May 19

Give Them Grace

I just started reading Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book Give Them Grace this week, and am already enjoying it immensely.

If a Mormon can parent the same way you do, your parenting isn’t Christian. -Elyse M Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace

I have been thinking much about this statement. I feel this tension. The tension between training and correcting my kids yet avoiding a try harder mentality which drives them to self-righteousness (a futile pursuit). Can a five year old obey perfectly? No way! His only hope is Christ. I want to pave the way to that hope for my children.

The one encouragement we can always give our children (and one another) is that God is more powerful than our sin, and he’s strong enough to make us want to do the right thing. -Elyse M Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace

This has proved difficult for me. In the moments where my kids are out of control…what do I do?! I know that I need to (and I want to!) point them to Christ. But how?

If not rooted in gratitude for God’s love for us in Christ, morality is deadlier to the soul that immorality. -Elyse M Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace

Did you catch that? Raising up good little Christian boys and girls is a worse fate than the rebellious, prodigal son! These “good kids” may grow up to be better civil citizens and may avoid the consequences that the prodigal may have to endure, but the self-righteous soul may have a harder time accepting the grace of God than the prodigal who has wallowed in the pig-sty.

I look forward to sharing more with you about this book, but I want to hear your thoughts on these statements, and the struggle to point our kids to the grace of Christ in the midst of the difficult moments of parenting.

What about your parenting sets you apart from a devout works-based Mormon family? How do you point your children to Christ in your training towards obedience?

Photobucket(Oh, and Crossway has graciously agreed to provide a copy to one of you! The giveaway will be sometime next week, so stick around for the chance to win your own copy.)
Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday.

I was given a copy of Give Them Grace in exchange for my review. All thoughts here are my own!


Book Reviews, Family, gospel, grace, parenting, Reviews

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  1. This book sounds really good. I think it is an easy trap – the attempt to raise “good” kids. Very interesting.

  2. I’ve had this book sitting in my Amazon cart for a week. I read the preview and it sounds really good and just what I need to read right now. I’ve read Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Don’t Make Me Count to 3, and Dobson’s books too. Yet despite everything I’ve read, I fear that I’ve been raising up “good little Christian children” because my default reaction is still to attempt to change their behavior outwardly. Ack! Going to click “Order” tonight.

    ~Catherine 🙂

  3. Oh, wow! What a book and what deep thoughts! I am SO glad you linked up!! Going to be thinking about your words while I’m hanging out with my boys today…

    DEFINITELY thought-provoking!!

  4. I have thought about getting this book. Looking forward to hearing your review after you’ve read it all.

  5. everything i have ever heard of elyse’s books has been excellent! i’ll have to read this one due to the name/topics of my blog:) sounds like a great emphasis.

    hard to imagine that many of us may not be raising prodigals, but by raising little pharisees, we don’t do our children any favors. could the pharisees have been any more blind to the gospel? they were so good! they had no reason to think they were sinners.

    thanks for the intro to the book:) m

    1. I am looking forward to reading more of Elyse! I just love her focus on the gospel, and I really appreciate the sample conversations she gives throughout the book. Very helpful, as I think about how to apply this to my own parenting!

  6. What an interesting concept…I have a teenage son that gives me so much trouble, but I know he has such a tender heart in many ways. I have a daughter who is younger & makes all the great grades & causes no trouble, but I am concerned over many heart issues. Sounds like a great read.

    1. Kristy, I just finished up a chapter 4 which hits on exactly this issue. They both need Jesus. The rule-follower and the rule-breaker.

      One suggestion she gives is to confess our own heart issues. “Being specific about the ways you are simultaneously proud and disobedient will help your children understand that the gospel is for sinners.”

      This will help the more “disobedient” child to see that they are not alone in their struggle, and not give up and think that the gospel is only for the “good” boys and girls.

      Whereas, “Specific confession of pride, judging, criticism, envy, and selfish ambition will help [the “good” child to] understand her own propensities to fail in the same ways, while praising [her] for being a “good girl” will breed toxic pride in her heart.”

      This chapter was really, really great. I think you will love the book and find it incredibly helpful!

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