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Shape Your Family With Biblical Truths

Ruth Chou Simons is an award-winning, bestselling author who is passionate about sharing the Word of God with the world. Together with her husband, Troy Simons, she shares about their book Foundations: 12 Biblical Truths to Shape a Family.

No matter what a family looks like, the Simons provide 12 foundations on which people can build their family and raise their kids to become life-long followers of Christ. In the book, you will devotions, meditations, and discussion questions that can help guide you in leading your family. 

The 12 truths you share in Foundations actually started out as prints that hung on a wall. What inspired you to put them into a book? 

[These truths] existed for quite some time as artwork because places like Hobby Lobby had plaques that you could buy that has some rules for the family, and for us it was like, “If we're going to look at something on our walls, let it be something that really reflects what we want to be about from the scriptures,” and that's how it came about. 

I had been writing books for women and so grateful to be writing books that can be used for personal worship and personal devotional for women. My audience saw that Troy and I posted little videos of how we talk to our kids after dinner about what [they’re] learning about who Jesus is and why it matters. And the goal of that was never to show that we're doing it in some ideal way, but to show that you can do it from anywhere. 

People said, “Could you write something that would help us engage our families the same way you do?” And so we took the 12 truths and turned them into devotionals that you can either read yourself and then just converse with your family, or read aloud as a family and say, “Let's engage in this topic and think about how this affects our lives and how we can implement these truths and our lives.”

So how would you encourage readers who might not have a traditional family? 

God knows exactly what situation you're in, whether you've lost a spouse, if you are a single parent, if you're a grandparent suddenly caring for your grandkids. You are the parent for the job. Whether you're in a community group that is really your family right now, or you're parenting children that have unique circumstances that require a lot out of you, my encouragement to you is lean heavily on Jesus. Invest in your personal relationship with the Lord and don't compare with what somebody else's family looks like. God's Word tells us that we are given everything we need for life and godliness. That doesn't mean that we'll always feel like we have everything we need, but it does mean that you are the right person for the immediate needs put before you. If God's placed a child who is struggling with his or her emotions, it's a perfect opportunity for you to look to the Lord and say, “Let me be a conduit of how, God, you are faithful to meet the needs of this child.” God will equip you for what he's giving you. 

What would you say would be the first step in training children to know God for a lifetime?

The very first step is to have a personal relationship yourself. Don't ever underestimate trudging through the mundane of daily life. Even spending a little time in the Word, listening to a good teaching, having worship music permeate your home, don't underestimate how much it begins with you and how that ultimately becomes something that [kids] can catch and not just be taught. We always say more is caught than taught in our home. It definitely it starts with us. 

I think the other thing that we've learned over the years is that we don't need to dumb things down for our kids. As parents, sometimes we get kind of like, “What cartoon can we put in front of our kids to teach them this principle?”
I think there's valuable content out there that is in the form of cartoons or stories, and we love kids' books, but the best children's books are ones that grown-ups enjoy as well. Think about the Jesus story about Bible. Think about so many other kids' books that ultimately give deep truths in really accessible ways, but not dumbed down. I think our kids really respect that. It doesn't mean that we have to explain them perfectly, but it means that we have to attempt to speak to them in ways in which we're not just saying, “This is a good enough answer for now.” We say, “God is so much bigger than we could possibly understand. Let me attempt to tell you about Him.”

What encouragement would you give to people who might not be parents yet or who might just be starting their journey of leading a family? 

I love thinking about the fact that you are already a family as husband and wife. You are already setting the tone of your home, the rhythms of your home, the routines. It's never too early to start establishing rhythms of what you want life to be about, even if you're single. That is cultivated over time and it's cultivated with a life pattern that puts a premium on relationship and conversation, and you can start that right now. 

To purchase Foundations: 12 Biblical Transitions to Shape a Family:

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Ruth Chou Simons
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