Give them Grace: A Book Review

As a mom of two little boys I am constantly thinking about the right way to handle discipline.  I was really challenged by this book by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson called Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.  These women challenged my idea of what it s to be a Christian Parent.  So many times we think that if our kids behave or are “good” that we have done our duty as a mom.  Behavior is the goal.  This is no better than just moralistic parenting.  Even a Non-Christian can parent this way.  So what makes our parenting different?  A Christian Parent needs to “tether every aspect of our parenting to the gospel message.”  Fitzpatrick & Thompson challenge us to look at the Foundation of Grace that has been given to us.  Then they proceed to Part two of the book which is about the Evidences of Grace.  In part two I began to see the practical side of what they were saying.    They introduce 5 simple words for us to take with us as we parent:  Manage, Nurture, Train, Correct, and Promise.  Each word represents an obligation we have to raise our children “in the Lord”.  I love this quote from the book, “…just managing our children without giving them gospel truth never fulfills our entire obligation, may times that’s all we’ve got time and energy for.  Yes, there are plenty of times that simply call for managing a situation, but management is only one of our responsibilities.”

This book was an excellent call to what the focus of parenting should be.  The Gospel needs to be the forefront of all our parenting decisions.  The end of the book has some charts that bring up common discipline areas and show you how to see the Gospel in them.  This book is a wealth of information and I might need to read this yearly just to remind myself that it is God who will change my children’s hearts not me.  “Seeking to be faithfully obedient parents is our responsibility; granting faith to our children is his.”  I quickly forget the gospel and slip into methods of parenting that are moralistic or behavior driven.  Grace transforms our parenting because it makes our sin immense in our eyes.

Lord, help me to focus on the Gospel in my parenting and dazzle my kids with your grace.