A few years ago, a friend texted me a photo she'd taken at a big box store. Sam's Club, I think. It was a picture of my book MOMumental stacked next to one of Glenn Beck's titles. Her caption: "Unlikely bedfellows."

Unlikely indeed. I take a wildly different approach to life than Beck, so it didn't surprise me that I found myself alarmed at recent video clip of the conservative political commentator dispensing parenting advice.

He beseeches parents to "push" their kids (whether he means literally or figuratively seems unclear), saying that our children need to be toughened up so they don't "run around like little girls crying at the drop of a hat."

Any slice of that tirade would be reason enough for a response, but I felt most offended that this was Beck's recommended approach to passing on faith and values to our children.

I doubt many of us subscribe to such pushy parenting tactics, nor do we advocate abusing children verbally or otherwise. But Glenn Beck and I face a common dilemma as parents: Our faith is of great value to us, and our profound hope is that our children will continue in it.

My oldest child is only months away from college; this is an issue of real consequence to me. It's not that I fear that he, or any of my younger children, will one day leave home and toss away their salvation. I don't think it works like that anyway.

I also am quite certain that being a person of faith isn't like installing an invisible fence that keeps despair, pain, and loss outside the perimeters of our lives. And it's not that I want my kids to stay faithful so that they will be "good people" when they are adults. Some of the most lovely ...

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