If parenting is hard, Christian parenting can take it to even higher levels of difficulty. The stakes are understood better, which means parenting decisions have possibly greater consequences. And being a Christian doesn’t mean you are spared from the difficulties of living in a fallen world. Your kids still get sick, things break down and on and on.
What if though, you could “trust that God offers you a path to grow stronger, smarter and more like Jesus through it all”? In The Struggle is Real, author Nicole Unice attempts to help you do just that.
Unice breaks the book into two main sections. The first is about the struggle between life the way most of us are living it and life the way God wanted it to be for us. She covers some topics we don’t often discuss, like the need to accept struggle and hardships as a way to spiritual growth. She also tackles the idea of how the things that have happened to us in our lives can change the way we view God and life.
The second half of the book is about how to live life more as God intended us to live it. She spends a lot of time explaining what she calls the “freedom cycle”. In her mind, this illustrates the life God calls us to live. Doing things that interrupt this cycle, she believes, is what throws us off balance.
Perhaps, it was my frame of mind when reading the book, but I felt like it was a slow read. It’s not that it is poorly written, but more that it reads like a textbook to an extent. There is a lot of theory, some story telling and some scripture. There wasn’t anything I particularly objected to as much as there wasn’t anything that grabbed my interest. Perhaps if I felt stuck in my life, I would have read it with more enthusiasm.
I will say that one point she made about sarcasm being thinly veiled contempt, really is something we all need to be more aware of as Christians. There is an idea that sarcasm equates to intelligence and is therefore valued as a type of humor everyone should strive to make a part of their conversations. I believe, for most of us though, the author is correct – sarcasm shows the exact opposite of love towards others. There is a fine line between sarcasm and mean humor and the vast majority of people end up just sounding cruel.
As for the rest of the book, I think it could help you if you are living a Christian life that is more secular than truly the life God meant for us. I’m just not sure how much it will energize you to make needed changes.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.