Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Real World Parents

Real World Parents, Mark Matlock
I was really impressed with this book and the writing style of Mark Matlock. The 140 page book is divided into ten easy to read chapters. Most chapters begin with a set of questions to make you stop and think about your true feelings about the topic to be discussed. Then each chapter ends with self-evaluation questions about the topic. Many require prayer and thought and a deep look at what our true beliefs and motivations are. My copy of this book is underlined and marked up. In the margins are many penned prayers and scripture references. I found the book to a great encouragement since our family has already put many of these things to practice – it is nice to know others are doing the same thing and you are not alone.
This is not a “how to” or “quick – fix” book filled with a list of do’s and don’ts and rules to follow. Rather it is a challenge to Christian parents to change “our lives from the inside out showing our kids how doing so has changed everything” (page 41). It is about living out a genuine faith and helping our children “develop a vibrant faith of their own” (page 38). I love that he states on page 64 “Become something different!/Don’t settle for conforming to the world’s pattern with a little churchy flavoring thrown in. We need to be transformed./…completely new and different and fresh.” How true this is!! We are in this world to do the master’s business, ambassadors of God – let’s starting living it without the legalism and religious constraints but in the fullness of the grace and love bestowed upon us. Let’s equip our children to be as wise as serpents and peaceful as doves so that they can operate and navigate this world accomplishing the unique task that God has given them as individuals.
In all this I will say there is only one part I do not fully agree with and it is the chapter concerning all the statistics. Although I am in full agreement with the author that there is nothing new under the sun, therefore there is no wickedness conceived and participated in that has not been done I do think something’s have become more readily available and acceptable. I for one do not put much faith and stock in statistics of any kind. I agree that regardless of statistics we should not parent out of fear but out of the wisdom of Christ and believe this is what the author is ultimately imparting in this book.
This is a GREAT time to be a parent because it is the time that each of us has been called to the task and God is faithful and able to equip us with the tools to complete the task when we lean on His understanding.
Nothing short of exciting! Parenting is a great adventure – are you ready – God has invited you to take part in his great plan – “His Story”. This book will be an encouragement to the overwhelmed parent, an example for the parent wondering how to raise spiritually strong children in a scary, sin-saturated world and affirmation to the parent already living the “weird” and radical lifestyle of genuine faith that is in strong contrast to the world.
Worth the read! Be challenged and let God transform you!
Thank you Cook Communications and B&B Media for the review copy.

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