As you can imagine, I try to read as many parenting and especially Christian parenting books as I can. I want to help you find resources I feel will help and not hamper your parenting journey. Just because someone can get published (and sometimes self-published), has a degree and or considers themselves an expert, does not mean their advice is helpful, wise or godly.
Thankfully, the most recent new parenting book I was sent is full of great, solid Christian parenting advice. Parenting With Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn is a great Christian parenting primer. The author chooses to organize his book into eight truths about Christian parenting. He covers everything from developing character in your kids to parenting through a crisis to parenting in blended families and more.
I would call this a primer because while his advice is generally excellent, it covers the basics in somewhat broad strokes. He discusses attitudes and behaviors, but tends to steer away from lots of tips and creative ideas. Personally, I think it is important to have books like this one available to Christian parents. Whether they are new to parenting or new to Christian parenting, this book spells out a lot of important parenting basics without overwhelming the reader with lots of minutia.
I particularly appreciated the chapter on the roles of dads and moms. So many dads still do not understand the tremendous impact they have on their children or more importantly their absence or disconnection has on their kids. I would highly suggest having all fathers – new or experienced – read at least that chapter regularly. In the U.S. alone, fathers stepping up and becoming involved in the lives of their children would have a drastic positive impact on our country. We can only imagine the positive changes if those fathers were also strong Christians, living their faith and passing it on to their children.
For those looking for a way to study parenting with small groups, there are questions at the end of each chapter for reflection and discussion. The book isn’t covered in scripture, although it is obvious the author practices and promotes Christian parenting. Interestingly, he also includes a “reality check” paragraph at the end of each chapter. I would characterize these as what you need to do when you discover you can’t put the suggestions in the chapter to work perfectly. It’s an encouragement to keep trying, even if you still get it a bit mixed up from time to time or don’t feel great about the concept.
I really only have a couple of relatively minor complaints. The first is purely semantic. There are a couple of times he uses the word “control” in the way a parent should interact with their children. I understand what he means by it, but given the uber-sensitivity to word choice today, I think a different word meaning the parent is being the parent and not manipulated by the child might have been a better choice for some readers.
The other is one I find consistently in Christian parenting books. While this author’s advice is godly and encourages Christian parenting, he really never addresses the importance of weaving God through every part of your family and parenting. For example in the chapter on character, he dances around using the Bible to choose the character traits on which you train your child. It’s in there but more as an aide for helping you and your spouse make a personal decision about which character traits are important. I know what he is attempting to do, I just wish he had put more emphasis on the idea God has already made those choices for you. A parent’s role is merely figuring out the most effective way to train children in each of those character traits.
If you are looking for a great book to give new parents, parents new to Christianity or parents struggling to find their way, this is a good one. It’s not over-simplistic or overwhelming. He covers important basics in ways that can be understood by even the most inexperienced parent. I think any parent would find it helpful.
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.