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Today's Christian parents face an uphill battle in raising godly kids. How can we teach children to live out their faith in a morally bankrupt culture? Offering expert insights, Barna and Myers help you foster your youngsters' spiritual growth and encourage them to develop their gifts; prioritize family relationships; reject materialism; and rethink social media.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
In this hopeful book, world-renowned researcher George Barna and nationally respected counselor Jimmy Myers offer parents a plan of action to raise healthy, godly children in a morally bankrupt culture. If the parents of this generation want to see their children grow up with their faith and consciences intact, they cannot afford to simply react, making it up as they go along. They must approach their responsibilities to parent their children with intentionality and consistency. This eye-opening book helps them do just that.
Jimmy Myers was involved in youth ministry in the local church for more than twenty years before making the jump to psychotherapy. A licensed professional counselor, he speaks to youth and their parents at conferences and retreats across the country. In 2001, he founded the Timothy Center, a multi-campus Christian counseling practice located in Austin, Texas, that focuses on the needs and issues of adolescents and their families. He has authored, coauthored, and compiled several books and articles for youth and parents, and is assistant professor with the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Jimmy and his wife, Beth, have three children and five grandchildren and live north of Austin, Texas.
Seeking Grace and Gratitude5 Stars Out Of 5Relevant reading for every Christian parentAugust 22, 2017Seeking Grace and GratitudeQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Have you ever seen something on TV, read something in an article or blog post, or heck, taken a look around at the activity/behavior/attire/etc at your childs school and been like, Oh. My. Goodness!
Yeah. Its not pretty. In fact, it can send the best of us running into hiding and bubble wrapping our children to shield them from the world and all of the bad stuff in it. We can be fearful and instill fear in the hearts and minds of our innocent youth, we can guard and protect them as best as we can, but in the end, will it make a difference?
That was my whole mindset when it came to parenting. As a mother (and a naturally fearful person) trying to raise 3 littles who will love and follow Christ, the world we are living in today terrifies me to my core. There are days when I refuse to expose myself to the mainstream media or get involve with drama or other stuff at my childrens school. If Im being honest, yes, there have been times when I have instilled fear in my kids as a way to encourage them not to do something. But that is no way to live and especially no way to parent in todays culture. Continuing on the fearful parenting track, bubble wrapping our children to protect them from anything of the world or being so strict that our children will fear us or fear failing us, is only going to cause our children to rebel and do the very thing we are trying to keep them from doing being of the world (secular) rather than in the world (Christian).
Through SG&G, I was recently honored to become a Baker Blogger through the Baker Publishing Group. What this basically means is that I am able to receive and read various books throughout the year that pertain to my personal interest or the ministry of SG&G (REAL | HONEST | TRUTH) in exchange for an honest review. As an aspiring writer and avid reader, this is a dream come true for me! In fact, most of the books I am gifted to read I would probably have read anyway while others are some I may have never heard about.
The first book I am to review is called Fearless Parenting.
Oh, sweet friends!!! With all of my heart, please, please, PLEASE read this book! It doesnt matter if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, nanny, teacher, pastor, church leader, etc this book is for anyone who wants to guide and direct (not hinder or protect) the children of today. After all, the hopes, fears, successes and failures we make as adults in todays culture will directly affect the adults of the next generation. I dont have to get all political for you to understand that we are in a rough place culturally, socially, and spiritually. It is up to us to change the narrative. For you, it may start with reading this book.
This book is such an easy read because it is so relevant to our culture today. I actually breezed through it in 1.5 days! (Which is super fast for me! Remember, I have 3 young kids and all of them are very active/busy!) One of the things I loved most of this book, aside from the content, of course, is how it is written. Very different from most of the womens issues books I read on spiritual growth written by women, this book is written by two men one has a research background (George) and the other (Jimmy) is a counselor. Through both of their unique perspectives, a very REAL picture is painted of the reality of children today. Stats, research, and real-life personal stories from Jimmys youth and family counseling (used with permission) construct the book.
Ok, I could go into more detail about this book because I love it so much. Just in the last week since Ive finished it I have recommended it to pretty much every parent I know! Seriously, it is that good and you will never regret investing in yourself through seeking parental wisdom. Trust me, your children (and your childrens children) will thank you for it. [Please note: I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I would have purchased this book regardless because its description appealed intriguing. It did not disappoint.]
AmyL4 Stars Out Of 5Fearless ParentingAugust 17, 2017AmyLQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3When I started reading this book, I figured it would be full of instructions. I assumed the focus would be on kids.
In some ways, it was.
But more than focusing on the "how to's" of raising kids,Fearless Parenting focuses more on the parent themselves.
Don't let fear rule your parenting.
One of my biggest takeaways was that I cannot parenting out of fear. Proactively setting up boundaries and systems in your house allows you to parent without fear. When we only parent reactively, we aren't actually helping our kids. Barna and Myers assert that when we prioritize relationships, set boundaries around media for the WHOLE family, and take charge of our children's spiritual growth we are parenting in ways that will help our kids be faithful.
