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You Can't Make Me: Book Review

You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated EditionI have been reading You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), Revised and Updated Edition by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. I was excited to get it, as my little guy is quite the "strong willed child" much of the time. I got about half way through and I was sort of feeling iffy about the stories written and advise given. Then I got to a section where a man tells the author that Bible tells us to be obedient to God and our parents. What I took away from her response was that God made most people strong willed and so He most likely doesn't want us to go against our nature. A red flag popped up for me right there. Strong will is a matter of trying to exert your dominance over someone else and not let them win no matter what. Determination and drive are valuable, but I agree with the man, God doesn't want us to be willful and stubborn. We are born as sinners and many things, such as strong will, are passed off as "the way we were born" and we are told to embrace it. God clearly says in His word that they are being tempted by a sinful nature and need to turn to him for guidance and correction.

The following section is titled Rules are basically guidelines, in which she gives this example:

"If I drive into the school parking lot for an evening PTA meeting and the closest parking places are marked "Bus Zone - No Parking," I interpret that sign to mean, "if the buses need those spaces, you can't park here. However, if the busses don't need them, you can park here." It's a guideline! On the other hand, you won't find a stronger advocate than I am when it comes to making sure "Handicapped Only" parking is strictly enforced twenty-four hours a day."
I have a huge problem with the thinking behind this.  If I park in that bus zone it shows my kids that we only need to follow the rules when someone is watching. How am I to know that there isn't a sporting event that is out and will need that space in the evening. Picking and choosing what rules to follow is part of the reason that so many followers of Christ are confused about what the Bible teaches. It is a slippery slope to slide down and it is where I stopped reading the book.

If you want to raise your children in a Biblical way, I do not recommend this book. If you want a quick fix to "tolerate" your strong willed child, then this will help. It will not however, get you to the root of their will and help them to grow to maturity as Godly young men and women.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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