The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ

The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ

by Sally Clarkson, Clay Clarkson

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Overview

From the family that brought you The Lifegiving Home and The Lifegiving Table, discover how you can become a parent who gives your child a life worth living for Christ.
In today’s world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and even paralyzed by the constant flow of parenting advice. We’re flooded with so much practical information that we wonder if we’re choosing the right way. And we may be missing the one thing God really wants us to give to our children: His life. God doesn’t include a divine methodology for parenting in the Bible, but He does provide principles that can enable any faithful parent to bring His life into the life of their home.

In The Lifegiving Parent, respected authors and parents Clay and Sally Clarkson explore eight key principles—heartbeats of lifegiving parenting—to shed light on what it means to create a home where your children will experience the living God in your family. Now parents of four grown children—each with their own unique personality and gifts—Sally and Clay have learned (sometimes the hard way!) that the key to shaping a heart begins at home as you foster a deep and thoughtful God-infused relationship with each child. Filled with biblical insight and classic Clarkson stories, The Lifegiving Parent will equip you with the tools and wisdom you need to give your children much more than just a good Christian life. You’ll give them the life of Christ. (Don’t miss the companion piece, The Lifegiving Parent Experience!)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496421975
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 145,803
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sally Clarkson is the mother of four grown children who walk with God. She is the author of many books, including Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe and The Mission of Motherhood. She is a speaker, writes a personal blog ITakeJoy.com, and is the director of Mom Heart Ministry, an initiative to inspire, encourage, and restore mothers' hearts to God's heart for motherhood.

Clay Clarkson is the father of four wholehearted children, all grown and following God on their own paths of life. He and Sally started Whole Heart Ministries in 1994 to help Christian parents raise their children for Christ. Clay earned an MDiv from Denver Seminary, but still studies in the graduate school of parenting.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

SOMEONE'S GOT TO GIVE

Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls."

JEREMIAH 6:16

Family is changing. Anyone who has lived through the last few decades of American life has watched that change move like a prairie storm across the landscape of our culture — sometimes slowly, sometimes swiftly, but always with steady, inevitable progress. Nothing is quite the same in the wake of a cultural storm's winds and rains. When it hits where you live, change happens. And it's happening now to home and family.

If a movie can be like a parable of Jesus, I'd have to suggest that the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz comes close as a cinematic parable of our current experience. The movie begins in black and white, with young Dorothy Gale living a simple life anchored in the abiding fundamentals of family and faithfulness and surrounded by the unchanging stability of the Kansas prairie. But then a raging cyclone transports her farmhouse — with Dorothy and her little black dog, Toto, inside — to a new and unfamiliar, but very colorful, place. As she wanders along a yellow-bricked path outside her relocated house, taking in the strangeness of all she is seeing in the yet-unnamed Land of Oz, she voices the obvious: "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Over the last generation, a storm has blown across our Christian cultural landscape with the ferocity of a Kansas tornado. It picked up our values of home and family and carried them and us to a new place that is strange and unsettling. Like Dorothy, we're wandering along a well-trodden path to the Great and Mighty One, trying to make sense of the new world we see around us. And in our hearts, despite the changes we're experiencing, we still believe, like Dorothy, "There's no place like home."

Change is a reality of life that we can resist but can't avoid. And yet while things are changing all around us, the kinds of changes we see — the big, global changes that we call human progress — remain the same from generation to generation. Solomon, as king of Israel, changed that land like no one before him or since — he built the Temple, enlarged its treasures, made Israel a nation among nations, and transformed Jerusalem into a world-class city. And yet he wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun." Solomon was enlarging his domain and influence as countless other kingdoms and governments have done. The details may differ, but we as humans keep doing the same things, in the same ways, with the same good — and bad — intentions and outcomes. That's the paradox, and in part the message of Ecclesiastes: The world changes, but humans remain the same.

We're naturally fascinated by the big, culture-defining changes of the kind that Solomon ushered in for Israel — changes in society, industry, commerce, education, governance, technology, fashion, leisure, and other areas. But most of us, as believers in Jesus and His teachings, don't really change inside when things change around us — we still want the fundamental human values and virtues we believe in to remain the same. Whatever else is changing, we expect foundational biblical truths to stay firm. It's an article of our faith. But now that's being challenged too.

