Many parenting books promise fast results for raising children who always obey, toddlers who never talk back, and teens who keep the faith. The marketers of such books get that we consumers will buy almost anything if it promises speedy outcomes and comes in a tidy list of dos and don'ts.
In their new book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (Crossway), mother-daughter writing team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson write to challenge the assumption that if we raise "nice" kids, our parenting task is complete (17). They believe God has something far greater for parents than raising the most moral kids on the block. Writing from the experience of a mother whose children are grown (Elyse) and a mother currently parenting young children (Jessica), they offer a reflective look back at what should have been, and a helpful look forward at what parenting can be, by God's grace.
Give Them Grace is divided into two sections: foundations of grace and evidences of grace. In the first, Fitzpatrick and Thompson present the gospel story and its implications for parenting. They assert that we often spend our time parenting by rules alone rather than reciting the story of redemption, which provides our children a way to follow the rules. They emphasize that salvation is all of God, which is a parent's only foundation as they raise children:
Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith in the goodness of another. You cannot raise good kids, because you are not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and he had one good Son. Together, this Father and Son accomplished everything that needed to be done to rescue us and our children from ...1
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