About this book: We all want to guide our children into the abundant life that Jesus offers. But when we pursue the more and better that the world offers above our pursuit of Jesus, we fall into dangerous parenting habits. In Becoming a Spiritually Formed Family, Michelle Anthony unpacks six common dysfunctional parenting styles that we fall into out of habit, lack of attention, or just oversight due to busyness. If you long to show your children Jesus but don’t know how to do it, you’ll find hope in this practical guide to creating a relentlessly grace-filled home that is focused on God as first in charge.
Includes Scripture guides, reflection questions, ideas for family rites of passage, and other real life family examples.
About the author: Michelle Anthony is the vice president of Learning Resources and Family Ministry Architect at David C Cook and the author of Spiritual Parenting, Dreaming of More for the Next Generation, A Theology of Family Ministry, and The Big God Story. Michelle has graduate degrees in Christian education, theology, and leadership and over twenty-five years of church ministry experience as a children’s and family pastor. She lives in Colorado Springs and loves a good book and a cup of coffee. Learn more about her at MichelleAnthony.org.
Genre: Religion/Christian Life/Family
Why I read this book: because as a Christian mom, I’m always seeking ways for our family to become more spiritually healthy.
First impressions: Unfortunately–unless I was specifically seeking help in this area–this uninspired cover would do little to make me want to read this book.
Reminds me of… Effective Parenting in a Defective World by Chip Ingram
My take: I found this book less of a how-to and more of an examination of the brokenness that lies at the root of several types of family dysfunctions–which is important, as identifying this is the first step toward change and healing.
The author devotes an entire chapter to each of the six dysfunctions. Did I recognize myself in any of the dysfunctions described? Yes, and not always in the ways I first expected. Given this, I’d therefore say there’s something for every reader in every chapter.
Nuggets like the one quoted above resonated with my own parenting experiences. Then there was this one, which provided an especially appreciated aha moment : “When we pursue Jesus, we get the abundant life. When we pursue the abundant life, we get dysfunction.” (page 14) Yes.
With some books you get the sense that the author is coming alongside you; others feel more like they are teaching, or counseling. I felt more of the latter with this one. Nothing wrong with that of course–sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. But my own soul didn’t sing with the truths being taught in quite the same way.
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Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and David C. Cook for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
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After words: I remember at the baby shower given to me after the birth of our son, the hostess invited my friends to offer me their best parenting advice. The one I best remember is to be consistent in disciplining. Easier said than done, right? If you are a parent, what is the most memorable piece of advice you’ve been given? Is is the same advice that you yourself would give today?