All Grace Abounding

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All Grace Abounding

Take a walk through most any bookstore, be it a Christian based store or a secular one, and you will see that parenting books are like opinions – everyone has one.  Some are full of great wisdom, and some are full of practical application, but seldom do the 2 mix in 1 work.  Grace Based Parenting is an exception to that norm, full of biblical wisdom and outstanding in the application of practically working it out in the family arena. I first came across Grace Based Parenting nearly 6 years ago.  I was co-leading a small group for parents and was responsible for picking out the curriculum.  After literally pouring over books, and becoming very frustrated at the offerings, I picked up GBP.  I was struck by this phrase describing the book: “Dr. Kimmel offers a revolutionary concept that focuses on the model and guidance provided by God the Father.”  There are a lot of books that project biblical models of parenting, but this one was immediately different – a model based not just on scriptural guidelines, though there is nothing wrong with that, but based on the inter-personal dynamic relationship we all experience with the ultimate Father driven by grace, not rules. Dr. Kimmel focuses on 2 sets of factors in this work, teaching that every child needs a secure love, a significant purpose, and a strong hope while giving them the freedom to be different, vulnerable, candid, and the room to make mistakes.  When a parent utilizes this resource as I did, focusing on how God meets those factors in my life, new horizons open up in the realm of parenting.  Suddenly, instead of focusing on rules I can focus on how those rules may hinder the conduit of grace instead of achieving “proper” results.  Making decisions as a parent “through the filter of God’s grace” releases the child from unreal expectations and releases the parent from placing overwhelming goals on their parenting style.  Automatically the inner spirit of the child and the intimacy of the child-parent relationship are elevated over simplistic behavior modification issues. As a parent, I have read and re-read this book multiple times.  Once exposed to GBP it will not take long for a parent to be subtly reminded by the Holy Spirit of God when we cross over that line.  When I receive that gentle nudge of the Spirit, I open the book up again to renew the focus of godly parenting.  Though I am still not a perfect parent, and most likely never will be, I believe my children have been spared some heartaches due to the lessons learned and applied through GBP.  As a pastor of a new church less than 2 years old, the first parenting class we offer will be Grace Based Parenting…there is no need to start anywhere else.   Originally published in 2012

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