In this heartrending memoir about faith and family, a conservative spokesman writes candidly of his beloved son and how even when you follow all the “rules,” life can go very wrong.
HOPE and COMPASSION for FAMILIES
Beautiful Nate offers valuable insights into what went wrong in a dedicated Christian family and how things might have gone differently—giving parents direction for raising their own children in a troubled world. Exploring the differences between fear-based parenting, child-centered parenting, and healthy intentional parenting, author Dennis Mansfield shares hard-earned wisdom and powerful ideas on what children need. Whether you’re in the midst of parenting small children or have experienced the heartbreak of a child gone astray, you’ll find guidance and hope for your journey in this poignant, real-life story.
Even when you follow all the rules, LIFE CAN GO VERY WRONG. . .
Dennis Mansfield and his wife Susan planned for and expected every parent’s dream but instead lived every parent’s nightmare. This haunting memoir tells the story of a father who diligently followed all the parenting rules that he learned from conservative Christian “experts”; yet life with his son Nate went terribly wrong when the young man died at twenty-seven of drug-related causes. It wasn’t that the principles Dennis followed were faulty; it was that the promised guarantee turned out to be void.
The author, a national leader in the pro-family movement of the 1990s, reveals what did and did not work in raising a child within the evangelical framework. But rather than losing his faith and abandoning the God he’d trusted, Dennis eventually found new joy and purpose—with a more compassionate and realistic view of the roles parents play and the rules they follow.
As you read this sobering yet refreshing account, you will find direction for your own parenting style and encouragement after life’s disappointments. Whether you are in the midst of parenting small children or have experienced the heartbreak of a child gone astray, you’ll find guidance and hope for your journey in this poignant, real-life story.
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About the Author
Dennis Mansfield helped lead the fight for traditional family values for almost two decades while working in association with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Promise Keepers movement. In 2009 he helped form 8:4 Pictures, where he writes and works as an executive producer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
¿"I've learned that what may appear to be the darkest times of our lives may simply be the background against which God is showing Himself to be the brightest of brilliant gems." ~ Dennis Mansfield Dennis Mansfield and his wife, Susan, followed all the rules of Christian parenting promoted by conservative Christian experts. They never considered that their oldest son would die of drug-related causes at the age of 27. Even though they raised Nate and his siblings within an evangelical framework, the guarantees they believed in turned out to be void. Nate, rebellious and strong-willed, turned to a life of drugs. Dennis Mansfield was a national leader in the pro-family movement of the 1990s. He was a man who followed God and loved his family but ultimately couldn't save his son. He learned a lot over the years from raising a son with a drug addiction, and he's sharing his story in "Beautiful Nate, a memoir of a family's love, a life lost and Heaven's promises." Some might say this is just another book about a father's loss of a child from drugs, but this book is filled with hope, compassion and redemption. It isn't just for parents who have dealt with the loss of a child. It isn't only for those who have struggled with a wayward child in the midst of an addiction. It's about parenting in today's world for real parents who make mistakes but who desperately want the best for their children. It's about the truth--children sometimes make choices that don't mirror their parents' values. Whether or not you follow the parenting advice of James Dobson or Dr. Spock, life offers no guarantees. If you have struggled with your own parenting style, Mansfield's testimony will free you from self-condemnation. If you have made a hobby of beating yourself up over things you have done or haven't done as a parent, "Beautiful Nate" will encourage you in an indescribable way. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Beautiful Nate was heart wrenching but full of hope. Dennis Mansfield has written a book about every parent's nightmare. Losing a child in one's lifetime is probably the greatest fear a parent has. To actually have it come to pass is like living in hell. Dennis has written with honesty and palpable emotion about the journey with his son. God gives us hope in the time of great sorrow. This book is a book filled with God's promises and one family's journey in embracing those promises with love and great joy. This is an exceptional read. One that readers will not be able to put down. Highly recommend it.
I finished all 234 pages of Beautiful Nate in one day. I can't quite explain why it was so compelling. Perhaps it was Mansfield's brutal honesty regarding his own mistakes in life. It could have been his perspective on the failures of formula-based parenting. Maybe it was the authentic emotion and pure love that Dennis expresses for his family. But, when it comes down to it, Beautiful Nate was impossible to put down because it's not Nate's story. It's not Dennis's story. And it's not their family's story. It's God's story. Beautiful Nate is the story of how a perfect savior redeems very imperfect people. It's an incredible privilege to be able to see how that narrative unfolds in the lives of the Mansfields.