Earlier this week, I mentioned that I’d be reviewing Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony… and just that teaser post peaked interest from parents and fellow kidmin leaders.
I’ll tell you this up front – I think this is a great resource for some parents and it isn’t the right resource for many others. I think there are truths in this book that any parent can take away, don’t get me wrong… I’m just not going to suggest that you put a copy in every parent’s hands.
Who is Spiritual Parenting written for?
Our goal as parents should be to endeavor to pass down our faith to the next generation in such a way that they will be able to pass down their faith to the following generation in our absence.
Go ahead, read that quote again. If you agree with Michelle’s premise (and I do!), then you’re going to dig this resource. If that doesn’t resonate with you, if that’s not the end you have in mind, then your going to struggle with the house that gets built on that foundation.
So… who is this resource for again?
The answer to this question is simple and complex.
The simple part – this book is for those of us who deeply desire to pass the faith on well to our children, our grandchildren and the generations that will follow.
The complex part – it’s not just for parents. This book is for children’s minstry leaders, pastors, moms, dads, grandmas, teachers – anyone who can shape a child’s life and wants to shape it in a way that makes a lasting impact for generations to come. Anyone who has the power to help shape a child’s environment should take the time to read through this resource.
Digs and Dribbles
Not familiar with what “Digs and Dribbles” means?
That’s okay… I just made it up.
Basically, there are parts of this book that I really dig. They will shape the way I parent and the way I minister to families from here on out. There are other parts of this book, as there are in any resource, where the content dribbles a bit. That is, if the book were a fountain of take-aways, there are sections where the water merely dribbles out.
Things I Dig
The best gift we can give our children is the confidence to see that we believe everything is filtered (even the bad stuff) through God’s hands. We need to release our control of their circumstances.
More than any chapter, Michelle’s chapter “A Heart of Dependence: An Environment of Out of the Comfort Zone” (chapter 7) is one that I want the families at our church to own. I would buy this resource and pass it out to every parent in our Homebuilders class and every family that hangs out with us on Wednesday nights if you could guarantee me that 10% of them would own this value after reading the book.
I think what I dig most about Spiritual Parenting is how Michelle takes values that I think I own and challenges me as a parent to cultivate environments that help produce what God desires for my son and daughter. Her concept of cultivating environments is fascinating – it’s going to help shape the way I parent. Because, in the end, it’s not about perfect behavior. It’s about passionate hearts. (her line, not mine)
Things that Dribbled
Throughout the book I kept wondering – what about the parent who isn’t “there” yet? How do I walk a parent to a place where they care more about their child’s spiritual development than their test scores, their soccer practice or even their safety? (seriously, I DIG chapter 7)
The only dribble is that I think you need to have built a ton of trust with a parent to put this resource in their hand and have them begin to own the ideas behind it. Let me compare this to a book I recently put in the hands of as many parents as I could – Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (this year alone, we handed out copies to over 100 families). At their core, the parents in our community feel overwhelmed – and that book speaks to that in a mighty way! It was easier to hand it out because it answered a felt need. I’m not sure, in the hustle and bustle of family life, that parents know how much they need a resource like this. (but they do. They really do!)
I want families to be as transformed by this book as I have been – but, it’s going to take some work on my end.
If you’re a parent reading this post, you’re probably already in a place where this book can touch your life and your parenting style – heck, you’re already looking to have other voices and thoughts in your parenting circle. However, if you’re a leader of parents, you’ll need to pick up a copy and start planning baby steps for the parents in your community to get to a place where they feel like they need a resource like this. Because they do – they really do.
Disclosure: A complimentary copy of Spiritual Parenting was provided by David C Cook for purposes of review. I didn’t promise them I’d be nice… and, I’m pretty sure they’re cool with that.