(B) Ages 4-8, (C) Ages 8-10, (D) Ages 10-12, Book Reviews, Christian, Discussion Starters, Nonfiction, Starred Reviews, The Good Book
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*God’s Design by Sally Michael and Gary Steward

Sally Michael’s newest Making Him Known family devotional delicately handles roles of men and women, sexuality, and gender issues in a manner that invites whole family participation.

RR_Gods Design

God’s Design (Making Him Known Series) by Sally Michael and Gary Steward. P&R Publishing, 2016. 127 pages.

Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10

Recommended For: Families with kids ages 4-12 (especially ages 6-10)

God’s Design focuses on God’s design for men and women, for marriage, and for families. Twenty six chapters cover subtopics such as God’s creation of men and women, wrong thinking about men and women, biblical examples of manhood and womanhood (Jesus, Paul, Ruth, Mary, and Sarah), purity, marriage and singleness, and roles in the church. As with the other titles in this series, each lesson is followed by two questions that often direct readers back to Scripture as well as with a family activity.

Written directly to children, this series assumes a parent will be reading the material aloud to his or her children. Michael and Steward clearly state the biblical roles for men and women in spheres such as marriage, parenthood, and the church, but they manage to do so in language that is accessible to children. Parents will no doubt be convicted as they are reminded of God’s directions in Scripture, but the book will be a good discussion starter for the family in general as moms, dads, boys, and girls study what Scripture has to say about this culturally relevant topic. Homosexuality and purity are touched on, but are done so in a manner that can be understood on several levels; language mirrors biblical language and is not overly graphic or descriptive:

But when a boy wants to love another boy in the way that a man and a women love each other, or a girl wants to love another girl in a way that a woman loves a man, this is against God’s design.

Families who interpret Scripture to be more egalitarian in its roles for men and women may wish Michael isn’t so pointed about the ways in which men are designed to work, to lead, to protect while women are to help, mother their children, and so forth. But Michael never says women aren’t to work outside the home or take leadership roles in the professional sphere.   Most families who embrace biblical roles for men and women will appreciate the clear, accessible descriptions in this book.

Cautions: none

Overall Rating: 5

Worldview Rating: 5

Artistic Rating: 5

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