Monday, August 18, 2008

Parents and Children

If there are two things that I rarely like, they are

1) Topical Bible studies, since they often remove verses from their context and pass them off with meanings never intended by the original authors, and

2) Christian parenting books, since they often take our distinct cultural practices and argue through Scriptural manipulation that these are somehow "God's will."

Yet while rifling through my parents' bookcase this summer, I came across a topical Bible study on parenting of all things-- and loved it. So I will do something I rarely do here and highly recommend
Parents and Children by Navigators.

What makes it so great? It sticks to the basics while leaving application to the parent. The Bible is clear that children are a gift, that we are to teach them to obey, and that we are not to exasperate them. While hammering these mandates, this study does not add rules on top of them. Instead, it forces the parent to examine her heart toward her child-- and only then to consider how the basics apply in her particular circumstances.

It also treats parenting as a relationship, not a battleground. It makes clear that if I have a sinful attitude toward my child, my spouse, or my God, this relationship will falter.

Unlike parenting books that provide all the "answers," this one has put me to my knees in prayer.

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