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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Real World Parents: Christian Parenting for Families Living in the Real World

When I found out I was pregnant a little over 12 years ago with my oldest daughter, I immediately began devouring just about every parenting book I could get my hands on!  I realized that this title of "mommy" was one of the most important roles I would ever fill. So, over the past 12 years, I have read my share of books seeking advice on how to be the best mom I could possibly be.

"Real World Parents" by Mark Matlock, the founder of Wisdom Works, a non-profit organization that seeks to help teenagers accelerate biblical wisdom in their lives, stands now as ONE OF THE BEST parenting books I have read in 12 years.  In his own words, Mark says this about his book:
"This is not a book about taking your kids to church, saving them from the world, or producing good behavior.  Many Christian parenting books focus on helping parents figure out how to raise well-behaved, well-mannered kids.  The goal of parenting, in the long run, isn't for our kids to be known for how well behaved they are, but for how well they know and respond to God."
You won't find "formulas" or "methods" in this book.  What you will find is the challenge and encouragement as a parent to make sure YOU are living and walking according to God's story and not the world's story.  He also stresses the importance of engaging your children in "worldview-shaping conversations" where as a mom and dad you communicate God's worldview to your children.  More importantly, as you read this book you are challenged to examine what story you are telling your children, both intentionally and in the way we live with and for God over time.

I really liked the "conversational" feel of this book.  As I read through the chapters, I felt as if I were having lunch with Mark and he was sharing profound biblical wisdom with me in our conversation together about parenting our kids.  Throughout the book are engaging illustrations that help drive home important points and at the end of each chapter are a set of questions for you to think through before moving on to the next chapter.  This feature makes this book one that would be easy to use as a small group study.  Up to date statistics are used and websites are given for further study.

I'll leave you with the encouragement to read this book if you are looking for solid biblical help in your role as a mom or dad and with a couple of quotes from chapter one:
"We may wonder how God could ever look at our families and grin.  And the problem is that, as parents, we sometimes forget that we're also children - that our God is our Father, and that God is more lovingly inclined to smile at us than we are to smile at our own kids."
"No matter how good or bad you believe your family is, God has plans for you that will unfold in the Real World.  God will continue to move your family along in the journey he has in store for you.  Which is why this book is designed to help Real World Parents understand that journey - or story - and communicate it to our kids."
"What we don't want to generate are well-behaved kids who mindlessly follow our directions without ever willfully owning the faith in Jesus that they see in us."
Thank you B&B Media Group, Inc. for providing this book for me to review!

This book can be purchased at Amazon.