Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating Your Child's Heart with God's Extravagant Grace by Jeannie Cunnion
Zondervan (April 8, 2014) 224 pages
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I'm always a little skeptical when I read books concerning God's grace. I feel that most of the world is highly confused about just what the word "grace" really means, feeling the freedom to purposely live in sin. That said, I grew up not knowing what it was, in the opposite direction. I feared every time I sinned(talked back, complained, fought with my siblings, etc), I was going to hell if I didn't act perfect. Honestly, though I've came a long way, I still struggle greatly in the area of grace. I sin! I'm an imperfect, selfish human being. I get frustrated with my children too often, and use my "big voice", and I want to hide from God in shame. I don't give my husband the respect that he deserves, and is commanded of me. I struggle knowing God loves me no matter what, freely giving me forgiveness when I ask it of Him. I struggle expecting perfection from my children and husband, though it isn't a goal that can be reached, from them or me. I needed a nice, balanced book concerning grace, and I need to push that aspect into my parenting more often! I felt this book fit the bill pretty nicely.
Just to note: The author and I have some theological differences, so I didn't agree with everything within this book. Among those, I believe God has commanded baptism(full submersion under water at an accountable age) in exchange for salvation. Without God's gift of grace, my baptism was simply my body being dunked under some water!
There were many times I connected with the author all too well. She has 3 boys, older than mine now, and I gleaned many lessons from her. There were parenting tips within this book I'm looking forward to trying. I've felt like a failure as a parent, especially lately, and especially when it comes to worship services. (She covers worship services!) It seems lately, I do more scolding and shushing in services than true worship. I've been more worried about my children not disrupting someone else, than allowing them the joy of true worship. I'm ready for change, and I'm ready for "grace" to fill our home, and this book was great encouragement in that area.
(Edit: Just to make sure I wasn't misunderstood, and with my wording, that's a great possibility, I want to attempt to be a little clearer. I have no intentions of purposely allowing my children to disrupt others' worship. Discipline is still needed!(the author covers that) My children DO disrupt others at times. They are children, after all. I do feel I need improvement in how I go about it, though. Being able to worship God so freely and often is a huge blessing and I want my boys to know and feel that, instead of feeling like a punishment...to them and me.)
Overall, despite some disagreements, this is a book that I will return to for encouragement and advice. I definitely recommend it if you need a little "grace boost" in your home, like me!
*Thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.