I read a book recently that gave me a little insight as to why I do what I do in regard to parenting my children. And I thought I was just nuts. Apparently, there is this whole generation of us who want to "do it right" and that doesn't necessarily mean the way our parents did it.
Okay, fess up parents (the 45 and under crowd), you've read at least one parenting book, haven't you? And probably not just one....say 10? At least skimmed. Because we don't want to screw up our kids, do we? I want to get it right. So much responsibility. So many things that can go wrong. So much judgement--or we see it even if it isn't there--if only from ourselves.
So I picked up Generation NeXt Parenting by Tricia Goyer expecting her to tell me how to do it right. And she didn't.
The nerve. The audacity. Ah, the freedom.
What she has done is basically provide a (do I dare say it?) devotional (now don't run screaming!) for parents. It is a spiritual journey to read this book. Yes, she goes into why we do things the way we do them. How we do things. What we try not to do. And, true, there are a few suggestions as to how to be better parents. Like search the Word, dig deeper with God, rely on God, don't wallow in your past. You know, easy stuff (guffaw).
And she brings together so many other sources of insight. Quotes from many of the books I've searched out and read (and been intimidated by). Oh, and applicable 80s music lines that are oh, so apropos.
Here are just a few nuggets:
From Seeing is Believing, by Gregory A. Boyd: "The fruit of the Spirit is not a goal we can and must seek to attain. Indeed, it is called the fruit of the Spirit precisely because it is the fruit of the Spirit and not the product of our own effort."
From Tricia: "If we can focus on what we know about God, and His ways first--above the latest "good parent" advice--we'll have more peace about our decisions concerning our kids."
"Our time with our kids is once-in-a-lifetime. How sad it would be if we missed out on the beauty of this journey by living under a burden of self-imparted guilt and dissatisfaction...especially when we have a God who is offering us grace and loving kindness."
Oh, and right up there in my top ten favorite: "Just as each of our kids is special and unique, we need to accept that the same is true of us as parents, too. We won't do everything well, and we shouldn't expect ourselves to."
A warning to the overstimulated: there are a lot of font changes in this book. But chances are, the fonts will take you on a visit down memory lane. I guess the pubs remember who we are: the TV generation. Keep our minds stimulated to keep us interested...
This is a great book and you too have the opportunity to read it! Just leave a comment before next Friday (that is a week from today) and I'll draw one lucky winner to receive a free copy (I believe it is even autographed). But, you'll have to leave me a way to contact you for your info, so annonymous people should either watch for the winner next Friday or email me about who you are, okay?
And those of you who don't want to wait, get it at your local Christian bookstore or here: