Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Review: Parenting Is Your Highest Calling . . .

One of my most favorite parenting books ever is “Parenting Is Your Highest Calling” And 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields. If you’ve hung around my blog for very long, you know I’m pretty picky about my parenting books, so this is high praise. In this book, Fields gives us “a liberating look at what God most wants you to know.” She acknowledges up front that the Bible doesn’t offer a lot of directly specific parenting advice. Yet she gleans biblical truths about parenting from the stories of God’s people, from their parenting successes and failures, from God’s work in their lives. It’s a true parenting Bible study—no twisting God’s Word around to support strictly human ideas will be found here.

This book provides unique insights for parents of older elementary, tweens, and teens—though parents of younger children can benefit from reading it too. It’s non-judgmental and encouraging, combating society’s beliefs about parenting that leave parents frustrated and wondering where they must be going wrong.

To summarize my favorite ideas, society tends to teach parents that if they carefully follow all the parenting rules, their kids will turn out right—just as sugar cookies turn out just so if you follow the recipe. Parents like this thought because they see in it a guarantee that their kids will grow up to be responsible Christians, contributing members of society, and problem free.

The truth is, however, there is no such guarantee. God gave each of us—even our kids—the freedom to make choices. And our kids will make choices. And sometimes those choices will be wrong. This would be true even if there were such a thing as perfect parents. In fact, God is the only perfect parent, and He gave His kids free will, and every single one of them rebelled.

The good news is that God graciously provided for that, and He lovingly provides for our kids. As parents we do the best that we can do, then we prayerfully leave the rest to God—the One Who loves our kids even more than we do. We all have a spiritual journey to take. This book helps parents understand Who Is really guiding their kids on theirs. Go get it! Go read it today!

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