Not since Parenting is HEART Work has there been another parenting book that I really liked. Most parenting books annoy me. Why? Because I find them gimmicky or filled with tricks and cliche’s that don’t treat children as unique creations of God wired by Him for a purpose. I’m passionate about this because as a boy I was one of those boys that drove my teachers crazy – I wasn’t rebellious, disrespectful, mean or insubordinate – but they might have called me a “bad boy” when I was out of ear shot. Because I didn’t come out of a cookie cutter. But if they could see me now, they’d understand, I’m a leader, a visionary, a creative innovator, inventor and initiator. An entrepreneur. A mover-and-shaker. I still can’t sit still.
That is why I was hesitant when I was offered a free copy of Spiritual Parenting to review, because it was a new “parenting” book, and I hate parenting books! Parenting books teach parents how to get their kids to behave, and if you’ve been to any of my discipline workshops, you’ve heard me say,
“I have absolutely NO interest in children behaving.”
After the shocked faces recover, I assure them, behavior will improve, but what I’m interested in is shaping their character and their hearts. If you change their behavior – you succeed in making little Pharisees out of them. Training them how to “act” when adults are around. And what happens when the adults are no longer around. Uh, huh. Exactly!
That is the problem with teenagers. When they were kids their parents taught htem how to behave instead of shaping their hearts and character. DUH!
Well, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the premise of Spiritual Parenting is precisely that. As it says on the back cover:
“It’s hard enough to train kids to behave, but good behavior isn’t what Jesus calls for in the Bible. God wants hearts and souls that are shaped in vibrant faith and love toward Himslef and others.”
Michelle Anthony, a Family Ministries Pastor in Costa Mesa, CA, talks throughout the book about how to create environments for fostering Godly character in your children – Environments of Identity, Faith Community, Service, Out of the Comfort Zone, Responsibility, Course Correction, Love and Respect, Modeling and more. She gives practical examples, steps, stories, and scriptures to help parents see how forming a child’s character is the key to real genuine change – change that matters – not just external change. It is a book I’d highly recommend you pick up and settle down and read, have your spouse read, and then discuss.
The other book David C. Cook was generous to give me a copy of, also by Michelle, was The BIG GOD STORY – and it just that! Big and all about God! Never before have I seen in one short children’s book the story of GOD woven so simply and profoundly through the entire Bible in a way that even young children can grasp – even including the 400 years of silence between our Testaments, showing, as she says in the final letter to the Reader, “that God promised, preserved, prophesied, and faithfully presented His Redeemer at the perfect time!”
Your children hear bits and pieces of this giant story in a scattered order at church. Having this book at home and telling them where what they are hearing at church or seeing on TV fits into this BIG GOD STORY can really help them grasp the larger Story of God. I’m grateful to have this book for my son.
Note: These are not affiliate links, I make no money off the purchase of these books. However, I did get a free copy in exchange for the review.
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