2012 Reading child training parenting

Reading 2012: Spiritual Parenting

July 26, 2012

In Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families, Michelle Anthony challenges parents to make time and careful effort to be discipling their children, and to use the home as the primary environment of discipleship. Her tone is warm and gracious, and as a reader, I felt as if she was giving me a picture of what spiritual parenting looked like in the way that she interacts as an author to her readers.

I read this right after reading Intentional Parenting, and was pleasantly surprised by both books, as well as how they complemented each other on the subject.

This book places the parent-child relationship within the context of Christian discipleship. Through that paradigm, Anthony walks readers through the various environments that parents should be leading their children through, teaching them to grow in the faith as we ourselves grow. She exams the paradigms of parenting that have been popular in American Protestant religious teachings over the past few decades, and asks believing parents to consider that Christian parenting is not formula-based, but faith-driven. The goal is not superficial obedience, but authentic, deep faith (which leads to genuine obedience).  She encourages parents to be faithful and intentional as they shepherd their children for what is really a rather brief span of time.

Contents

  1. In the Path of the Divine Beyond Managing Behavior
  2. What’s the Rock? A Transforming Faith
  3. A Garden and a Big White Horse The Environment of Storytelling 
  4. Royal Blood The Environment of Identity
  5. Help from Our Friends The Environment of Faith Community
  6. What Needs to be Done? The Environment of Service
  7. A Heart of Dependence The Environment Out of the Comfort Zone
  8. An Entrusted Kingdom The Environment of Responsibility
  9. Discipline the Heals The Environment of Course Correction
  10. Down at Eye Level The Environment of Love and Respect
  11. A True Relationship The Environment of Knowing
  12. What I Say Is What I Do The Environment of Modeling
I also appreciated her emphasis on seeing the Bible as a story–God’s Story, and the importance of teaching children to view it that way (which many others have also brought to light recently). Anthony focuses on viewing each child as an individual, and learning ways in which we can best direct the training and teaching of that specific child. There were many helpful examples of ways she and her husband cultivated the environments of discipleship in her home, yet this was done without making it seem as though it were a formula for success or as though parents who chose to do differently were failing.
I walked away from Spiritual Parenting both humbled and challenged by areas I’d not been giving much thought to, but also encouraged to stay the course and faithfully love, nurture, and guide the spiritual development of my children. This book was helpful, yes, to myself as a parent of very young children, but will also prove and excellent resource as my children grow and eventually enter into the teen years and beyond.

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  • Esther July 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I think seeing parenting as a discipleship relationship is crucial for understanding Christian parenting. I had yet to see a book that does well explaining this. I will endeavor to consider this book. Thank You!