by Misty Umholtz
I have taken the wonderful parenting classes offered at our church, “Growing Kid’s God’s Way” and “Loving Your Kids on Purpose”. My husband and I found them both very helpful to grow us on our parenting journey.
We read the book “Parenting the Wholehearted Child” by Jeannie Cunnion. This book was a really good balance and applied principles from both of those classes listed above. For some reason, it finally clicked for me. Maybe it’s because my kids are at the prime age to apply these instructions or maybe its because I finally had a revelation. What if I view each act of disobedience as an opportunity to teach and train my child in righteousness? And get to the real heart of the matter which is all about what is in their heart and motives. To take the time to ask my kids questions, to get a glimpse as to what is going on in their thought process and to grow my connection and relationship with them. Then also taking the time to explain what Jesus thinks about the situation and show them how we can apply His Word to the very thing we are dealing with. That’s right Moms, it takes a lot of TIME!
Jeannie gave a lot of practical application examples which is what I really needed. She dedicated 6 chapters to specific characteristics that they focus on instilling in their home every day. She also used scripture very effectively. The forward is written by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the endorsements on the back are by Kathie Lee Gifford and Lysa TerKeurst, which I just thought were all interesting women.
There seems to be an element in any parenting book like this to be tempted to think that the Author might be near perfect or we as the readers are not living up to the mark as a Christian parent. But I just have to remind myself that I am not comparing myself to Jeannie or to her home. My home and parenting style will have different aspects than hers. I will say, I was convicted as I read this book. I am suppose to parent like God parent’s me with grace, mercy and love. I am suppose to be the example of Jesus’ character to my kids and husband that I am asking them to exemplify. Let’s just say, I have many areas to work on. I have began to take this responsibility very seriously and I now start each morning by asking God to help me with His wisdom and patience and kindness as I teach my kids the ways of the Lord with all diligence as encouraged to do so by Jeannie. My kids now hear me pray out loud through out the day, “Lord, help me, I need your help, I need your patience.” I can testify, He has been faithful, I have surprised myself in certain circumstances. This book actually made me look forward to my many chances throughout my day to take the time to stop and properly discipline with my kids in hopes of gaining their hearts (well, most of the time!) The fruit seen in my kid’s lives is a testimony in and of itself that the time spent is more than worth it.
I have made it a goal to take this Summer to hone in on some new parenting tools inspired by this book. As God’s grace covers me when I mess up, I pray I can turn around and show my kids the same kind of grace as they learn and grow in my home.
I will end with a quote from the last paragraph of this book, “The most important thing we can do for our kids is captivate them with what Jesus has already done for them.”
What Parenting Books do you suggest?
Misty Umholtz loves being a wife and mom of two small children. She enjoys ministry and she also likes football, which should win her an award for “dream wife.” But on the other hand, her love for shopping might disqualify her from that possibility. You can read more about Misty on her blog, Finding Meaning in the Mayhem.