Giving Christian Parenting advice can be a bit tricky. While there are definitely lots of commands and principles that help, there aren’t thousands or verses that specifically address parents. Yet, God is the best parenting expert there is. He never gives us bad advice and never comes back a generation later to admit what He told you was wrong.
So what does God teach us in the Bible that is helpful in parenting? The new book, The Life Giving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson attempts to answer that very question. The authors try to break down Christian parenting into eight ways of touching your child’s life with God. From numbering your child’s days to guarding your child’s heart and more, they give a pretty thorough covering of the main areas of Christian parenting.
Although there are a few additional chapters, the main eight chapters have a similar design. The authors share principles, commands and stories from scripture to point out what God teaches on the topic. They then provide concrete examples and make suggestions for practical ways to use these principles in your own parenting.
Although they are often also spread throughout the chapter, the end of each chapter usually lists two or three specific things to do and ends with a short sentence or two summary of the principles from the chapter. Their advice is generally practical and helpful. They usually give more than one idea for each area, so one doesn’t feel boxed into a formula.
As is often the case, I was disappointed to see the authors point parents to the Bible, then ignore the biblical command to be baptized for the remission of our sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Instead, they point to the believer’s/sinner’s prayer – a much more modern American invention, with no biblical support and for which there is no historic evidence that it was ever used in the early church.
As for the rest, I’m sure I could quibble with a point or suggestion here or there, but it would probably be difficult to find any parenting expert with whom one agrees on every little detail. Even parenting based strongly on God’s commands and principles has plenty of room for a parent’s personality and gifts to adapt how these things are taught, practiced and enforced.
Overall, this is a strong parenting book. I wouldn’t give it to anyone already confused about how to become a Christian or how to teach their children to become one. For those who have already been baptized and understand it’s importance though, this book does have a lot of great principles, tips and ideas.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.