From the Introduction to the final page of this book you are confronted with the gospel of grace. The authors use stories, anecdotes, probing questions and lots of Scripture as they point you away from the constraints of the law and toward grace. While they offer advice, they careful to point out that there is no formula for raising kids.
"Giving grace to our children is not another formula that guarantees their salvation or obedience...Our children will be saved only through the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit, who works at the direction of our faithful heavenly Father. He's the faithful, powerful, soul-transforming One."
Positives: There are so many things I liked about this book, I will try to focus on a couple of the highlights here. One of the aspects I most appreciated was how the authors teach that no parent can change the heart of their child. All of our efforts to be good parents do not produce salvation, only Jesus can save them and transform their heart. To drive this home the authors wrote:
"Spanking doesn't transform the soul, only Jesus Christ does."
This truth should drive us to pray. It should also cause us to teach our children (and ourselves) to cry out to God for mercy, forgiveness and the strength to fight the stronghold of sin. While I believe that spanking is a tool that parents should use as they raise their children, we need to understand that spanking alone will not save them.
Another aspect I really enjoyed was toward the end of the book when the authors were talking about a "successful" family and how we define if we have been good parents. Here is what they say:
"But what if we're measuring success in the wrong way? Could it be that our perception of success isn't God's plan for us or for our family? What if he's going to use our failure and our children's rebellion to make us humble comforters of other sufferers for his glory?...[D]on't we have to be willing to say that the chief end of our parenting is not our own glorification as great parents but rather that we glorify God and enjoy him forever, whatever that means?"
This book is a tremendous resource for parents as they seek to raise children who love Jesus and live under the power of His grace.
Talking Points: There are questions at the end of each chapter which would be great to use if you wanted to read this book with a friend or Bible Study group. If you are reading it on your own, I would still recommend you take the time to answer the questions too!!
I received a free copy of this book from Crossway Publishers for this review.