Saturday, July 25, 2009

Book Review: Grace Based Parenting

I'll confess, I have read 20 books on parenting. No kidding. I have searched and searched for the right book to fix my kids. ;) What I didn't realize was that I was the one in need of being fixed! If you haven't read my post, "My Journey to Grace" you can read about why I say this there as well as more specifics about Grace-Based Parenting.

Thank you Mr. Kimmel for writing such a beautiful book. I am truly indebted to you as is my entire family. As I, by the power of Christ, become a grace-based person and therefore a grace-based parent, I am confident it will not only affect my boys but generations to come.

There are times when the best way to review a work is simply let it speak for itself. Here are just a few of my favorite passages from Grace-Based Parenting.

Grace-based parents spend their time entrusting themselves to Christ. They live to know God more. Their children are the daily recipients of the grace these parents are enjoying form the Lord. If you watch them in action, they appear to be peaceful and very much in love with God. They are especially graceful when their children are hardest to love. Their advice to their children would be a mixture of:
  • " You are a gift from God ; go make a difference."
  • "You may struggle doing the right thing sometimes but you're forgiven." ~ p. 19
[If you operate from a standpoint of grace] Your children will be the daily recipients of the number one characteristic of God that has drawn people to Him since the Creation. ~p. 22

If God our heavenly Father is the perfect Father, and the primary way that He deals with us as humans is through the power of His grace, it stands to reason that grace forms the best template for bringing out the best in our own children. ~p. 28

The reason grace makes the most sense as a bottom line for parenting is because of grace's eternal appeal to the human heart. ~p. 29

Let's define what we mean by secure love. This is a steady and sure love that is written on the hard drive of children's souls. It's a complete love that they default to when their hearts are under attack. It's the kind of love that children can confidently carry with them into the future. ~p. 46

Grace can't be some abstract concept that you talk about in your home. It has to be a real-time action that ultimately imprints itself on your children's hearts. ~p. 140

They [children] need parents who remain calm, spend time on their knees, and maintain an open forum where their children can work through their faith out loud. ~ p. 186

Grace provides equilibrium for a family. Where too many parents are concerned with how others view their children, grace-based parents are more excited with how God views their children. Grace-based parents avoid the silly preoccupations with arbitrary standards devised by evangelical busybodies. They keep their eye on the bubble in the level, which is their children's character. To them, keeping their children balanced when it comes to their faith, integrity, poise, discipline, endurance and courage makes more sense than worrying about whether others thing their children look spiritual enough (whatever that means). They don't make it a crime for their children to be different, to be oddballs, or to boogie to a different drumbeat. In the process, they encourage their children to find the unique individual that God designed them to be through an intimate and authentic relationship with Christ...These families are overseen by shrewd mothers and fathers who see their children's fragile features as opportunities for God's power to shine through them. ~p. 212

Grace-based parenting is not a checklist for parenting; it's a lifestyle. It's a clear attempt to retrofit your minds to respond to your children in the same way God responds to you. ~p. 213

The grace-based home assumes kids will struggle with sin and helps them learn how to tap into God's power to help them get stronger...When their children do sin, grace-based parents don't get surprised. They expect it. They assume sin is an ongoing dilemma that their children must constantly contend with. ~p. 216

I can't wait to read this book again...and again...and again!



carole said...

Great quotes! This book has been in my "to be read" pile for too long. I read "Families Where Grace is in Place" first, which was a good de-junker for me since it deals with "curse-filled" relationships and then gets into grace filled relationships.

mimi said...

Yep....I need to read this again too! It's jumping to the top of my pile ;)

Teena said...

Sounds like a great read....

Just found your blog from another blog. WOW really really enjoyed looking around.

VERY encouraging.......


Hen Jen said...

wow, I think I am going to have to go get this book! I am nodding my head with you about being more of a law kind of person, my dad is very much that way and I see that my first reaction is bent black/white. I don't like that about myself and I really appreciate grace in others. On one hand tho, most children crave black and white in their young years... I do see a need for good balance, and I find myself wanting to learn from women I come into contact that just ooze with grace and interest towards kids.

I am enjoying your posts, you have some deep things to think/write about, thanks for sharing this.