrow" way), but it does challenge me to be a good steward of my fertile years, which affects how I think about timing and hierarchy of goals. Although there is a ton of practical wisdom in this book, its also seasoned with Candice and Steve's reality of God's sovereignty through the miraculous birth of their fourth child. Its the way they combine wisdom and facts with knowledge of God's heart and character that makes this book so spectacular. It will both challenge how you think, and confirm things you believe deep down. ;)
Find Start Your Family on Amazon
For more thoughts, check out Start Your Family Website and blog.
Don't forget about Candice's first book Get Married
Candice'sWomen Praying Boldly social network and blog.
Vist Boundless Webzine where I was first introduced to Candice and Steve Watters' story.