Top GOV Books for Summer Reading

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Summer is a great time to catch up on some reading. Here at GOV, we read a lot. And the good news is, there is a lot of excellent content out there! On the other hand, there is also a lot of not-so-excellent content. Which is why we go to great lengths to make sure all the books we recommend are good ones. Below you’ll find our top summer reading picks to help get you and your children off to a good start come school season.

Parents

Raising Body-Confident Daughters – Moms of daughters 6-14 will find Dannah Gresh’s new book incredibly helpful as they learn practical steps to help their daughters navigate our “thin is in” culture.

Secure Daughters, Confident Sons – In light of all the hype over homosexual marriage in the press lately, this book is a great help to parents seeking to affirm their children in their God-given sexuality.

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be – Dr. Kevin Lehman’s book for dads of daughters is full of humor, practical advice, and the gleanings of years of experience. Not only does it give dad a shot of encouragement, all the stories Dr. Lehman shares were so entertaining, I could hardly put it down!

Raising Boys by Design – Using science behind boys’ brain and social development as well as spiritual wisdom, this book is the collaboration of two respected experts on the topic of raising healthy boys.

Entering Elementary/Primary

My Princesses Learn to Be Brave – Using a lesson from the book of Esther, this story follows two girls who are being bullied by a boy on the playground. It’s a great story to teach your daughter how to be brave and respond to a bully in a positive way.

Warrior Prince for God – Luke isn’t as good at sports as other kids are, and sometimes they tease him because of it. But when Luke learns he can be a warrior in God’s Kingdom, he finds the true meaning behind strength and courage.

The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made – With text for younger kids (ages 3-8) and older kids (8-10), this beautifully illustrated book explains how God designed a husband and wife to have a baby. Using age-appropriate information, the book communicates the beauty and majesty of God’s creation, including a special section on adoption.

Entering Middle School/Upper Primary

It’s Great to Be a Girl – Learning about your changing body and growing up are tough subjects to talk about. But this book makes it fun and encouraging.

Passport 2 Purity – This weekend retreat for moms and daughters or fathers and sons is an excellent way to explain God’s design for sex, relationships, puberty, and purity presented in a way that is appropriate for pre-teens. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Heroes of the Bible Devotional – A 90-day devotional highlighting men and women from the Bible who lived heroic lives. Boys and girls alike are inspired to live heroically in their daily lives.

Entering High School/Secondary

Free to Be Me – Girls are under so much pressure to fit in and do all the right things. But who defines what is right? Instead of looking to peers or the media to find yourself, why not look to the one who created you?

A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His BibleJim George has a gift for inspiring young people to not just open their Bibles, but understand scripture. The wisdom Jim has gleaned from years of Bible study and teaching have been boiled down to a devotional for teen boys that is simple and encouraging.

Going off to University/Entering the Work Force

What Are You Waiting For? – Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, sex is not simply a physical act. By God’s good design, it is so much more than that. Written for young women living in a “casual sex is no big deal” culture, this book unpacks the deeper, Biblical meaning behind sex and brings in biological research to help explain the very good reasons behind waiting for marriage.

Killing Lions – Navigating the transition from boyhood to manhood can be rough. All the choices needing to be made about finances, romance, and career can seem like lions on the prowl. This book is adapted from phone calls between a loving father and a son working through some major life decisions.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

Parenting, Perseverance and Porn

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If there is one virtue parents need when they decide to help their children pursue a lifestyle of purity, it is perseverance.

Recently a parent confided that despite her best efforts to keep her child away from pornography (teaching about the harmful effects, installing filtering software, being careful with media choices, etc.), she discovered her child had in fact searched for it. Thankfully, this parent had monitoring software installed on her child’s device, so she was able to tell quickly after the incident happened, what had actually happened. (For a good monitoring software, please check out our top pick: Covenant Eyes)

This parent was wise in her reaction. She didn’t respond in anger or shock, but waited a little while until she could calmly talk to her child about it. As she recounted the story, she was visibly upset. And rightfully so. It’s so traumatizing to know your child has searched out porn. It is shocking and very sad. It can make you feel like you have failed. Especially if you were taking steps to prevent this occurrence.

