Book Review: Holy Parenting

I just finished reading Holy Parenting by Benjamin Kerns. The author is real, authentic, and although I don’t have kids I kept thinking this is what I would look like as a parent. Kerns does a great job captivating you with stories from his life and transferring these thoughts to how to build your faith and your children’s faith. Each chapter follows the flow of a personal story that you will probably be able to relate to and then he leads to think about how these things have a spiritual element.

The first section of the book is about letting go of your old life and accepting your new life after children. He focuses on how to handle the radical change to your life and emotions you may feel.

The second part of the book is when it really got good for me. This section is dedicated to how raising children is a spiritual discipline and how we can grow spiritually by observing, reflecting, and learning from our children and events surrounding parenting. He talked about tea parties and how it teaches us the importance of being present. There is something holy about slowing down, putting away distractions, and focusing our love and attention on our children. This can apply to being there for others, spending time with God, and the value of being there for our family.

Some other things that stood out to me in this section:

  • Playmates, community, and personal growth.
  • Nap time and Sabbath rest
  • How conversations in the car teach us how to pray without ceasing
  • Stranger danger and the Holy Spirit
  • Scrapbooking and telling the story of God
  • Bedtime and reflection

Section three of the book focuses on parents passing on their faith to their children. This is the challenging section of the book. We are challenged to make sure our faith is real because our children can see if we are church goers or Christ followers. His five tips on connecting in worship services are great. The section on Sunday school spoke to me. My wife is a first grade teacher and the number one factor is success for her students is if their parents work with them at home. How many times do parents integrate Sunday school lessons into the rest of the week? He stresses the need for community and how it may look different for us. The chapter on family devotionals gives tips on how to and not to do them. This chapter made me remember all the good and bad ones I sat through as a kid.

In all this is a great book. I would recommend it and plan on getting some copies to pass on to some friends. Ben’s transparency is what makes this book. You get confessions from a dad and minister who has struggled to find a way to implement Duet 6 into his life.


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