This book was one of the best parenting books I have read in a while. It’s so cool how when God is speaking something to you he goes out of his way to do it in 5.1 Dolby surround sound. So often I grip a little walkie talkie and try to scan for God’s frequency and feel like I get nothing then from out of nowhere in Dolby 5.1 surround sound God blasts me with truth that I really need to hear.
One of those things God has been speaking to me about is living a Gospel centered life. I really believe this is something God is work in me so he can work somethings out of me to help me be the father my kids need and the leader those I have influence over need.
In Spiritual Parenting, Dr. Anthony talks about raising your kids not to be “good kids” but to raise your kids to have a faith that is real, legitimate and personal. A faith that is Gospel centered. I love her philosophy of parenting (pg. 25)
“At it’s core, then Spiritual Parenting is not merely a book of ‘how to parent.’ It’s fare more than that. It’s a book about how to view your role as a spiritually minded parent, the God-given role that is yours alone. Essentially, it asks the question, ‘What is my end goal in raising each of the children God has entrusted to me, and then how will I parent them with that end in mind?'”
I also love how she teaches her kids not to do chores or work around the house but to do what she calls “Acts of service” in doing acts of service she is teaching her kids to be Independent through interdependence. So much of our culture screams for independence but there is a powerful understanding of family and of the kingdom of God that happens in the life of a child when they learn that the goal is not independence but Christ centered interdependence.
One of the things my wife will like most about me reading Spiritual Parenting is how Dr. Anthony teaches her kids responsibility is by planting a garden and having your kids help and through their involvement in planing sowing and reaping you teach your kids about responsibility, consequences and the fruit of hard work. There are many spiritual conversations that can happen in the garden. I just try and find them elsewhere because I hate gardening.
Lastly I want to touch on her chapter about story. She leads off with this Quote:
At the hear of our Christian faith is a story….Unless the story is know, understood, owned and lived we and our children will not have Christian faith.
John H. Westerhoff
I couldn’t agree more. It is so huge that we learn to tell the story of Christ in a compelling way and we live the story of Christ in a compelling way. That to me is what Spiritual Parenting is all about telling the Redemptive story of the Gospel in a compelling way and doing our best do demonstrate it in our homes in front of our kids every day.
(Disclaimer – I received a free copy of Spiritual Parenting from David C Cook for review purposes.)