This week, Doug and I are writing a book review together on Mama Bear Apologetics, a book we both recently read. The authors, who created a ministry by the same name, are Christian mothers who realized they needed to be better equipped as parents in dealing with different worldviews taught in today’s culture.
When I (Doug) saw the title, I almost didn’t read the book. The term “Mama Bear” often has a negative connotation and many use it as an excuse to do and say things that prevent their kids from growing in independence.
In this book, however, “Mama Bear” is used in a positive way. It’s giving your kids what they need so that they are empowered to stand on their own feet and faith when they are on their own. Even though the book is titled Mama Bear Apologetics, we recommend it for fathers, as well.
In short, apologetics is the ability to defend what you believe. It is not apologizing for what you believe.
This book does a great job of discussing many different worldviews, including Humanism, Postmodernism, Materialism, Feminism and others. With each worldview, the authors dissect that which is Biblical and that which is not.
After defining the various worldviews, the authors provide tools for leading meaningful discussions with your own children around these topics. While there were many important takeaways that make this book a great read, we have highlighted two that we believe to be especially important.
(1) It is critical that we, as parents, are being purposeful in our conversations with our children. In America, Christian parents often just hope that their kids have “caught” some of their faith. This book shows that if we are not actively encouraging growth in their faith, the reality is that most of them will walk away from it when they leave home. When we take an honest look at the hours we invest in our children’s endeavors – whether that’s sports, music, or academics – we usually find that we will put them in hours of extra practice or tutoring to encourage their growth. When it comes to their faith though, we are usually not making that same investment of time or effort to encourage their spiritual growth. When they leave home for college and walk away from the faith, we are surprised.
(2) We can never underestimate the importance of knowledge. In order to impart knowledge to our children about various philosophical and religious topics, we must know about them ourselves. This book does a great job of analyzing and breaking down the topics in a way that is easy to understand and also easy to teach. This is critical because, so often as parents, we are reluctant to have these conversations because we don’t feel confident in our knowledge base.
One thing we have learned as parents and in our work with young people, is that children are looking for spiritual leaders. As parents, we need to be their spiritual leaders. This book does a great job of equipping us to be spiritual leaders and encouraging us to have intentional conversations with our kids so that our children are equipped and ready to impact this world for Christ.