Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review-Give them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson

Confession Time: The first time I picked up this book, I only read two chapters and put it down thinking that I must have gotten some things wrong in my parenting.  What I perceived was that we (my husband and I) had missed the mark in incorporating the Gospel into our discipline routine. I will also admit that I actually expected a different message, one about imparting grace to our kids in our everyday lived, but rather this was a book focusing on bringing attention to the Gospel during our every conversation, especially discipline.
After attending a conference in March and listening to one of the authors (Jessica), I decided she was so honest in admitting failure in her own presentation and implementation of the material to her kids; I picked it up again. Jessica said that the book was not written to be used as a manual with scripts to be read, but rather a Biblical basis for holding high the Gospel during our interactions with our children. Several close friends, including my sister said this had been revolutionary in their parenting, so I dove in once again with both ears ready to listen.
The premise is that humans are not inherently good, we are sinners in need of a Saviour. The authors cautioned us to even use the phrase "good boy or good girl" with our kids lest they begin to believe that 1) they are good, or 2) their deeds are good. My concern is that i don't give enough encouragement and positive affirmation as it is, but I understand that it may lead to people pleasing OR a works-righteousness mentality.
The authors wrote about the importance of not having a disconnect between how parents live in front of their kids and what they are taught or learning from God's word. Parents need to live with honesty and transparency, constantly conversing about the Lord and His goodness and our shortcomings. As well as, modeling daily quiet times and prayer times to help our children make the connection between what they are learning in Sunday School and everyday decision making. The authors included several pages of "tools" to help with the implementation of this model and even how to apply during discipline or training times with our kids. I'm sure this will be a great help in the future. Now, if I can only find my copy!
I'm glad I finished the book and will be reading it again. Highly recommended.