* * *

The cultural changes we're seeing in our current time "under the sun," not just in matters of home and family but also in attitudes toward Christian truth and morality, are of the fundamental kind, the ones we couldn't or didn't want to see coming but that now we cannot avoid — shifting attitudes about sexuality and marriage, the prevalence of divorce and fragmentation of families, conflicting ideas about God, challenges to the Bible's authority, rejection of once widely held Christian standards and beliefs. We're seeing increasingly dramatic confrontations over some of God's foundational "solid rock" truths that provide stability and safety from the storms of life. Even though we as believers are building our homes "on the rock" of Jesus' words, more and more homes built "on the sand" surround us and are vulnerable to the storms (see Matthew 7:24-27). Sandy foundations for many are being eroded and washed away.

David asks in one of his psalms, "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (11:3). It's a good question. What happens when the foundations change? What is our response when our fundamental values are no longer honored? What do we do when the foundations we live by are rejected by those around us, or even by our country? Or when rulers over us do not affirm or protect our cherished ways of life as Christians? As a psalmist of Israel, David's answer was a simple reminder of what followers of God have always known to do — to trust God because He reigns from His temple in heaven and will protect the righteous (see 11:4, 7). As king of Israel, though, David could not foresee what his question perhaps presciently foreshadowed for the future of his country.

About four hundred years after David's reign as God's king over all Israel, the ancient foundations of the Promised Land, already split into two kingdoms, were being further decimated — the northern kingdom of Israel had already been conquered and scattered by Assyria, and the southern kingdom of Judah (the land of Jerusalem and the Temple) was less than a decade from being overthrown and exiled to Babylon for seventy years. In the midst of all that change and many prophecies of coming judgment, God offered an indirect answer to David's Psalm 11:3 question through Jeremiah, a prophet to Judah: "Thus says the LORD, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls'" (Jeremiah 6:16).

When the foundations and fundamentals of Christianity that have provided stability for us for so long are rocked by challenge and change, and Kansas seems like a distant memory, the answer is not to panic, or fight, or just give up. The answer is, in fact, to be like Dorothy in Oz — to adjust and adapt, keep going, keep believing, and never give up the vision of home. The biblical answer to David's question, and to ours, is to trust that the God we know is faithful and the ancient paths we know are good. In other words, when things are changing around us, we stay faithful and stay the course. In that path alone we'll find peace in the midst of conflict.

Whatever else we may do in response to the changes happening around us, the one thing we cannot do is neglect our families. The eight heartbeats of lifegiving parenting covered in chapters 2–9 are an attempt to define, at least in part, what "the good way" will be for serious Christian families to walk in as we navigate through our uncertain time "under the sun." It's not just about being a "good Christian family" as a testimony to the world, or about combating the growing decline of the biblical family in our culture. It's about something much more important — it's about bringing your children into contact with the living God whom you serve so they will want to serve Him too. It's about your children finding life in God so they can stay faithful to the faith you pass on to them.

* * *

In the same way that the nation of Israel changed dramatically over its first four hundred years, so have American culture and Christianity. The purpose of this book is not to address those changes, and it is especially not to try to redress them. Instead, I want to speak to Christian families who are committed to building the kind of homes that can withstand the storms of culture blowing in with those changes — the kind of lifegiving homes Jesus said are built on the rock of His Word (see Matthew 7:24-27).

Lifegiving parenting is not about changing the culture we live in but about being a counterculture to it. It's not about creating a comfortable Christian subculture insulated from the surrounding world; rather, it's about being the kind of lifegiving home culture that will stand as a testimony of God's biblical design for family to a lost world whose sandy foundations are washing away. It's not about being a political or social "culture warrior" for the family but about definitively, and maybe even defiantly, building a home where the living God of Creation is undeniably living through the family within it. Lifegiving parenting is about bringing the life of God into your home and family to create, with Him, an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven in this world. We can call that place a "Christian home," but Christians often have very different ideas of what those words mean.

Throughout the quarter century of what I call our Christian home and parenting ministry, we've met and seen many families with life-affirming and life-infused Christian homes, where the presence of God was unmistakable in the parents' vision for their biblical roles and in the spiritual homelife they were cultivating for their children. However, we've also observed many American Christian families where the parents, though unquestionably believers, seemed minimally engaged in the spiritual life of the home or their children. If asked to give a reason why theirs was a Christian home, they might answer by focusing mostly on what their children were doing — "My kids go to church, Sunday School, Bible club, youth group, and camp; have all the best Christian music, videos, books, and apps; attend a Christian school; go to VBS and Christian activities; and have great Christian friends. Of course they're being raised in a Christian home."

