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Janet: Host of nationally syndicated radio
program Janet Parshall’s America; Former Spokesperson
for Family Research Council
Sarah: Lawyer; B.A. Journalism, Liberty University; J.D., University of Virginia; homemaker
Janet Parshall says the book she wrote with her first-born daughter, Sarah, When the Fairy Dust Settles, is a primer in apologetics. It gets to the heart of what one really believes, just like her popular radio show does. Janet and Sarah share letters that they wrote to each other addressing issues like body image and self worth. Janet says this is similar to the way Paul was able to impart wisdom to Timothy.
An intimate form of communication, the book encourages open dialogue between mothers and daughters and between the older and younger generations. Janet believes the older generation must distinguish between major issues and minor issues, and impart the truth based on the major issues. As an example, Janet says someone won't go to hell for getting a facelift, but an issue like this is cultural with a biblical heart. Sarah believes that biblical issues are major and cultural issues are minor. Getting to the root of the issue will lead to the biblical truth.
Janet says there is a problem today with integrative faith – there is a disconnect between how people live and what the Bible says, a distinction between culture and faith. Because of this, Janet believes women should be critical, biblical thinkers. She and Sarah chose the use of fairy tales in their book to point women back to the truths of the Bible. Women must distinguish between faith, fantasy, and fact.
Many women have grown up expecting their real lives to mirror the happy endings found in fairy tales. Janet and Sarah want Christian women to understand that in the Lord, women are real-life princesses and that the real world is temporary and doesn't usually have a happy fairy tale ending. Eternity with Jesus is the true "happily ever after." Janet notes that our culture is going back to fairy tales and there is another generation of girls to believe the myths. Sarah wants the women of her generation to find hope through this message.
The Thought Police
The Parshalls lived a great life in Wisconsin with Janet's husband, Craig, practicing law and Janet being a full-time mother to their four children. Janet came to politics about 19 years ago when Sarah came home from 5th grade with a troubling school assignment. Over dinner Sarah told her family that her teacher, as part of an experimental program in self-esteem, asked Sarah whether or not she wet her bed or bit her nails and with whom she would live if her parents got a divorce.
Disturbed by this type of teaching, Janet made an appointment with school administrators to complain. When she and Craig arrived, they faced a table of school officials who treated them as if they were on trial. Janet says one official asked if she "was opposed to secular humanism." This was an "aha" moment, and Janet asked him what secular humanism was. Clearing his throat, he said he didn't know. Janet said, "Well, sir, if you don't know, what difference does it make if I'm for it or against it?"
This incident transformed Janet from being a PTA mom to being part of the "right wing." Craig and Janet began talking with other concerned parents and speaking out at every opportunity. It was an epiphany for Janet, opening her eyes to the reality and intensity of spiritual warfare and the fact that she had to equip her children. She realized she had to impart to them the Bible and how to apply it in their lives.
The Achilles heel for Christian parents is their children, says Janet, and parents need to be aware of this. Because of this, the Parshall's dinner table became the forum for family discussions.
Janet totally immersed herself in the Word of God and started to learn apologetics. It was the first time she discovered that there was a major disconnect between reading the Word and applying it.
Christians must increase their discernment and impart the Word. Janet says that as Christians we're too lazy to decipher the Word, so we are wooed by the world's system and are deceived. The Word is the bottom line, and we must pass it on to the next generation. There needs to be an understanding of critical biblical truth.
Sarah says that even in the 5th grade she had a sense that the assignment was wrong. Before this incident, she knew right from wrong and the family had forum discussions. Her parents gave her a strong foundation. They led by example, and it was a natural progression.
Sarah and her siblings were politically active as teens. Sarah says her parents taught her and her siblings how to be courageous in their faith. By the time she got to college, Sarah really felt she got the opportunities to demonstrate this. Sarah hopes to pass the values she learned on to her son.
Sarah vividly remembers accepting the Lord when she was 6. She prayed with her mother and really desired the Christian life that was modeled to her by her parents. Sarah's father was much like Atticus Finch of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, a lawyer in a small firm interested in making a difference in people's lives.
Though she was given a strong foundation of biblical teaching in her family, Sarah says she went through a period in college where she explored her own beliefs. She found it beneficial and learned that everyone goes through stages of exploration to discover their individual relationship to Jesus. While in college, Sarah established her own personal relationship with Christ.
She worked in her father's law firm after college, and then worked in another
firm after getting her law degree. She subsequently worked in a small advertising
agency. Now she stays at home with her infant son. She believes it is important
for her to be available for her son in his formative years just as her mother
was there for her and her siblings.
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