Top 3 parenting books: EVER. Give Them Grace.
You don’t even need to be a parent to sit and just drink in the focus on grace in this book by Elyse and her daughter. I finished it being encouraged in my personal life and also more to want to be a parent one day and how hard that task is going to be!
Elyse focuses on grace: that undeserved richness that God has given to us through Christ by His life, death, resurrection, and glorification. All He has we have: His righteousness and holiness. How important it is that we live in this reality – in our daily lives and men and women, and also in how we parent.
Elyse is doctrinal and theological in this book: but she also gives you very practical conversations, prayers you can pray for your children. One of the conversations I heard recently while attending a parenting seminar was “who really thinks of these things in the heat of disciplining your child – when they are throwing a temper tantrum?” That is true – but that is where grace first needs to be applied to your life as a parent – to my life. Then to our kids’ lives! Even in the heat of the moment when they are screaming because they didn’t get to play the last game on the Wii.
I underlined so much in this book: but I’ll just pick out the good ones.
“Every way we try to make our kids good that isn’t rooted in the good news of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ is damnable, crushing, despair-breeding, Pharisee-producing law.” – pg 36
“Every responsible parent wants obedient children. But if we’re confused about their ability to be good, we’ll end up lying to them about their desperate lostness outside of Christ. We’ll tell tehm they are good and that they can obey God’s law.” – pg 47
“Yes, God commands us to train our children, but care needs to be taken that this training doesn’t morph into something more important to us than God Himself.” – pg 56
“The humility that acquiesces to being led, managed, and trained flows out of an understanding of one’s own lostness and a growing understanding of and trust in God’s great offer of life. Only the good news of the gospel produces a truly submissive humility of heart.” – pg 86 – I thought this also applied to work relationships and marriage relationships. Really any relationship: if we choose to live our Philippians 2.
“Management charts may help you run the home more smoothly. They may also become your god. Management is simply your effort to control outward behavior. It is not meant to get to the heart, although a child’s obedience to the outward rules may be evidences of faith. Every parent has to manage her child’s behavior.” – pg 89 – What is your end goal in your home management?
Anyway…you get the drift. Elyse does a great job at engaging her readers and pointing them to the Son.
So, for every parent, person in ministry who works with parents, people who might be parents one day, people who just like kids – or anyone who knows parents or kids. I think that is everyone! Go buy this book when it comes out!
Thanks Elyse and Crossway!