I attended a gathering for those individuals involved in Child and Family Ministry at the end of January and received an advance promotional sampler of Dr. Michelle Anthony’s forthcoming book, Spiritual Parenting: Igniting Faith in Your Family. This book interests me for many different reasons (I am a Director for Child, Youth, and Family Ministry at a Lutheran Church in Seattle and I’m going to be a parent soon…March 12 is approaching fast, but I digress). Things have been pretty chaotic around here lately and I have put off reading the sampler. Well, today I sat down and read the 60 page promotional (first three chapters).
Anthony states early on, “In this book we will explore what it means to seek God as our primary audience – to please Him alone with our parenting and seek Him alone for the strength and power to do so.” (12) I think that’s a noble start. Everything that we do should begin with God.
Anthony continues, “Spiritual parenting is not perfect parenting – it’s parenting from a spiritual perspective.” (12, emphasis mine) I think Dr. Anthony nails it early on. I don’t know how many times I’ve read in some parenting book a statement to the contrary and thought “What a load of bunk!” There is no such thing as perfect parenting, even with God on our side. This is because we are imperfect creatures.
So what is spiritual parenting? Spiritual parenting is about “enlist[ing] ourselves as students of our children…to learn about them speficially as the children that God has entrusted to us…It’s not about adopting a ‘parenting style’ that works for all my children, because I will need to adapt my parenting to the uniqueness of each child.” (13)
I’m not going to give away any more and will hold off on a complete review until I read the whole book. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to read the book to see what all Dr. Anthony has to say and if there are some ways I can incorporate what she says in my own congregation. She was the keynote speaker at the same gathering that I got the sample of her book at. Doctrinal differences aside, I thought she had a lot of good stuff to say and enjoyed her presentation. She’ll be back in the Seattle area for the big conference in the middle of March.