Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

From Andrea’s Reading List: Generation NeXt Parenting

Tricia GoyerThis release from Tricia Goyer boasts on it’s cover that it’s, “A Savvy Parent’s Guide to Getting it Right.” I don’t know about savvy, nor am I sure I’m even in the right generation to be reading this book, as I’m right on the cut off point (the story of my life), though I am sure I’m not a parent (not by choice), it’s definitely a guide to getting it right.

Some familiar with my convictions might be surprised I’d say that, considering the book is organized around popular song titles and lyrics from the ‘70s and ‘80s, which might bother some, but Goyer never pretends these people were necessarily pillars of faith, and it actually works quite well. Besides appreciating The quotes chosen tie into the topic the current chapter discussed.

Some more would say I’m not qualified to comment on the merits of a parenting book without children of my own to experiment on. Actually, in reading the book, in my humble opinion, it would have the maximum impact on the yet-to-be-parents like myself. Because the clear principle behind the book, in my reading of it, is the key to getting your parenting right, is getting your heart right.

Certainly, her advice will be helpful to parents, but in regards to the focus on correcting your own spiritual walk, it’s most effective if you get a copy of this book (and those like it) before the kids come along. What a blessing to have the chance to work our issues out before we pass them down to our children.

Rest assured, she covers practical issues, too, but correctly emphasizes the fact your kids will do as you do, not as you say you believe. To show she means it, she covers the spiritual issues statistics say Gen-xers struggle with the most. (Aside: While I’ve never been exactly sure what generation I belong to numbers-wise, I find myself fitting the spiritual profile for Gen X better than I’d like.) To give you an idea of the extent, with a few minor modifications, this book could be converted for use in any small group or adult Sunday school class, not just one for parents.

It shouldn’t surprise you then the book comes complete with a study guide with plenty of scripture references to look up in addition to the plethora sprinkled throughout the book. Indeed, your book does have a solid biblical foundation, Mrs. Goyer. Completely different pace and style than Fathers & Daughters, but it’s geared to a slightly different audience as well. Where the Barretts’ book is a beautiful depiction of the biblical ideal (or about as close to it as one can expect fallen human beings to come), Goyer’s is gently—very gently—leading a broken generation, still reeling from, or even lost in, the mass rebellion the boomers began, to a place where the ideal might someday become graspable for them. And she definitely has the authority to speak from. Xers reading this will nod, assured that, “she’s one of us,” which for many in this age group carries as much weight as a PhD.

True, there were a few glitches with the typesetting. Though nothing that would render it unreadable. Along the same lines, I personally found the bible-version-hopping annoying, especially the use of versions like the Message that are actually paraphrases, and, in some cases would have been more honestly packaged as commentaries.

But, I digress. If I chose, I could get into our disagreements on television—not that we’re far off. I naturally agree there is a place for media in the home, I just find much of secular television garbage and prefer DVDs or other technologies that allow parents to ensure they are at least there to guide their children through any sewage they feel they must expose their children to, so it inoculates rather than poisons.

Considering where the majority of her readers are, though, she takes the right approach on that sensitive topic, and opens the door for God to deal with their hearts on an individual basis.

I also had my hackles raised in one place at the end of a chapter where she quoted a source with less-than-biblical reference to sexual immorality without any context. She covered the biblical views in the next chapter, so I can understand why. I probably would have taken a stronger line, but I suspect Goyer had on her heart teenage mothers still making the same mistakes she once made and covers the topic as she does with the hope of gently guiding them into the same cleansing flood that has washed and sanctified her.

I do have a warning, it’s packaged to attract the eye of non-Christians as well as the faithful, and it’ll be a great read for seeker and faithful both, but if you’re hostile to Christianity, this book is not one you’ll enjoy (but neither is this blog!)

click to purchase

Other than that, let me just say this is not a book to rush through in a weekend. If you can, take time to chew the cud and look the scriptures referenced up in your bible. I believe it would be appropriate for use in your personal devotions if that’s all the time you have available, and indeed parts of it are geared with just that in mind. I also would suggest reading this as a couple, with a friend, or any small group. With plenty of scripture to focus around, the group discussion will help hide the Word in your heart.

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