A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
I can’t say that I’ve ever read a book on the conscience. And before today, I most certainly had never read a children’s book on the conscience. So glad all of that has changed, because I’ve discovered a terrific book about the conscience that is geared toward children. Andrew David Naselli’s book That Little Voice in Your Head: Learning About Your Conscience is just chock full of wonderful teaching about . . . that little voice in your head!
Told from the perspective of a mother instructing her child, the story follows little Emma who steals a handful of chocolate chips after being told not to take them. Emma feels very guilty about this to the point where she confesses to her mother. Her mother rightly explains that the guilty feelings stem from Emma’s conscience which is a gift from God to help her know right from wrong. Emma mulls over this new information and has lots of questions as she tries to understand this conscience thing. Situations arise where Emma judges the behavior of her friend thinking that this is the proper exercise of her conscience, but her mother explains that we are not to declare things wrong that the Bible does not declare wrong. Emma also learns how to train her conscience and how to protect it from becoming damaged.
Throughout the seemingly simple story, very deep theological truths are shared. Naselli delves into such topics as: everyone is created with a conscience; we should obey our conscience even though it isn’t always right; Jesus has provided a way for our conscience to be cleaned by His death, burial, and resurrection; our conscience should be trained to conform to the teachings of scripture; we should avoid legalism and only hold to the commands that are given in the Bible; we can damage our conscience by ignoring it or by calling good things bad or bad things good; and we can strengthen and improve our conscience by reading and understanding the Bible. All that in less than forty pages! This book is clearly written by a theologian which explains the depth of teaching. The note in the back says that it is targeted to children ages 4-9. I think the amount of text and the depth of topic may be above the heads of 4-5 year olds, but I also believe that early and repeated exposure would implant these truths into the minds of even such young children.
To state it plainly, this is not a book to pick up and read only once but one that needs to be read again and again as a young child grows up and is able to comprehend more abstract ideas.
I would highly recommend this book to parents. I join such esteemed names as John Piper, Connie Dever, and Tim Challies in doing so. That Little Voice in Your Head is a great platform to use in introducing children to their sin nature, justification, and sanctification. Although these words aren’t used, the themes run throughout the book and can provide a solid foundation for the Gospel to be taught and reinforced in their young lives.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Andy Naselli has also coauthored, with J.D. Crowley, the book, Conscience: What It Is, How to Train it, and Loving Those who Differ. You can check out our interview with the authors here.
Buy the books
That Little Voice in Your Head: Learning about Your Conscience