There's no question that exposing children to so many good and godly Christian influences can be a positive thing. However, it can also become a negative thing if Christian consumerism becomes either an unintentional or preferred substitute for the life of God in a family. We need to distinguish between a home that is considered Christian primarily because cultural Christianity happens there and a home that is Christian because Christ is alive and present in perceptible ways. Here's the reality that needs to be affirmed: A distinctively Christian home can never be defined only by what the children are doing; it must be defined by what the parents are doing.

Despite what the pervasive Christian culture many of us live in may lead you to believe, no amount of Christian activities, materials, or media for your children will be able to make your home a Christian home. Those can all be good, edifying, enjoyable, and fun for your family, but they are powerless in themselves to bring the life of God into your home. Only you — parents alive in Christ because of the Holy Spirit within you — have the ability and the power of the Spirit to make your home a Christian home. Engagement with Christian culture does not define a Christian home; engagement with the living Christ does. That understanding is a necessary first step on the path to becoming a lifegiving parent.

* * *

This is where authors often cite statistics to bolster their arguments. However, while statistics can legitimately tell a story that engages our minds and hearts, they can also be misused to portray a crisis that we need to fear. Data can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. For example, during the 2000s, many Christian parents were confronted with shockingly dire statistics about Christian youth abandoning the church and their faith as they entered college and early adulthood. Some youth ministries used those statistics to convince parents of the critical need for their programs. Those "scare-tistics" were sometimes exaggerated and misquoted and were later challenged by better research and data, but there was no way to undo their impact.

But here's a different kind of statistical story, a better one that captures our hearts and minds without fear. For nearly forty years, Vern Bengtson and his colleagues conducted a multigenerational study of religion and family — the largest such study ever done. It followed 350 extended families representing more than 3,500 individuals whose birth dates spanned more than a century. In his book about the study, Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down across Generations, Bengtson's top three conclusions tell a better story: "Religious families are surprisingly successful at transmission. ... Parental influence has not declined since the 1970s. ... Parental warmth is the key to successful transmission."

The real story that parents need to hear in these times is that in spite of the season of epic change in which we find ourselves, the fundamentals of faith transmission and retention within families have not really changed. Even though we're going through yet another generational transition, with new technologies and mobile communication radically reshaping the cultural landscape in which our children and youth will grow up and find their way, the research confirms that faith is still passed along in families the same way as it always has been — through parents. And Bengtson's conclusions are remarkably consistent with a 3,500-year-old biblical model that still works for passing faith from one generation to the next. The story of that "statistic" should engage your heart and mind.

* * *

Perhaps you've heard the term shema, but you don't know where it's from or what it means. You're probably not alone. It's simply the Hebrew word for "hear," but it is the first word of what Jews consider the most important passage of Holy Scripture. The verses are called the Shema and have been recited twice daily (at morning and evening prayers) by pious Jews since they were first spoken by Moses:

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9

There are other important passages for Jews, and the full Shema includes two additional passages (Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41), but this initial passage of the Shema Yisra'el ("Hear, O Israel") has given Jews an identity as a people who name the Lord as their God (vv. 4-5), who tell their children about their God (v. 7), and who make their God a part of their lives and homes (vv. 8-9). Throughout the storied history of the Jews, the Shema has held them together.

It helps to remember the stories that lead up to this passage. After the flood of Noah, the story of the people and nation of Israel begins with God's call to Abraham (then called Abram) to leave the land of Ur, and His promise to give him a land and raise up a people from his seed. Abraham's late-in-life son, Isaac, has a son, Jacob, who wrestles with God and is given the name Israel. He has twelve sons who eventually become patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel, which are named after them. At age seventeen, the youngest son, Joseph, is sold by his jealous brothers into slavery in Egypt. Joseph rises from prisoner to prominence in Egypt and saves his family from famine by moving them there from Canaan.

Though Joseph saves his family, their move to Egypt results in four hundred years of captivity for the rapidly multiplying Hebrew people, forced to serve as slaves to the Egyptians. Their exile ends when God raises up Moses to free His people from slavery. The Israelites pass through the parted Red Sea and receive at Mount Sinai the Law they would need to become a nation, but then they succumb to fear and unbelief and fail to enter the Promised Land. After wandering for forty years in the wilderness, Moses and the people finally come to the Jordan River and look across into the land God promised their forefather Abraham five hundred years earlier. They are finally about to become a nation.

