“Parenting with Grace and Truth” by Dan Seaborn is a good handbook for moms and dads to use to direct them to the Bible. It’s full of scripture references, practical information, stories, questions to consider, and encouragement to stay the course of raising our kids to know Jesus.
Personally, I especially appreciated the third chapter – “The Truth About Discovering Your Children’s Unique Talents and Abilities” – and how that section affirmed my belief teaching opportunities aren’t limited to organized activities. Playing board games and eating meals around the table matter.
In our family, I’m hesitant to commit to many regular activities. Ben typically plays soccer in the spring and fall. Cate has played soccer in the past, but she stopped when she wanted to take horseback riding lessons. She would still like to do that; we just haven’t put it in our schedule lately but will again. We also like to do things as a family. On weekends and in the evenings after school, we don’t split up much.
God calls us to community. Greg and I believe our first priority is to our family of five and then we can go out from there, together. This book affirmed that for me.
(This book echoed some points from “Parenting” by Paul David Tripp. That book rocked my parenting world, so I’ll consider that a good thing!)
“Parenting with Grace and Truth” also reminded me how parents are the ones who define success for their kids. Does winning a soccer championship take priority over login generously by giving of our time, money, and things? What do our kids see us doing? That’s how success is defined, so choosing what we emphasize in our everyday lives matters.
Admittedly, I sometimes get caught up in the nagging commands: Clean your room. Put away your clothes. Do your homework. But then there are times I lay with my first-grade boy in his bed and read the latest Jack and Annie adventure to him and I am relieved to spend my time that way instead of blurting out commands. I want to trade my natural authoritarian parenting style to ways that are more like Jesus.
I want my default to change
so my kids can see Jesus in me.
“Our job as parents is to raise our children to be servants of God and to do everything we can to thoroughly equip them for every good work. … We sometimes get confused and think our job as parents is to raise an Olympic athlete, a scholar, or perhaps the next president of the United States. When we think in those terms, we are putting more focus on what our children are going to do in life than on who they will become.” – Dan Seaborn
That’s what leading and loving our kids like Jesus is ultimately about – and this book brings perspective to that.
About the book
In “Parenting with Grace and Truth,” Dan Seaborn takes parents into the Bible to help them understand Jesus’ character, explains how He models grace and truth, and teaches them how to apply Jesus’ example to their parenting. Specifically, he explores how to build character in your children, the truth about discovering your child’s unique talents and abilities, how to parent your family through a crisis, and what it means to be an effective parent. He also shares how grace isn’t letting a child off the hook, but instead, loving them through their mistakes, and discusses what “normal” parenting looks like (even if the experts or your friends tell your differently).
Seaborn also takes parents through a helpful discussion of their parenting styles and explains why Jesus’ parenting style is best. He gives readers a very personal look into his own family’s story, particularly the many challenges he and his wife faced with their youngest child. He also spends time considering the needs of blended families and the unique roles of mom and dad in parenting. At the end of each chapter, Seaborn includes several questions to consider about your own parenting relative to the topic.
About the author
Dan Seaborn is a former pastor, director of the marriage and family division of the American Association of Christian Counselors, founder of Winning At Home, and father of four. He encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes. His practical illustrations and memorable real-life examples teach others how to win at home. Through energetic and memorable presentations, Dan talks openly about family life — often by revealing his own struggles or failures. His sincerity leaves audiences nodding in agreement and his quick wit leaves them laughing, but ultimately it is Dan’s commitment to God and family that captivates and challenges listeners of all ages. He’s been a featured speaker at various churches and large-scale events such as Promise Keepers weekends, American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) conferences, and university assemblies. He also has authored 12 books.
In 1995, Dan founded Winning At Home, Inc., an organization that produces media resources and hosts special events to develop marriages and families. Dan also serves as the Director for the Marriage & Family Division of the AACC. Prior to founding Winning At Home, Dan served at a large church in Michigan as pastor of student ministries and then as pastor of family life. He and his wife Jane have four children and live in West Michigan. Learn more at www.winningathome.com.
I’ve got a copy to give one of you! Use the Rafflecopter below for multiple ways to enter by Monday, Jan. 30. A winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
I received an advanced copy of “Parenting with Grace and Truth” in exchange for a review, thanks to Sidedoor Communications on behalf of the publisher, which is also providing the winner with a copy.