Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review: Grace Based Parenting

I have not read too many "parenting" book yet.  Maybe I'm behind the times, but with my kids still being so little, I didn't want to waste the time if it would be more useful in a few years.  But I am ever so glad to have read this book.  It doesn't matter if your kid(s) is 2 months old, 2 years old, or 20 years old... its worth the read.

The whole concept of the book is if you wonder, "How am I to raise up children to love and serve God?" It is easy.  You simply need to treat your children the way God treats you.  And that is in His grace...and His grace is sufficient.

The book starts out by describing "extreme parents".  On one side of this are the parents who have erased all clear moral boundaries and really just let their kids run the show.  On the other side are the parents who restrict or control just about everything in there children's lives hoping somehow to make it safer for their children to go through life.  But as Dr. Tim Kimmel states, "One of the characteristics of God's grace is how much latitude He grants within His clear moral boundaries to make choices."

I LOVE it when he talks about not wanting to raise "safe" kids, but rather "strong" kids!  I think that these days people are so worried about what to expose their children to or even things they should be doing.  My kids get corrected IN FRONT OF ME all the time by people at camp telling them they should "not play on the rocks" or "they are in the water too deep" or "if they run too fast down the hill they will fall".  Thank you... I understand your concern.  But I am their mom, and I want my kids to be brave and explore on the rocks and not be scared of the water and run hard and fast!  Yes, occasionally they will fall and hurt themselves, but should we live our lives in fear?!? Ok... sorry... side note.

Anyway, I want my kids to be able to hang with the "shady crowd" and be strong enough to not be influenced but to have an impact... like Jesus did.  Yes, they will definitely have moral boundaries on certain things, but I want them to be strong enough in the Lord to think for themselves and believe what  God says when He says "I have overcome the world".  I have probably butchered this explanation.. but you should read the book and form your own opinion.

The second half of the book is dedicated to breaking down four freedoms we should be giving our children.  The freedom to be different, to be vulnerable, to be candid, and to make mistakes.

This book was an eye-opening challenging read for me but well worth the time spent reading.  I pray that God would continue to give ME the grace to give my children the grace that they need... and that my life would be an example to point my kids to Christ in my failures knowing that he is loving and forgiving and full of mercy and well....grace.

Have you read the book?  What did you think???

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