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Book Review–Devotions for Sacred Parenting

Title:  Devotions for Sacred Parenting:  A Year of Weekly Devotions for Parents

Author:  Gary L. Thomas

Publisher:  Zondervan

Length:  159 pages

ISBN:  0310255961

Synopsis:  This book is exactly what its title says:  a year’s worth of weekly devotions with the idea of sacred parenting as its theme.  Of course, sacred is a word that might be construed in many different ways, so let me clarify this by saying that this book assumes that its readers are Christians.  Thomas integrates the Scriptures with classic Christian literature to write about such topics as having patience, passing down our faith to our children, divorce, and priorities.

My Thoughts:  Why is it that I find myself writing a review of the best book on parenting I’ve read in a long while on the afternoon of a particularly difficult pre-nap showdown with my two girls?  Ah, the joys of parenthood!  This book is one that, when I picked it back up after having begun it with my husband months and months ago, I simply had to read straight through.  No patiently reading one devotion a week for me!  I found much of what Thomas says in this book to be very timely (and convicting) for the phase of parenting we’re in.  Unlike some other parenting books I’ve read, though, this one left me with hope and the realization that we’re in this thing together with God.  I do not feel that I can adequately do this book justice in a review.  I will say that this book is one I will be ordering as a Christmas gift for some of my friends and family.  Here are some encouraging snippets from the book:

God not only created you; he created your children.  And he chose to place those children in your home.  To doubt any of this amounts to nothing less than questioning the sovreignty of God.  (13)

Let me be blunt:  Satan hates your chldren.  He wants nothing more than to see them waste their lives, rebel against God, and cause untold heartache and pain during the short lives they spend on this earth.  If he can’t steal their salvation, at least he wants to keep them from becoming productive, reproducing members of God’s church.  The future of God’s work on this earth depends on believing children who will speak up with courage, faith, and integrity.  Where you see a baby, Satan sees a sworn enemy of his rebellion against God.  (24)

Perhaps God gave us children in part to make our own faith more real, to keep us from settling for merely naming God rather than pushing into the reality of God.  (36)

Oh, and here’s one that really got me:

Here’s where parenting can help us take that next step in spiritual formation, for parenting certainly exposes an ill-tempered or touchy disposition like nothing else.  To be a parent is to be provoked.  Kids regularly tend to bring out the best and worst in us.  If we have an ill temper, if we’re touchy or edgy, raising children will certainly reveal our weakness.  (74)

But verbal violence?  Easy irritability?  These we pass over as if they were of no account, because today’s believing community tends to pay far too little attention to the manner of our faith.  Are we modeling to our children the spirit of Christ that responds to others the same way he did–with gentleness and patience?  When you think about it, few things are as important as this, because our goal is to get our children to fall in love with God.  What better way to do this than to model his most lovely qualities–gentleness, grace, mercy, and patience?  (75)

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  I am eager to look into more of Gary L. Thomas’ books.

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8 Responses

  1. Thanks for an excellent review. My pastor highly recommends this author and I need to get my hands on his books. Parenting is the hardest and yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done; I can’t imagine doing it without the Lord’s help.

  2. Amy,

    Thanks for pointing me to your review of this book. We read and really appreciated Sacred Marriage, but I didn’t realize he’d also written about parenting.

  3. I’ll have to look into this. My kids are almost grown, but I can always use encouragement. My sister is the one who has serious problems with her toddlers. She called me crying (again) yesterday. I wonder if this might help encourage her.

  4. […] Dared)4. Laura (The Uncommon Reader)5. Semicolon (Thank You, Lucky Stars)6. Laura (Garden Spells)7. Amy @ Hope Is the Word (Devotions for Sacred Parenting)8. Word Lily (Mariette in Ecstacy)9. Word Lily (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)10. Word Lily […]

  5. […] Thoughts: Gary Thomas is my favorite writer of devotional literature.  After I read Devotions for Sacred Parenting, I knew I had to read more of Thomas’s works.  I picked this one up because I was in need of […]

  6. This one’s going on my list…

  7. […] was one of the featured speakers, and I love Gary Thomas’ books (my reviews are here and here).  I was very pleasantly surprised when Gary Smalley came up to the podium to speak, and as it […]

  8. […] After reading Authentic Faith (my review here) and Devotions for Sacred Parenting (my review here), I eagerly anticipated reading Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls, and I was […]

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