When our first book was released, our mentor, Jim Conway, (Men in Mid-Life Crisis), told our three young sons, “Your life is copy written. Make a deal with your folks, if they use a story from your life, you should get some benefit.” That was great advice because our boys would BRING us stories to use in exchange for a “royalty payment”.
When they were little, tangible coins went into a jar for each, but with in a few years, we all agreed it was easier to give them their percentage when our royalty checks came, and that money went into their college fund.
So from the beginning of our writing career the boys say that their lives mattered and they had a very important part in the ministry too. Of course we did the obviously wise actions to protect our relationships by asking permission to use stories, and checking wording of anything sensitive, and deciding with them what stories not to tell. But over all, they have seen themselves as a part of the “writing and marketing team”
In English class in public high school one son gave a speech on Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti; In college, another son used Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti in a debate to share stats showing it is wiser to wait until marriage for sex.
The year one son graduated high school, another from college, and our eldest and his wife graduated with their Masters, they pitched in to help write 10 Best Decisions a Graduate Can Make
A favorite photo of our sons lifting their dad up like a hero is oft used with Bill’s 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make book because that resource is great for mentoring– even discipling your own son.
Our children’s love stories are in books. Brock and Hannah met when I did a booksigning in her parent’s Christian bookstore, and that story is in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. Their “take the high road” integrity of not kissing til engaged is in Guys are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti book for teens. And they all contributed input for The Before You Marry Book of Questions. (on sale now for $6 (use code “wedding”)
In addition, they have been gracious to allow us to use wedding photos when sharing concepts from several of our books on marriage, including A Couples Journey with God.
It is natural to want to share how Christianity works in your family, so make a plan to invite your family to be a part of your team, and a part of God’s ministry. People want to know the inside scoop about an author’s life, love and family, so strategically plan what to share, when to share and how to share the life and love God has blessed you with.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Co director of Love-Wise.com
International speaker, author of 40 books including her newest 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together