Based on years of counseling experience and statistics, Barna and Myers will equip you in how to raise your kids with a different mindset than the one prevalent in culture today. This book is more than just a "how to" book. It's a guide to changing your thinking so that you can raise children who learn to love God more than the culture they live in.
Fearless Parenting is a guide to letting go of the fear you may feel for your child as they are raised in a highly secular culture today. It's a reminder that we must live our lives differently in order to stand out. And a call to radical living that benefits not just our children, but the entire culture when we choose to go against the grain.
I received a copy of this book from Baker Books. This review is my own, honest opinion.
JK Turner2 Stars Out Of 5Some good, practical advice, overall a disappointing bookJuly 26, 2017JK TurnerQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3My Rating: Probably not worth your time
Level: Quick, easy read; short book.
The title of this book is a little strange. For the most part, the book is about Biblical parenting in a secular world (which is more or less what the subtitle says). The name comes from the second chapter, where the authors tell you to reject fear as your basis of parenting. That is all well and good, but the response in this chapter is in relation to the first chapter, which might be one of the worst examples of writing in any parenting book, ever. Id highly recommend skipping the first chapter, if you have any plans on finishing the book.
The remainder of the book is pretty solid; with almost a completely different feel than the first chapter (as if there were two authors). The first few chapters are general reminders and thoughts on parenting from a Christian perspective that should be familiar to most church-going families. Some of the topics covered later in the book include clothes, materialism, social media, and screen-time, and they all contain good, practical advise. The one section where the book really does shine is in discussion of kids sports. In it, the author calls out parents who try to live vicariously through their children in sports and challenges parents to ramp down the amount of sports played and to not make them the number one priority in the life of your family. The section of the book was redeeming enough for me to not rate the book lower.
I wanted to like this book more, but it was hard to get past the first chapter. In it, the author projects what life make be like in 2030. Some of the data points (such as rising crime, or Trump reducing/balancing the budget) are somewhere between disingenuous to out right lies. In case you decide to fact check (which I did), he heads you off by pointing out that if you think he is being too political (or, what Id call, maybe just being a complete political hack) it is because YOU, reader, are too politically correct. Along with misused data, the author also gives us an Orwellian tinged far right-wing dystopian fantasy; including the suggestion that new government agencies will be created and that pastors will have to submit their sermons/teaching for approval by the state.
Honestly, this first chapter is just embarrassing. It hurts me on two levels. First, as a Christian, it is embarrassing that this book is written by/for and published by Christians. I suppose the author may shrug it off and say, this is just what could happen. However, his projections are based on neither facts nor anything to do with Christians. It is straight up far-right political (hackery?, propaganda? fantasy/nightmare? I cant even come up with the right word for this). It reminds me of the chain email that went around (you probably got it from your mom or grandpa) 2008/2009 that claimed that Obama was the anti-christ and that Revelation said he would be a Muslim. Of course, the book of Revelation makes no such claim, and Islam would not be founded for a another couple of centuries. Overall, I think the first chapter could best be summed up as an email your grandmother would forward you because she is scarred. I think this is probably one of the biggest reasons why young people leave the church today. This is beyond the scope of a book review, but a generation ago, people left the mainline churches because they sounded like democratic party meetings, and now people are leaving evangelical churches because they sound like republican party meetings.
Second, this chapter was bad in its use of statistics. George Barna and I both have masters degrees in City Planning, so I feel he should know better. Which leads me to another criticism of the book overall with one of the authors being the head of a major polling/research group, the book was very lacking in data. I was interested in this book partly because I thought, with Barna being co-author, it would be data heavy. Then again, based on the first chapter, maybe that is for the best.
This has already gone on too long for a review, so Ill wrap up quickly. The sections/chapters on social media and screen time offer some great guidelines and I appreciate anytime a parenting book (especially Christian focused) offers practical examples. The section materialism was impressively counter-cultural. It did a good job of calling parents out for their endless wants and purchases as a way of setting a poor example for our children. Finally, I was really impressed with the section on sports. This is something of a sacred cow in America, particularity for things like Baseball and Football (especially here in the South). It is an incredible challenge the author lays out, telling someone you may skip a tournament, or not enroll in a sport because it has games on Sunday. They do well in discussing the impact too many sports have on your family life (e.g. vacation time or even canceling vacations), on your childrens health, and, most convictingly, your own idols (vicarious living, or idol of parenting a sports star in think on how that reflects on you).
I havent seen a parenting book really reflect on sports to this extent before, and it almost makes the whole book worth reading. However, due mostly to the drag of that first chapter, I think this book is mostly not worth your time. If you are specifically looking for some guidelines on materialism, social media/screen use, and sports participation, it may be a worthwhile. However, you can probably find some decent guidelines for most of these online somewhere, or perhaps in other books.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
More reviews at MondayMorningTheologian.com
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