Friday, June 18, 2010

The minefield of Christian parenting books...

Our church is running some sessions on Christian parenting. One down (on the goals of Christian parenting), one to go (discipline).

So I've been revisiting some of the Christian parenting books I own and reading some articles from past issues of The Briefing about parenting.

None of the books I have myself, have seen reviewed in the past or are available at our church bookstall are particularly inspiring. I know my kids are sinful (like me), I know we have to guide them to understand this and at some point it would be great for them to get it, repent and become Christians. I know we need to pray for help to make this happen since we struggle with it every day and we do it in the context of our own selfishness and sinfulness.

It's the details in lots of these books that bother me, things like long chapters on how to smack your children (some of them even suggest smacking babies!) and suggesting that it's disobeying God if you don't send them to Christian schools. I struggle with this one a lot, since in the church we go to, we are the only family (as far as I know) whose kids don't go to a Christian school.

I think the Bible gives us excellent principles for parenting, but these can look different in practice between different families. I think the best thing to do is to read it and pray for God's help to bring up our kids rather than get hooked into someone else's one true way to successful Christian parenting.

So with this in my mind, I decided not to buy any more Christian parenting books. Then I was reading some excellent posts on a book called Gospel-Centred Family from a blog I follow by Nicole (see here for a sample post on Chapter 9) and you guessed it....sucked in. But it looks very good, it's short (under 100 pages) for time poor parents, and not too expensive either.

I still have a long way to go before I can blog book reviews as well as Nicole does. But I'll keep you posted on what I think.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I'm with you on avoidance of Christian parenting books. They seem to lack a lot in the area of grace. They also have this general guilt-inducing way of saying, "Do this and you'll end up with great kids, if you don't then you won't - AND it's your fault." There is also a slight tendency to say, "This is what I did with my kids and they've turned out fabulous (in full-time ministry etc.), copy me." Which, I've learned the hard way, is totally unhelpful - we are all different as parents and have different kids AND you cannot guarantee an outcome...ever.

Whoops, got me on a hobby horse. Hopping off now.