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Posted August 10, 2010

Book: Beloved and Blessed: Biblical Wisdom for Family Life
Author: Kimberly Hahn
Servant Books. Cincinnati, OH. 2010. Pp. 249

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

The third in a series of bible studies based on Proverbs 31, Beloved and Blessed offers tools to help you strengthen your marriage and raise your children, creating a civilization of love in your home. Applying Sacred Scripture, Church teaching and pastoral wisdom, Kimberly Hahn helps you explore:

Marital intimacy

Responsible parenthood

Facing the financial future without fear

Strategies for disciplining and instructing children

Trusting God when parenting hurts.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Harmony in our home

We are capable of great good or harm with our words. Saint James offers several word-pictures to illustrate just how powerful our tongues are:

If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships also; thought they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire.

Just as a horse’s gait and direction are altered by the bit and bridle in his mouth, or a ship’s direction is altered by its rudder, so our tongues guide the direction of conversations and relationships. James likens the power of a tongue to fire. Just as massive forests can be destroyed by just a few flames, so our careless words can do great harm.

We can influence both the physical and spiritual health of those we love by choosing our words wisely. “The mind of the wise makes his speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” We want to speak with wisdom. “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!”

We can contribute much to the harmony of our home — and so can our children — depending on our speech. Let’s examine some of the central ideas about godly use of our tongues here. “There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

Words reveal the heart. The Pharisees taught that eating certain foods made the people unclean. Jesus addressed the deeper issue: “Hear and understand: not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man . . .But what come out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.” His words echo the proverb, “Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.”

Table of Contents:

Part One

The heart of her husband trusts in her

1. Invitation fo intimacy

2. Challenges to intimacy

Part Two

Her children rise up and call her blessed

3. Family as the sanctuary of life

4. The mission of responsible parenthood

5. Answering the critics

6. Training our hearts in truth

Part Three

She makes linen garments and sells them

7. Facing the financial future without fear

8. Economics of a stay-at-home mom

9. Mary, model for mothers

Part Four

Her husband is known in the gates

10. The perfect parent

11. Bringing up children with discipline

Part Five

She opens her mouth with wisdom

12. Making a home for the word

13. Living witness: sharing the faith in our family

Part Six

The teaching of kindness is on her tongue

14. Sculpting a life through education at home

15. Training in practical life skills

16. Trusting God when parenting hurts