A couple years ago we published a very nice 48-page study guide to accompany our Love in the House book. It is now available in Published Digital Format (PDF) for free when you order the book (and the book is already 20% off retail). It’s a great study for groups or with your spouse. Here’s a reprint of the introduction:
Not many people can imagine a life raising as many kids as we have. At the time of writing Love in the House, we were the parents of 13 kids, and finalizing this study guide a year later we have 14. The Learning Channel’s “Kids by the Dozen” series is very popular, and we have enjoyed our attempts at explaining how our life operates.
As hectic as our lives are, we couldn’t be more fulfilled. God has called us to this life. Our days are filled with dirty diapers, sibling rivalry, and piles of unfolded laundry. Our income scratches the upper end of the poverty level. Our clothes are mostly second-hand, we’re preoccupied with finding deals at the supermarket, and our travels avoid virtually every attraction. Why would we claim to be fulfilled?
The answer is in the title: Love in the House. We have learned lessons in love that are most profound, and our book unfolds many loving truths. Love is nothing new, really. It has been preached since Jesus Christ showed the ultimate testimony of love by dying on the cross for us. Since then the greatest stories, songs and poetry have attempted to grasp the profundity of love.
Because love is so much more than an academic study, we worked hard to develop this study guide to encourage couples to learn these depths together. While we’re sure our book is a good read for individuals, it is best experienced when read together as couples or in a small group of couples. We agree with Alexander Strauch what he says in his book Leading With Love,
Christlike love for others cannot be learned merely by reading a book in isolation from people. Math and history can be learned by reading a book, but not love. Love requires a minimum of two persons, the lover and the beloved.
You can experience Love in the House in three ways, the first being as a married couple. Because the chapters are short and concise (we did this intentionally), spouses will find it easy enough to read the book together. We envision moms and dads cuddled up together in bed reading our book before retiring for the night. Discussions should flow from their reading that will strengthen their marriages, their parenting, and their understanding of love applied. At the end of each section, we included a “Couple’s Reflection” to incite deep discussions about family and marriage. This study guide should intensify your experience.
The second way to experience this book (and which this study guide is primarily written toward) is in small groups. This study guide is written for seven individual meetings, perfect for book groups, Bible studies and couples groups. These groups enjoy the camaraderie of others as they wrestle with the challenges laid out in these pages. Truth be known, all parents struggle with raising children. You should not need to go it alone; connect with others and “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
A final way to use this guide is as a group leader. A special appendix is included that lists possible answers to the questions in the guide, giving the group leader ideas for lively group discussion. Special digital downloads are available on our publisher’s website (www.monumentpublishing.com) that give group leaders handouts that can be easily printed for the group. Use the code on the inside cover to access these free resources. Ladies’ and men’s groups, Bible studies, and couples groups are most rewarding experiences, and we encourage you to invite your friends and study through the guide together.
Our hope and prayer is that love will fill your home to allow God’s will to blossom among you and your kids. Coming to terms with the profound power of love will transform your days and bring slices of heaven to your earthly life (Matthew 6:10). While our book tiptoes around very practical household solutions like managing money, rearing children, and so on, the greatest and most practical of them all is the mastery of love. The most perfect home absent of love is a misery, a dark tragedy of good intentions, a situation we wish upon no couple, and a home that God desperately wants to heal.
Open your hearts to the transforming power of love. Enjoy your journey.
~ Chris and Wendy
Already own Love in the House? No worries. You can order the PDF for only $2.95 for an immediate download. Click here for Love in the House Study Guide PDF.