The temptation is to throw in the towel and say “well, I guess it didn’t work”. Please don’t do this, mom and dad. This would essentially be communicating to your son or daughter that he or she is not worth fighting for. It would also reinforce the myth that pornography addiction is not something you can overcome. Your kids need you to fight for them. They need you to roll with the punches and get back up when failure comes. They need you to remind them that there is nothing Christ has not forgiven and there is nothing that He did not overcome. And this ability to overcome He gives to us, too. Your kids need you to have relentless hope for them. They need you to pray for them and believe the best for them even when they can’t believe it themselves.

Perseverance is an essential element of relentless hope. When you hope for the very best for your kids, you start thinking that despite all the circumstances, despite what I see, despite all the evidence stacked up against me and my children, I choose to believe that we can pursue God’s holiness. We can seek to be like Him. We can overcome everything that is causing us to stumble. We can do this because of the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is a promise in scripture I encourage you to pray over your situation if you find yourself struggling to persevere. Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I pray the Lord blesses you and keeps you and helps you to persevere as you raise your children. I am convinced you will reap a very great harvest if you don’t give up.

– Megan Briggs

Megan joined the Generations of Virtue team to become the Product Manager, a position which keeps her busy researching, reading resources, managing inventory and speaking to young people.

SEX ED FOR SINGLE MOMS

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I recently received this testimony about Passport 2 Purity (P2P) from a mom who attended one of my parenting sessions. It was so good I had to share! I sincerely admire this mom who is determined to share the truth with her son, despite the difficulties of being a single mom. Way to go, mom!

I came across the P2P kit when I attended a Generations of Virtue parenting talk in March 2014.  As a single mom, I was fretting about how to have The Conversation with my son (then 14 years old), and thought that P2P would be a good tool.

When I opened the kit, I was overwhelmed by the planning and preparation that was required! I thought to myself – “it’s too much work.  I don’t think I can find a suitable destination or a fun activity that would fit the purpose.”

Nonetheless, I took time to read through the notes not once, not twice, but several times – digesting it, thinking about it.  Specifically, I prayed to God to help me plan for this, to show me how to do this, and to prepare our hearts for this.  Slowly, a plan took form.

I decided not to follow strictly to the schedule recommended.  Instead, I planned it into our family vacation to Gold Coast, Australia in June 2014.  It was significant as it was the first time he and I were going on a vacation, just the two of us. Until then, vacations were always with friends or the extended family. It was also his 14th birthday present.

I gathered the materials needed for the activities and packed them into the luggage, without him knowing.  The audio tracks were downloaded into my phone for easy playback, along with headphones.

We did our first session on the flight out to Gold Coast.  The rest of sessions in the evenings were spread out over the next six days – usually in the evenings, when we are back from the day’s activities.  Being away really helped as it took us away from our daily routines and distractions.  Both of us were relaxed, enjoying ourselves tremendously and not worrying about chores/schoolwork.

There were some awkward moments (at least for me), when instructions were given to “talk with your dad” and during topics of physical changes/masturbation.  However, these moments passed quickly.  The main benefit of P2P was that it provided a clear, structured framework to discuss the various issues relating to puberty, sexual purity and dating.  The questions provided a great start to otherwise awkward conversations.

At the end of it, it was not just my son who benefited from it.  I too gained a deeper understanding of my teenage son. I feel P2P has also brought us closer. My son is not shy to come to me with issues or concerns he is having about his growing up, how he relates to his peers, even how to start a conversation with a girl!

 In fact, I’m planning to do a “refresher” course with him this year, focusing on setting boundaries, and dating. 

Julie Hiramine

Julie Hiramine is a mom, author, and the founder and executive director of the ministry Generations of Virtue. As an internationally noted speaker, she has ministered in many nations to thousands of parents, teens, and young people. Julie believes the key to turning the tide of an immoral culture is to equip parents to empower their children to be pure.

One of Julie’s main inspirations (besides the Lord’s calling, of course!) is her own children. In fact, the ministry of Generations of Virtue came about largely through Julie’s prayers for a strategy she could use with her own children. Julie and Kay have 5 children, whom they have homeschooled and taken along on numerous ministry trips around the U.S. and overseas. When not ministering, one of Kay and Julie’s favorite activities is cooking gourmet meals (much to the delight of the Generations of Virtue team). The Hiramine family lives in Colorado and western New York when they are not on the road.