Simply put, this book is a must read for any parent serious about raising their children according to the Bible. From the moment I first opened the book until I wrote this review, I found myself challenged with how I parent my children.
This is an area that I constantly struggle with and this book has been a great encouragement for me to read. The author does not write from the perspective of having been the perfect parent in that he shares some of his own struggles and what he learned from them. Every chapter begins with a story or a couple stories of a parenting situations every parent has experienced or has seen fleshed out in public areas that leave us shaking our heads. The unfortunate part of the stories he shares, is they are too often all too familiar to me as having done it myself.
But the author does not leave us to wallow around in self-pity knowing how far we have fallen from our big pre-parent aspirations, but encourages you to move forward with the principles he shares and how they can, as the front cover of the book says, “radically change your family.” And this is the best part of the book, it is gospel centered. This is not a feel good book about parenting and how you can do it all on your own and all you need to do is pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of book. It is a book that causes you to fall at the foot of the cross, admitting you cannot do it on your own and asking God to help you do it. This is not the approach most American parents want to accept but it is necessary for us to raise children in a God-honoring and gospel-centered way. If our goal as a Christian parent is not to raise children who love God, then what is our goal? What are we hoping to accomplish? If we do not have a goal in our parenting, then how can we know whether we are parenting the right way or not? The last things we as Christians should do is just go about our parenting ways with no ultimate end in mind besides helping them be successful adults. Our goal should be to raise children who fear and honor God with their lives and follow Him as a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. If that is your goal, or if that is what you deeply long for your goal as a parent to be, then this book will give you direction and guidance in how to make that happen.
One quote from the book that truly stands out is this one Crossway also posted on their Instagram account:
“The goal of parenting is not control of behavior, but rather heart and life change.”
As a parent, this is a hard pill to swallow. I want to be able to parent in such a way and through what I say get my children to accept what I say and do what I say. But the issue with that is I do not have the power to get any child to change on my own. Only God has the ability to bring about heart change and eventually life change. And this makes it tough on us because it means no amount of yelling or threatening or anything else will bring about the change we hope or desire in our kids, only God’s grace can bring about that change. This book points us to remember that each and every day in each and every parenting situation that arises.
All that said, this is a book I would purchase for every parent in my church if I could. It is a book I would highly encourage and recommend for any parent, soon to be parent or married couple who aspires to have children in the future.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting / Flyby Promotions for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for this honest review.