Katherine and Phil Howard were Elisabeth's parents, and were devoted christians themselves. They believed the word of God and strived to live it out as best they could. Their 'living faith' brought about the best example and teaching for their children. Phil didn't just tell or push his kids to pray, he led them. He showed them the way. The children always knew that their parents could be trusted because they lived out what they said they believed.
What impressed me most about Elliott's childhood was the simplicity. Yes, she grew up in the 30's and 40's and times were different then anyway, but I get the impression that even if she was writing about today things wouldn't be much different. The family wasn't forever scrambling from one activity to another, yet they actually spent time together. The family gathered together each day for breakfast and devotions and prayer. It's almost hard to imagine pulling that off these days, but what a difference in made in the lives of the children! There is no better way to begin the day than by communing with the Lord!
The thought of being a parent (no matter how far down the road) is both exciting and terrifying. Parenthood comes with such huge responsibility; not only do you have to make sure the child's physical needs are met, but God commands that parents raise their children to fear the Lord. I don't at all feel up to that task, but I know that by God's grace, when the time comes, He will give the the provision I need to be faithful to his commands. I'm also thankful for authors like Elliott who can be guideposts for me in my own parenting. This book is one that I will refer to again and again throughout the years, and I would recommend it to those who are already parents and those considering having kids in the near future!
Some quotes from the book
"Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege." (p.157)
On the teen years:
"We were not taught to expect a stage of chaos and rebellion Some prophecies are self-fulfilling. If they're never heard, they never happen. it's amazing how much simpler life was without television! We did not know we were supposed to kick over all the traces, go completely wild, declare our independence, defy our elders, do our own thing. We did not know we had reached an uncontrollable stage, everything at the boiling point, everything up for grabs." (p. 181)
"Our parents' ultimate goal in their discipline, the goal of anyone who teaches anything, is that the pupil may be led by degrees to self-discipline and become a law to himself. I for one am thankful for the habits they taught me, for habits are powerful things --work, prayer, obedience, churchgoing, "eating your spinach before you eat dessert" --these things have helped me through all my life." (p. 182)