I remember what it felt like to hold my firstborn son for the first time, and how overwhelmed I became when he looked up at me with those big, brown eyes. I thought to myself, now what do we do?
There were many days when I felt wholly inadequate as a mom, even though I was raised with the example of two loving, Christ-following parents. As I felt then as a new mom, and still today as I raise teenagers, there are days when I grow concerned that the parenting decisions I make today will not be “good enough.”
Through all the stages of growth with my kids, I’ve read many books on parenting and so I looked forward to reading Jim Daly’s newest release on the subject, especially when he says, “I haven’t written a book about finding perfection. I’ve written one about finding the beauty in imperfection—and how that beauty reflects God’s own relationship with us.” What a relief!
I quickly found myself emotionally invested as I read (through tears) the personal stories Jim shared, about his own childhood trauma and how those experiences have influenced how he and his wife parent their own children today. He provides encouragement in telling parents that kids aren’t asking for us to be perfect; they’re asking us to be present, and cautions parents against emphasizing achievement over character in our kids. He also speaks to “helicopter parents”—those who try and protect their kids at all costs.
Our goal should be to parent with excellence, but also with grace.
Not just a “good family,” but Jim shares the key to building a better family . . .
Perfection is the enemy of parenting. We know that the key to developing a good home life isn’t pushing your kids to get all A’s or asking them to habitually knock in the winning run. We need to take our cues from Jesus.
Just as grace is critical in our spiritual life, so it is in our family life. We need to be ready to show this grace to our kids, to our spouses, and even ourselves. We need to push away the concept of mistake-free families and wrap our arms around a messier way of doing things. And we need to understand that even when we don’t do everything right, we can help grow loving, virtuous, successful children.
The bottom line is . . . we need to know our kids:
“Who your children are should dictate how you raise them. How you raise them shouldn’t dictate who they are.” – Jim Daly
This book is a helpful tool for any parent who needs a break from the relentless pursuit of raising a “perfect family.” Readers will also be encouraged as Jim has included stories from Focus on the Family listeners, as shared with the ministry over the years.
Plus, you’ll find out why Jim Daly loves chocolate shakes!
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