Book Review – God’s Design
God’s Design is the latest book in the Making HIM Known series for children written by Sally Michael and published by P&R Publishing. This book is highly relevant for today today and even more so than when it was published just seven weeks ago! In this book, Sally Michael takes a look at God’s design for men and women; both as individual and distinct genders and in their interaction in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the church. Her operating assumption is that there is a distinction between the genders and that this distinction is purposeful and doxological. It is purposeful in that God, as the creator and designer of men and women created the sexes with distinct functions, roles, and distinct glories. It is doxological in that the ultimate purpose of gender distinction is the glorification and praise of the creator.
In her introduction to God’s Design, Sally Michael starts off my saying that the book “was written to give parents an opportunity to present solid truth to their children and to encourage real-life application of that truth”. She designed it to be interactive, understandable, theological, and full of practical applications. In my assessment, she succeeded in each of these design elements. She starts off the book with chapters on God as creator and His intention for the sexes. She dispels any potential accusations about extreme patriarchy in a wonderfully written chapter called “Men and Women Are Equal” and then goes into showing how we have rebelled and continue to rebel against God’s design; both as men and as women. After urging the reader to recover God’s design she gives Biblical examples of manhood and womanhood including areas in which wrong thinking has crept into our minds. Then she tackles the topics of purity, marriage and singleness before jumping into applications as husbands & fathers, and mothers & wives. She concludes with chapters on how we were made for work and urges us to trust God’s design and conform our lives to it so that we might fear and trust in His name.
I was really impressed with Sally Michael’s gift of communication. This book is written in such a way that older children can read and comprehend Biblical and theological truths and that parents of younger children can read it to them to encourage dialogue. However, it would be a mistake to conclude that this book is only valuable to children. Adults will benefit from her writing as well. Her ability to clearly articulate Biblical truth is a breath of fresh air in a world of writers who seem to value complexity rather than simplicity. Her simplicity in writing however should not be confused with simplicity of mind. Sally Michael writes with a profound sense of understanding and clarity and yet manages to break the theological language down into sentences that are easy to swallow.
I would recommend this book for parents with children of all ages. With all of the confusion about gender lately it is a timely highly relevant topic. It would work perfect as an addition to a homeschooling curriculum for children around 8 to around 12 years old (parents will want to judge this based on individual learning styles). It would fit perfectly into an extended teaching time by mom or dad as well.
About the author
Sally Michael is the co-founder and publishing consultant of Children Desiring God, and she developed their widely used Sunday school curriculum for young people. She is also an author and a speaker, and she served as Minister for Children at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for sixteen years.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from P&R Publishing in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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