Wow! What a book! I don’t say that about many books but when a book Biblically challenges my thoughts about a subject and I see more clearly how wonderful the gospel is and how it applies specifically, in this case, to parenting, well, it gets a “Wow!” This is an amazing book.
I have read many parenting books over the years, but none are like this one. The authors, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, clearly state how the gospel should impact every facet of parenting and give real examples of how to do this. Jesus is clearly exalted and our hearts soar in love to Him and then we are shown how to explain and model that for our kids. Of course, we can’t make our kids love Jesus, but we can put Him on display in everyday life and show them how His work on their behalf is amazing.
How the law functions in scripture is clearly explained and then that principle is applied to parenting. Then, the really great, and different, news comes! Grace is introduced to our kids and this is where this book departs from many other 5-step or “Do this and have great kids” parenting books. How to glorify Jesus in every discipline situation is explained and there is even a handy chart at the back of the book that gives us many ways to honor God while correcting our kids.
Raising Pharisees is certainly not anyone’s goal but all too often that’s what we do when give our kids law without grace. They learn to obey a certain standard and think they’re pretty good at it, so then, why do they need Jesus? Or they fail and despise themselves and their life-focus becomes themselves. That’s what the law does – it generates self-focus and who of us needs to do that more? But when grace enters the picture, wow!, how things change. Our kids see that they are sinners in need of a Savior who lavishly loves them even while they are His enemies. They see themselves as God does and then they see Jesus and His perfect work completing the law as they never could and then giving that record to them. What astounding love and sacrifice! And all for them.
If you think training your kids to follow rules is the extent and goal of your parenting, please pick up this book. Satan would love for your kids to follow rules and never need Jesus, but when they start living for Jesus and following Him as their Supreme Love, that changes them and Satan hates it. Showing our kids the dazzling love of Jesus is a great goal of parenting. We don’t have to parent out of fear any more. Parenting with grace is so much better. Don’t raise Pharisees. Stun your children with the love of Jesus. Read and discover how.