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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Real World Parents by Mark Matlock (Book Review)

Title: Real World Parents
Author: Mark Matlock
Publisher: Zondervan

From the back cover: Become a Proactive Parent (and Stop Overreacting!)

Real World Parents helps you be proactive, rather than reactive, while raising Christian kids toward lives of faith in a world filled with contradictions. Rather than trying to raise kids who are "good christians," you'll find the tools to help you live out a faith that allows your children to see what it means to live as a Christian.  As a result, your kids will learn about real faith by living it out with you.

Culture expert and veteran youth pastor, Mark Matlock, will help you explore issues such as:
  • Helping your child make decisions.
  • The importance of failure.
  • Knowing God's story for your family.
  • Changing the story your family is in.
  • The pursuit of wisdom, and much more.
Mark Matlock has been working with youth pastors, students, and parents for two decades. He's vice president of event content at Youth Specialties and founder of WisdomWorks Ministries and PlanetWisdom. He's the author of several books, including The Wisdom On. . . series, Living a Life That Matters, and Don't Buy the Lie. Mark lives in Texas with his wife Jade and their two children.

My thoughts: What I liked best about this book is that it didn't just try to "scare"  you with statistics or "tell" you how to raise your kids.  What I took away from it was to keep showing your kids through the way you live, the path they should follow.  Each chapter ended with some questions that really made me think.  Things that, until they are actually asked point blank, you probably haven't given much thought about - like "In your own life, what has mattered more in the long run -- your behavior on any given day or your foundational beliefs about God and the world?"   How many parents out there think that because they make mistakes that they have messed up their kids - or that they are terrible parents?  I know that I have had days when I have felt that someone screwed up when they let me have kids!  But in the big scheme of things - God still loves me and what is more important to Him is that I know He is my Saviour - not that I didn't have patience with my kids.

Here is an excerpt: 
"The world's storyline began when sin entered into humanity's experience in the garden of Eden.  It started when humanity believed the serpent's lie that a God who loves us would never keep from us something as good as that one restricted fruit. And those of us walking the world's storyline -- all of us at some point -- have been doubting God's love, goodness, and power ever since.

The world's storyline terminates abruptly, violently, at the end of time when the serpent -- along with all those who rejected Jesus as the path to livinig permanently on God's storyline -- is locked up once and for all. So, in truth, every second spent lingering on the world's storyline is time wasted on a dead-end path.

As Christians, we know this. We're convinced of it. Yet we continue to struggle to trust God and to stay off the world's path. We desperately want our kids to fully live out their lives on the line that has no beginning and no ending, the line that's energized with the very power of God, the line upon which is found meaning, purpose, hope and joy for all time. We want our kids to live on God's storyline." (pps 47-48, Real World Parents)

This is a book that I will be revisiting - if anything - just to keep reenforcing to me that I am not going to be perfect in how I raise my kids, but God is going to love my family anyway and He is the one directing the story of our lives.

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Audra at TBB Media in exchange for my review.~

Real World Parents: Christian Parenting for Families Living in the Real World
Publisher/Publication Date: Zondervan, Feb 23, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-310-66936-4
143 pages

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