Grace-Based Parenting

Leslie Leyland Fields ["The Myth of the Perfect Parent," January] is right: The best parenting techniques don't produce Christian children. Praise God that it doesn't depend on us.

Before our four children were born, my husband and I prayed that they would live for God. We prayed the same for our 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. I believe that, by God's grace, all of them have mine written on them in his handwriting. After 57 years of parenting, we have tried to be like the man who scatters seed on the ground (Mark 4:26-27), trusting that God will make the good seed sprout and grow, even though each child will receive it in different ways.

I wish that every Christian parent in America could read Christianity Today's January cover essay. A few months ago I would have patted myself on the back for raising three outstanding 20-somethings. Then my oldest son called me and broke my heart. We both wept. It took a lot more talking for us to come to a place of reconciliation. But how much better to relate honestly for the first time in years. And, more importantly, how vital to see my son for the young man he is instead of the false image the two of us had created.

I love my son more than ever. And I see my heavenly Father in a whole new light. Anonymous

Sex & the Older Single

January's Village Green, on "What's the best way to encourage people to save sex for marriage?" missed on a couple points. The word young should have come before people, as the column ignored the realities of older single adulthood. Most church leaders are married men who don't have a clue about the frustrations of long-term celibacy or of missing out on childbearing.

Donna Freitas's "Stop Talking Marriage" made some sense, but ...

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