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Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls Paperback – April 4, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Parenting is a school for spiritual formation---and our children are our teachers. The journey of caring for, rearing, training, and loving our children will profoundly alter us forever. Sacred Parenting is unlike any other parenting book you have ever read. This is not a 'how-to' book that teaches you ways to discipline your kids or help them achieve their full potential. Instead of discussing how parents can change their kids, Sacred Parenting turns the tables and demonstrates how God uses our kids to change us. You've read all the method books. Now take a step back and receive some much-needed inspiration. You'll be encouraged by stories that tell how other parents handled the challenges and difficulties of being a parent---and how their children transformed their relationship with God. Sacred Parenting affirms the spiritual value of being a parent, showing you the holy potential of the parent-child relationship.

About the Author

Gary Thomas is writer-in-residence (and serves on the teaching team) at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas and author of 18 books that have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into a dozen languages. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 30 years.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition (April 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310264510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310264514
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robyn Kindlund on March 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a parent, it's common to get stuck in the mundane, the trivial, and the completely earthbound. Sacred Parenting lifts us above that plane for a little while and helps us to see "the other side of the tapestry," to glimpse what God may be doing in us and our children through the everyday, both good and not-so-good. Exploring parental guilt and anger, encouraging joy in parenting, and especially helping us see the work the Father has already done in us are some of the hallmarks of this book. Somehow Gary Thomas manages to walk the tightrope between practical and theoretical, neither wallowing in the "how-to's" so typical of parenting books nor neglecting the sidewalk-level realities of how hard this job can be. He plants hope, ironically, by admitting that parenting is hard and that kids don't always "turn out right," but that we know without doubt that God is teaching us unique lessons through it that we would otherwise never learn.
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For years my wife and I had debated whether or not we should have a child. My wife just didn't have that strong emotional drive some women have to procreate. My desire to have a child would come and go. Finally, when my desire to have a child came again, we prayerfully decided to go for it. The pregnancy was filled with painful and expensive complications, which was followed by severe postpartum depression. I felt terrible guilt for asking my wife to do this. My daughter is a year old now. She's perfect. God couldn't have made a more beautiful child. But parenting is a lot tougher than I'd imagined and I was fighting the notion that I'd made a mistake. After the first frustrating, sleep deprived year, I felt that I was clearly not cut out to be a parent. However, Sacred Parenting changed my mind. It showed me there every single parenting experience, whether good or bad, was a gift from God that would shape my soul for eternity. He also pointed out all the simple pleasures that awaited me in the future. Thanks for showing me the light, Gary. You are wise beyond your years.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a how to book this is not it. If you are looking at what God does in our lives in shaping us spiritually through parenting then this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
You know what's cool about this book? Most parenting books focus the how-tos of caring for and developing children. Gary Thomas is able to take his knowledge of practical child-rearing,which he gained from real-life experiences and relate it to the deeper, spiritual levels of the parent's soul. "Sacred Parenting" underscores the fact that both children and parents are locked in a soul-shaping experience, with God clearly at the helm. No parent is perfect. In fact, effective parenting will challenge a father's deep-seated, petty selfishness. There will be times in which a parent must humble himself and ask His daughter to forgive him. There will be times when a wife desires a moment of intimacy with her husband, but must put her personal needs on hold so as to tend to a little boy's sudden nausea. Gary helps his readers understand that such scenarios are normal and part of the process of conforming to the image of Christ...which, of course will always benefit other people, including one's family. What I appreciate most from this book is that its author doesn't write as an expert, but as a fellow sojourner. Thomas' points are helpful and relevant and his anecdotes are humorous and...very human. If you have been parenting for a day...a week...a month...a year...or longer, "Sacred Parenting" will inspire you to appreciate what God can do in your life through the grimy and glorious art of parenting.
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As a Christian mother of toddler triplets, I have read lots of books on parenting...but never one that has effected my persective as positively as this one. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to positively impact the attitude of their heart for parenting. This is not a How To...it is much richer!
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Sacred Parenting is in the same vein as Sacred Marriage: God wants to change you through parenting (or through your marriage). It is not a how-to book, so you might be disappointed if you thought it to be so, like Dave, one of the other reviewers. While it is not exclusively written to Christians, it will find its best audience in those who know the Lord and are willing to be brutally honest in self-evaluation, and admit that they need to change. And by the way, it will make you a better parent. I found the book so good that I heartily recommend it to others, and have committed to re-read it on a regular basis.
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This is NOT a how-to parent book, but a scriptural look at how parenting helps you as a parent grow spiritually. As you, the parent grow scripturally and spiritually in your personal relationship with God your child follows your example. I love the use of historical examples of great men of honor and courage by showing that the fruit we want to see in our children sometimes truly causes a parent more heartache by letting go than coddling them every step of the way. A great read for parents and those who are planning to have children. I've already recommended to friends personally and will add it to my mommy-to-be gifts for expecting friends.
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