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Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today's Families Paperback – June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Parenting books can be preachy--readers often feel like the children of the erstwhile parent turned author. This one is different. The Ph.D. mom-authorÖs conversational style is rarely preachy and more narrative than didactic as she describes her £Aha!¥ moments, when she moved from attempting to control her childrenÖs behavior to putting them into environments where they can know God and be changed by him. This is not a £how to¥ parenting manual, but a guide for developing as a spiritually minded parent who asks, £Who did God create my child to be?¥ Attractive to many readers is the authorÖs mix of competence and vulnerability: £It frustrated me that some punk kid down the street had more credibility than I did.¥ Her writing is vivid, terse, and revealing--a story of a boy who grew up without a father to become a great father himself is the heart of a chapter on love and respect. The book speaks to the journey that all parents must learn to accept: to hear GodÖs voice and change along with their children.
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About the Author
Dr. Michelle Anthony is the vice president of Curriculum and Family Ministry Architect at David C Cook. She is the author of Dreaming of More for the Next Generation, The Spiritually Formed Family, and The Big God Story. Dr. Anthony has over 25 years of church ministry and leadership experience in children's and family ministries. In her free time, Michelle enjoys being with her husband and two grown children, reading a good book, the beach, and a strong cup of coffee.
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Top customer reviews
When David C. Cook invited me to review this book for my blog, I jumped at the chance. I'm always interested in checking out books on Christian parenting. In all honesty, I usually find myself skimming them just to get through them, but Spiritual Parenting was different.
Michelle's take on being a Christian parent was honest and refreshing right from her purpose statement in the first chapter:
"It was not my job to merely control my child's behavior and by doing so somehow create a spiritual life for him or her...my goal was to pass on a vibrant and transforming faith."
And with this purpose statement, she's calling parents to a radical way of life.
In order for parents to pass on that "vibrant and transforming faith" they have to model it, live it out in what they say and do, and become proactive with the experiences they offer their kids. What's great about Michelle's book, however, is that she understands the reality of the messy lives of families. She shares some of her worst parenting moments as well as success that remind us that if we keep at this thing called parenting, good will come of our efforts. God will bless our families as we seek after him and make a home where he is the focus and the drive for what we do.
She walks parents through ten environments they can create in their homes from storytelling to serving together to moving our families out of our comfort zones. The advice is practical yet visionary. I can't wait to get this book into the hands of our families at church. I believe it could radically change the way we raise our kids in faith. I especially loved her chapter on the environment of service where she has families ask the question "What needs to be done?"
"Creating an environment where your children from the earliest days as a very important question is critical for their faith development. The critical quest that service asks is simply, "What needs to be done?" This is one of the best questions you can teach your children to ask. To have them walk into any room, situation, or relations and ask this will change the way they see their world."
I loved that vision for family.... for life really. I'm excited to try this out with my own family.
I highly recommend this book to parents just starting their journey and to those who need a shot in the arm for the next chapter of their family's life.
In her words:
"In this book we will explore what it means to seek God as our primary audience-to please Him alone with our parenting and seek Him alone for the strength and power to do so. Spiritual parenting is not perfect parenting-it's parenting from a spiritual perspective with eternity in mind. It's a way of parenting that declares, 'I want to parent the child or children that God gave me in such a way that I first honor God, and then second, create the best environment to put my children in the path of the Divine.'"
This book was an awakening for me in many ways, but I want to share with you about the part that really impacted me the most. Michelle talks about blessing our children with our words. Now I have always prayed for and with my sons, but really hadn't given much thought about speaking those words of blessing over them and to them out loud.
"A blessing is a beautiful gift to give our children. This is a unique privilege-to pray over your children, to affirm their identity out loud. Oftentimes we pray in silence for our children, but if we speak a blessing to them faithfully, God can use these spoken words in ways that will bring them confidence in their identity as we give language to the work that God is doing in their lives."
Michelle spoke directly to my heart as I so want to encourage my sons to be all that God has created them to be and to be confident in all that God has planned for their lives. I have already begun to share words of blessings with my sons and am so thankful to Michelle for her guidance.
Spiritual Parenting is a book that I highly recommend to parents everywhere.
this couple learned to have spiritual input into their children's lives.
I bought copies of the book for each of our four children to use with
their families. The seminar of the same book was also enlightening.