Bought by the Blood

June 4, 2011

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick – A Review

With some parenting books, it is hard to read them cover to cover.  Often times when reading a parenting book I’ll go to the table of contents and flip to the section that covers the age range of my child.  “Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With The Love of Jesus” by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson is different, you will not only read it cover to cover, but also find yourself reading it again and again.  This book will help you to see that your child’s biggest problem isn’t their sinful action, but their sinful hearts.  When reading this book you will see that your parenting can never be good enough, but only God’s grace can make your parenting sufficient to transform your child.

This book is written without being divided into practical application for the age range of children.  The reason for this is because when dealing with toddlers, teenagers and even adults there is no difference with the root of issues that come up.  Kids, just like adults, don’t need more rules to make them good and bring them closer to God.  “Give Them Grace” does not ignore the need for rules, training and discipline but it gives the crucial reminder that all of that is meant to lead to kids to Jesus.  “We are commanded to give them the law so that they will be crushed by it and see their need for a Savior. The law won’t make them good. It will make them despair of ever being good enough and in that way it will make them open to the love, sacrifice and welcome of their Savior, Jesus Christ.”

It isn’t just kids who need Jesus, but also parents.  The task of parenting is impossible without God’s grace.  Our best effort at parenting might produce “good kids” but it won’t change their hearts.  “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’re 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 certain destruction.” One of the things I appreciated about this book is the humility of the authors.  They don’t claim to have it down or be good parents.  They are in the same boat as all of us and write with humility as they proclaim their own need for grace.

I wish Crossway would allow me to give out one free chapter of this book for you to read because by just reading one chapter I know you’d be convinced to buy the whole book.  Even if Crossway would allow me to give away one free chapter to convince readers to buy the book, it would be hard for me to pick just one that I think people should read because they are all so good.  If you want to apply the gospel to parenting and have your parenting be saturated in the gospel then I could not encourage you enough to buy this book.

A quick note to the men: this is the first Elyse Fitzpatrick book I have ever read.  My wife has read me selections of “Because He Loves Me” and I thought that book sounds good, but the cover is to feminine for me, maybe I’ll read it when an edition comes out with a camouflage cover.  Next my wife shared portions of “Comforts From The Cross,” the cover was less girly, but I feared losing man points because this wasn’t “Strength From The Cross.”  Please don’t make the mistake that Elyse Fitzpatrick only writes for a female audience.  This book isn’t just for mom’s, but also for dad’s.

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October 26, 2010

The High Stakes Of Parenting

I have finally started to read “Gospel Powered Parenting” and a lot of my recent tweets are from that book. Here is an excellent quote from chapter two.

“Christians parent with one eye on eternity. Their children will live forever. This is a staggering thought. We cannot imagine, “forever.” Nevertheless, the destiny of our children either will be love that surpasses knowledge, joy inexpressible and full of glory, coupled with peace that passes understanding, or it will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There is no middle ground. Therefore, the Christian does not parent for this life only. The believing parent labors to prepare each child for the day of judgment. The stakes are inexpressibly high.” William Farley

January 6, 2010

Spanking, it does a child good

Filed under: Discipline,Family,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 8:53 am
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Driving into work I heard about this study that was done that shows that kids who are spanked do better in school and generally lead happier lives as they grow older.

According to the research, children spanked up to the age of 6 were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to college than their peers who had never been physically disciplined.

But children who continued to be spanked into adolescence showed clear behavioral problems.

Children’s groups and lawmakers in the UK have tried several times to have physical chastisement by parents outlawed, the Times of London reported. They claim it is a form of abuse that causes long-term harm to children and say banning it would send a clear signal that violence is unacceptable.

However, Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said her study showed there was insufficient evidence to deny parents the freedom to choose how they discipline their children.

“The claims made for not spanking children fail to hold up. They are not consistent with the data,” said Gunnoe. “I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool. You just don’t use it for all your jobs.”

Research into the effects of spanking was previously hampered by the inability to find enough children who had never been spanked, given its past cultural acceptability.

But Gunnoe’s work drew on a study of 2,600 people, about a quarter of whom had never been physically chastised.

Read it at: Study: Spanked Children May Grow Up to Be Happier, More Successful – Children’s Health – FOXNews.com.

