So often in parenting, there is an emphasis on raising “good” well-behaved kids who follow God. You feel that pressure, right? To make sure your kids behave in church, don’t act up in public, and show “proper” respect to elders. Because so often it feels like these outward behaviors reflect back on you and how good of a parent you are or how “Christian” you are, or so it seems.
Michelle Anthony turns that whole concept around with her book Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families. Instead of addressing behavioral techniques or teaching parents how to mitigate ongoing discipline issues, she uses this book to encourage parenting that emphasizes raising God-followers first, whose lives produce good fruit and godly behavior as a result.
In the book, Michelle takes the reader on a journey through a series of “environments” that parents will raise their kids in and through and offers down to earth practical tips on how parents can help children grow spiritually through nurture, discipline, and discipleship.The first three environments (storytelling, identity and faith community) focus on big-picture identity and God’s big plan while the next several focus on the actions taken from that foundation (such as service, responsibility, love and respect, course correction). The final two environments of knowing and modeling encourage parents to help their children to find their own faith.
The spiritual life and formation of the parent is central to everything she shares. Throughout the book, Michelle gives so much encouragement to parents to make sure that they are growing and deepening their own faith as they lead their children in spiritual matters.
Of all the books I’ve read on parenting, this one has been the most useful in understanding how to incorporate faith into the nitty-gritty everyday moments of life within the home and family.
Michelle shares multiple stories from her own experiences, both of success and failure, and uses them to demonstrate how to parent from a spiritual focus. There were so many great moments in the book, tidbits I tucked back for my own parenting future, and there’s no way I can cover all the stories she shares. But if you, like me, are looking for “real-life” scenarios, like your teenager throwing party when you are out of town or your son being the only one to stand up and not smoke pot at school or your family living into their faith by serving each other and their community…the regular and real stuff, then this book will be just the encouragement you need.
And the best news is…the Kindle version is on sale right now for .99 (click here). You will not regret this purchase. I’d love to hear what stood out to you once you’ve read it – feel free to comment below and share your insights!
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- And much more!
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.