Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Grace-Based Parenting

I am currently reading a book entitled 'Grace-Based Parenting' by Tim Kimmel. It never ceases to amaze me just how much I still need to learn in order to become the parent that God intended me to be. It's been 10+ years into this journey of motherhood and each day still brings with it a new lesson on parenting --- that is what's awesome about it, I think.

This book has enlightened and blessed me much and I'm not even done reading it yet. It basically talks about the three driving inner needs of children: a need for security, a need for significance, a need for strength. Grace-based parents are to keep these needs in the foreground of their day-to-day involvement with their children, and everything else drops to the background. And the author literally means everything.

The book goes in depth into how we, as parents, can meet these three driving inner needs and it is by giving our children three valuable gifts: love, purpose and hope.

To meet their need for security, give them a love that is secure.
To meet their need for significance, give them a purpose that is significant.
To meet their need for strength, give them a hope that is strong.

Last night, I was on Chapter 5: A Strong Hope. A few paragraphs really caught my attention and I'm going to share them here:

"Children develop hope when they have loving parents ready to sacrifice to meet their helpless needs.

We instill a strong hope in our children when we curb our own wants in order to guarantee their needs. By living below our means and avoiding the tyranny of excessive consumer debt, we free ourselves to provide for these physical needs and keep our children from having to sense the helplessness of financial bondage.

God comes alongside us when we need it, not just when it fits best into His schedule. How we respond to our children's needs --- especially when they are helpless to do anything to meet those needs --- gives them a living example of what God wants to offer them in a much larger realm of their lives."

Wow, truly something to ponder about --- especially because we live in a society today that encourages us to move up, to get ahead, to accumulate materially far more than what we truly need, to keep up with the Joneses! I think the author hit the nail on the head with this: is the parents' pursuit of worldly wealth, gain and status robbing the children of precious time --- time that is much needed in order for parents to fulfill the children's need for security, significance and strength?

OK...I'm off to pick-up the children from school now. I can't wait to get into this book some more tonight!

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