One of the reasons I enjoy reading Christian parenting books is because I love being a parent. Since 2005, I have read probably close to 100 books on parenting. I have read the insights of parenting coaches, other parents, grandparents. I have been a parenting coach, myself, and taught some classes in San Francisco when my youngest was a baby. Parenting is my passion.
More than just parenting diligently, I want to be able to have my children say I parented them well. Basically anyone can be a parent; not everyone is a good parent. My latest book on parenting, Gospel Centered Mom: The Freeing Truth About What Your Kids Really Need by Brooke McGlothlin, offered me a chance to read a parenting book that was more rooted in personal struggle than I’m used to. It was an interesting change.
When I say “rooted in personal struggle”, I mean that, like most Christian books, Brooke’s foundation for the books is her personal hardships and how she’s used God’s word to empower her to overcome them. It’s a perspective that generally only sits well with other Christians, but I happen to find a lot of wisdom in these books. For me, parenting well is built upon one’s ability to see situations from another perspective, whether or not one agrees with that perspective.
I did find great wisdom in Gospel Centered Mom. One overarching, helpful reminder is that we’re not the ones in control of all this stuff we call “life”. When you’re the kind of person who values self-improvement, this is a kind reminder that one needs regularly. We are not in control of everything and thank goodness for that! Once we accept that, we can sit back and enjoy our children more.
I slowly made my way through this book and there were helpful tidbits throughout, but I have to say that my favorite part of the book was Chapter 10. In this last bit of the book, Brooke sums everything up nicely by exploring what it means to “Protect the Story”. Honestly, I felt like the entire book could have been about this part and it would have been even more helpful. In Chapter 10, the author discusses how it’s more important to look at the overall story of our families and our desires for our kids rather than focusing upon material success or societal approval of us as parents. This gets to the heart of the matter, in my opinion. Sometimes, parents, even those of us with the best intentions, get caught up in day-to-day behaviors and choices and forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. Giving us a framework for how to keep the bigger picture at the fore of our thinking when disciplining and generally raising our children was extremely helpful.
I had many “aha” moments while reading Gospel Centered Mom by Brooke McGlothlin. She touches on some common themes that run through the lives of most mothers. If I didn’t have mothers in my life with whom I could share my struggles, this book could easily serve as a support “group” for me. Reading any chapter is likely to provide the reader with a refreshing reminder or perspective that helps ease any emotional and intellectual burdens around parenting.
I especially enjoyed the formatting aspect of Gospel Centered Mom where each chapter ends with a “hard truth” and a “beautiful truth”. The hard truth is where the author lays out something that just is and that we have to accept along this parenting journey. The beautiful truth is the freedom or the silver lining to that hard truth. This part of the book always brought a smile to my face. I truly believe that every bad has some good in it, if we are patient and look for it, and these hard and beautiful truths align with that belief.
Last but not least, dear readers, I want you to know that while I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, this review is my honest thinking about the book.