I write about parenting quite a bit here on this blog. Sometimes the moments I write about are gloriously inspiring; sometimes they are terribly embarrassing. What you don't get in my posts is an audio file of the joyful noise that fills our home throughout the day. It's the joyful noise that can sometimes include crying, yelling, whining, complaining, and arguing. If your home is filled with joyful (and sometime non-joyful) clamor, you, too, likely spend many an hour praying, preaching to your own heart, applying self control, venting to your spouse...and reading parenting books.
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus is a new book co-written by one of my favorite Christian authors, Elyse Fitzpatrick. In collaboration with her daughter, Jessica Thompson, Elyse Fitzpatrick writes no ordinary parenting book. Offering no formulas and systems, Give Them Grace girds the parent with the paradigm and the vocabulary for grace-filled, Gospel-centered parenting. As parents, we are encouraged to think of our children's spiritual condition as it relates to their behavior, leading our children to see themselves as they truly are: sinners in need of God's grace.
At the deepest level of what we do as parents, we should hear the heartbeat of a loving, grace-giving Father who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message that your children hear from you, if the message that you send them on a daily basis is about being good so that you won't be disappointed, then the gospel needs to transform your parenting, too. (pg. 21)
One of the things I love most about Elyse Fitzpatrick's books is that she regularly follows the pattern we find in the Apostle Paul's letters by beginning with the declarative (the truth about who we are and what we believe), followed by the imperative (what we do in response to what we know). Give Them Grace is no different. After clearly explaining the Foundations of Grace in our parenting paradigm, the second half of the book is dedicated to applying these truths as we seek the Evidences of Grace in our children's lives.
My conclusion? With such deliberate consideration of the gospel, the Word of God, the finished work of the Cross, and the freedom we have from the Law...it's not just my kids that are being dazzled with the love of Jesus. I am reminded once again that, when I am overwhelmed by the sufficiency of the Cross, my parenting will emanate from a heart that applies what it believes. A disciple responding in love, not to legalism or self-righeousness: the very thing we long for in our children.
I was so blessed to receive a copy of Give Them Grace to review here at GraceLaced, but was even more blessed to receive a copy to give away to one of my readers!
To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what you hope to glean from this book. Entries for this giveaway will end at 10pm on Sunday night, May 29th, 2011. Winner will be announced on Monday, May 30th.
Blessings to each of you!
(Giveaway now closed.)