Monday, May 10, 2010

Gospel-Centred Family

Book Review
Gospel-Centred Family: becoming the parents God wants you to be,
Ed Moll and Tim Chester

I did a review on this book at church yesterday, so I thought I might as well include my thoughts here also!


I really liked this book. It’s not your standard parenting book which talks about how to raise well-rounded & well-behaved children. Rather, it takes us one-step further and challenges us to think about how being Christian changes our parenting, our goals for our children and our priorities as a family.

Here are 5 things I liked:

1. It challenges us as parents to think about how the gospel shapes our parenting. We should have gospel aims and gospel hopes. More than wanting our children to be being well-rounded, successful and competent, we should desire for our children to know God and serve him.

2. It addresses the need for discipline – but emphasises that parents need it as much as children do. It was helpful to be challenged where I might need more discipline as a parent – perhaps in patience or self-control, or not just wanting the kids to be well-behaved because I would like a quieter or easier life.

As well as dealing with discipline, it also strongly emphasises the need for grace as well.
- grace for parents which allows us to trust God in all things and let go of the guilt that we feel as parents when we fail (or think we have failed)
- & grace for children – that they know they are always loved and accepted by us (& God), no matter what they do, just like has God loved and accepted us through Jesus.

3. They remind us to enjoy our kids - making sure we consider them a gift. Give them time, play together, create fun memories together, do fun things on holidays, make things together, do hobbies together. It was a helpful reminder not to get so caught up in ‘parenting’ and ‘the busyness of life’ that we forget to actually enjoy them.

4. It encouraged me to consider how we make God’s word central in our family life. They say, “don’t underestimate the power of the word lived and the word loved” (p64). There are also helpful tips in here for managing what younger children watch on TV and how to teach older children to evaluate what they watch.

5. Finally, there was a whole section on being a family that is mission-centred. To be a family that serves and loves others, both those who are local and those who are far away. In of all this, children are learning to serve, and also that they are not the centre of the world.

Even with all of that, it’s still a small, short book. Each chapter is only about 5 pages, and is very easy to read. Each has a bible passage to think about, some pointers about how the bible instructs us on that matter and then some practical suggestions for how to do it.

With this easy format, you could read it on your own (like I did), you could read it as a couple and then discuss it; or you could even read it together as part of a bible study group or mother’s group.

It’s a great starting point for thinking about how your family are going with keeping the gospel and God’s word at the centre of your family.


Nicole has also been blogging about this book in a series of posts, you can look at them here.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Sounds interesting, Wendy. I like the idea of a parenting book that includes grace. Too many don't and we're sick of it!