“My name is Nik Weber and I work with a ministry called collegiate campus minister. I am the Campus Director at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Before that I lived overseas in Chiang Mai, Thailand sharing the gospel with Thai people.
I was given the true pleasure of receiving an advance copy of ‘A Princess Problem’ by Renee Joiner and was delighted to hear about her ministry. As a vocational minister, I love keeping my eyes open to see how God is using different people to serve the needs of their community. Mrs. Renee Joiner is not only filling a need, but she is filling needs excellently. She told me how disappointed she was knowing that there was not much literature that helped children better understand the biblical worldview; so she took matters into her own hands. By writing this book she hopes to address foundational issues where other books may have punted. Her heart for children and their discipleship is present in these pages as she uses very relatable experiences to convey biblical truth.
The book follows three sisters Grace, Faith, and baby sister Joy who is celebrating her birthday. When an intriguing birthday gift addressed to Joy catches the eye of Faith, the middle sister, she loses sight of all of the toys that she has and prefers her little sister’s gift. Following this scenario, Joiner poises the question to the reader: ‘What would God’s princess do?’
To help illustrate the obedient response of a believer, Faith recalls a fictitious story of a princess who envied her sister’s sparkly gold shoes. Her father, The King, helps her understand what went wrong with her response, the outcome of having envy, and then uses His Word (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:13) to show Faith the proper way to love her sister well. Faith’s love for Grace leads her to reconcile with her sister. Recalling this story, Faith is able to respond better when her mother asks her not to envy in real life by quoting, ‘Love does not envy.' At the end of the Faith’s story, the reader is given a memory verse to study and apply to one’s own life: a crucial need for the spiritual development of Christians.
‘A Princess Problem with Envy’ is a very practical book to use with children because it uses an imaginative narrative to convey biblical truth. Using children in both a nuclear family and in an allegorical royal family appeals to two mediums of a children interest: real experience and their imagination.
For the Christian, the nuclear family is the primary location of discipleship. The purpose of this book is to help accomplish just that by portraying real-life examples of teaching moments where the truth of scripture can be applied in a very practical way. Parents will find themselves set up to address and recall the lessons in this story for their children’s edification.
For the purpose of imaging, Joiner uses a royal family to portray a spiritual truth that we, as Christians, are a part of God’s kingly family. This is significant to see as a theme for the book because both Grace and Faith, as the primary characters in the book, are seen wearing their princess dresses throughout the story. This shows that their identity as daughters of the King is not just a figurative quirk but a reality that never leaves them. And the daughter’s relationship with the King is a significant truth for children to understand. In being a child of the Lord we have complete acceptance, a heavenly inheritance, complete assurance, and continual access to the throne room through Christ. These distinct truths are merely a surface level understanding of what it means for us to be grafted into the family as children of God and must be understood by all Christians everywhere.
‘A Princess Problem with Envy’ will be an invaluable resource to parents as a discipleship tool. This book will help reveal biblical truth, facilitate discussion, and apply good moral virtues that will be key in the early development of their children.”
––Nik Weber, Campus Director at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee