As an adoptive parent to two teenagers, I want every tool that’s out there in my resource kit: blogs, webinars, books–especially books. Lots and lots of books. As I encounter things that I find useful to my parenting journey, I share them with you on my Resources page. Of all the things that I’ve read this summer, Gary Morland’s A Family Shaped by Grace: How to Get Along with the People Who Matter Most, has had the biggest impact on my parenting. Here’s why:
When our children hit the teen years, the parental clock starts ticking louder. We feel it in our temples. We tell ourselves they’re not ready, we’re not ready. Suddenly every parenting mistake we’ve ever made is manifest ten-fold in their behavior and we have to fix it–quick! Maybe they’re eyeing the wrong path. Maybe they’re already a step or two down the way. There’s still behavior to correct, attitudes to adjust, things to get into their thick skulls.
Let’s stop, breathe deeply, and let the wisdom of Gary Morland bring relief to our parenting anxieties.
The beauty of A Family Shaped by Grace is that it’s intended for anyone in a challenging family relationship, but it speaks loud and clear to parents, especially this one. There’s barely a page where I haven’t highlighted or underlined at least one sentence. It is full of wisdom and freedom. As a parent raising two adopted teens, I find Morland’s insight and advice encouraging, reaffirming, and liberating.
This book has taught me to be God’s influencer in my family. To encourage and woo them, not scold and criticize. It’s taught me to model the behavior that I want to see in them, to trust God’s plan for them, and to turn the results over to Him. It’s taught me to realize the blessing of having a front row seat to God’s work in their lives.
Can you see how powerful that is?
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin, this book will transform how you see your role in your family relationships. If you only read one book this summer, make it this one.
Let’s stop using our families for something they were not intended to be for us so that we can be what we were intended to be for them. Let’s live more for them and less from them. This is the heart and soul of the gift of accepting our families and each member. It’s the beginning of our ability to be patient and to be God’s access to our families. It’s the hinge on the door of grace into the room of wooing more and scolding less. Getting our peace right gets us out of the way and simultaneously puts us in place so that instead of a barrier we’re a blessing.
A Family Shaped by Grace:
How to Get Along with the People Who Matter Most