November 20, 2009

How Not To Win “Parent of The Year” Award

Filed under: Humor — cubsfan1980 @ 3:07 pm
Tags:

Local Dad Only Spoke Klingon to Kid for Three Years

Is this taking the whole Star Trek thing a teensie weensie bit too far? d’Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life.
Klingon? Not Spanish, French, Mandarin? Not some gutteral genuflecting concoction from the deepest recesses of Borneo? Klingon? You heard it right. (And if you don’t know about the Klingon Empire, look it up.)
“I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language,” Speers told the Minnesota Daily. “He was definitely starting to learn it.”
HT: Z

July 3, 2009

The Job of a Dad

Filed under: parenting,Uncategorized — cubsfan1980 @ 12:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

There are two ministries in particular that really encourage me as a dad.  One is the very well known Focus on the Family which I have mentioned here before.  The other is lesser known, but very edifying my soul, and it is “Family Man Ministries.”

Here is an excerpt from the latest newsletter that I would highly recommend all dads to sign up for:

“It isn’t so much that I was a MJ fan as much as it is a sad ending to such a sad life. It was also a reminder that what really matters most is not what happens in this life but the next. MJ feared death and yet he could not avoid it. In fact, all his fame and fortune doesn’t matter squat now.

I mean, we can have camp outs, catch lightning bugs, celebrate kid’s day, and have tea parties and pillow fights, but if we do not prepare our sons and daughters to stand before God, we will have let them down and doomed them and us to an eternity of regrets.
Dad, it’s not your wife’s job, the church’s job, or your pastor’s job…it’s YOUR job. That’s why I plan to spend more time than usual talking to my family about the Bible, God, Sin, and how Jesus came to make a way for us to enjoy all this good family stuff FOREVER.”
There are two blogs from Focus on the Family that I read.  One of which I personally enjoy is that of John Fuller, the co-host of the Daily Broadcast.  Here is an excerpt from a recent entry about a father’s need to prioritize his job as a dad.
“I’ve made note on many occasions and to many friends that at 5:30 p.m. its time for me to leave the office and go “home to my real job.” I have a growing awareness of the fact that I am the only husband to Dena, the only dad to my kids. And so I try to mentally gear up as I make the 20 minute drive home in the afternoon. I try to think through how their day might have gone, what Dena might need from me when I walk in the door, and perhaps most importantly, I try to think through how I might be a good father. And I pray God guide me in the evening hours, so I can be the best spouse and dad.”

April 5, 2009

Shema

4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Dear Miya,

It is amazing to think that you are only a week old. As you grow older there will be many idols that compete for your affections. The other gods that will tempt you are friends, beauty, boys and so many others. These are not bad things in and of themselves, but only when not viewed biblically and placed above the one true God.

I was looking at your precious face the other morning and was thinking about your sweet ears in relation to the above verse. The two truths that I want you to never tire of hearing are your mother and father’s love for you. More important than that is the love of the Lord our God, because it is by the love that He has shown to us that we are able to love you.

He is holy, holy, holy and because of your sin you cannot be in relationship with Him. Your mother and I have both offended His holiness and are not worthy to be recipients of His love. He is a gracious and merciful God, there is none like  Him. He is the only god worthy of your worship. The good news about this God is that He offers a way for you to redeemed from your sins and reconciled to Himself through the blood of His Son Jesus. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience and died the death that you deserved, so that you may have his righteousness and be made alive to God.

Since God has taken the initiative and brought us into relationship with Him, we seek to live our lives for Him. It is not to earn His favor, because we could never earn it. It is in faith, as a way to say thank you and bear our family resemblance to him. Our desire, as we proclaim who God is to you is that you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  We don’t know if we will homeschool you or what education will look like, but every chance we get will tell you about God’s love for you and His call on your life.

It may not always be in word, but our heart is that our deeds will always reflect the Father’s love to you.  When you see our lives, our desire is that you will see a life that is lived under influence of God’s love.  In the way we care for you see the Father’s care.  In the way we dote over you see God’s delighting over you.  In the way we delight to spend time with you be more aware of God’s delight to spend time with you.  As we journal His wondrous deeds, notice that He is always the same and never changes.  As we encourage you to make godly friendships allows those to point to the character of God.  When we discipline you know we do it because we love you and  it prepares you for God’s discipline as well as is good for you because it teaches you right from wrong. In the way we love to hold you, see how God is always holding in His arms of love.

Little Miya, you are so precious to your mom and I.  As we think about the love that we have for you, one of the things that amazes us, is how great our Heavenly Father’s love is.  We love because He first loved us.  Our love is nothing compared to His.  Inside of us, our love feels so great and so big for you, if we love you this much than His love is truly unimaginable.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current
Of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to
Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth
never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
died to call them all His own
how for them He intercedeth, watcheth
o’er them from the throne!

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