Now imagine what Moses is thinking. He knows he will not be able to cross the Jordan to enter the Promised Land (see Numbers 20:8-12), and he knows his visionary leadership of the people will pass to his faithful aide, Joshua, a military man of action. On the east side of the river, Moses has gathered all the people together to encourage them and remind them of who they are — not escaped slaves from Egypt but the children of Abraham and the people of God. He wants to remind them of all that God has done to bring them to this point, read the Law that God gave him on Mount Sinai, and prepare them to become a nation.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Life Giving Parent"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Clay Clarkson and Sally Clarkson.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Sally), xi,
Preface (Clay), xv,
1. Someone's Got to Give, 1,
Part I: Heartbeats of Parental Lifegiving,
2. Numbering Your Child's Days, 21,
3. Nurturing Your Child's Spirit, 41,
4. Guarding Your Child's Heart, 61,
5. Renewing Your Child's Mind, 81,
6. Strengthening Your Child's Faith, 101,
7. Shaping Your Child's Will, 123,
8. Cultivating Your Child's Character, 145,
9. Forming Your Child's Imagination, 165,
Part II: Living as a Lifegiving Parent,
10. One Life to Give, 189,
Epilogue: Our Lifegiving Parent Story, 209,
Growing Your Child's Values, 217,
Knowing Your Child's Personality, 221,
Notes, 227,
About the Authors, 229,
Clarkson Family Books and Resources, 231,

What People are Saying About This

Jennifer Smith

Parenthood is an incredible gift and an extraordinary journey of discovery. The Lifegiving Parent is an inspirational and insightful book for all parents, no matter where they are on the journey. Each chapter is thought provoking and will challenge you as a parent to acknowledge and pursue the God-given role and influence you have in the lives of your children.

S. D. Smith

Clay and Sally have once again delivered a book that every parent would be wise to read. Inviting and encouraging, this book is a tool kit for passing on an inheritance of following Christ. It’s a guide for guides, teeming with wisdom earned from years of navigating the wilderness in search of the Water of Life. For the millions of younger parents longing for wise and practical mentors, The Lifegiving Parent is an answer to prayer.

Glenn Packiam

Wisdom is crammed into these pages—the wisdom of the Scriptures exposited and the wisdom of God embodied in over three decades of parenting. You won’t find formulas, guarantees, or glossy depictions of family life in this book. Instead, there are well-worn and well-loved pathways into the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit . . . for parents and for children.

Sara Hagerty

My husband and I passed this book back and forth with enthusiasm. The Lifegiving Parent is for every hopeful, weary mother or father. Our home is different because of the ministry of Sally and Clay Clarkson. Their vision has lifted our eyes, and this book is a gem we’ll return to again and again.

Ruth Chou Simons

It’s no secret that Clay’s and Sally’s hearts beat for the family, and now they’ve offered those heartbeats for us to consider, emulate, and find encouragement from. The Clarksons specialize in inspiring a biblical big-picture mind-set with next-step practicality in a world that often finds parenting burdensome. The Lifegiving Parent offers delight and wonder to parents in the trenches.

Brian Brown

American parents often say they feel powerless to raise their kids in the best way. Either they feel inadequate to do the job or they worry they don’t have the kind of influence on their kids they once dreamed of having. The solution isn’t “education” as we typically think of it, nor is it slightly better sermons or youth groups. Children need formation—something that’s far more broad, intentional, and rooted in the people and traditions that ground a home.

At a time when the plethora of parenting books are mainly focused on technique, Clay and Sally Clarkson provide a vision of parenting as an art. The Lifegiving Parent is an intensely practical window into how to be the person your children need so that they can grow up surrounded by the truth, goodness, and beauty that will set them up for a life worth living.

Kristen Welch

There’s nothing I want more than to be a life-giving parent to my children. This book is at the top of my go-to stack of books to help me through the beautiful and challenging phases and stages of parenting. You must add it to yours.

Laura Wifler and Emily Jensen

With a beautiful balance of biblical teaching, practicality, and an understanding of the challenges parenting brings, Clay and Sally Clarkson’s latest endeavor offers thought-provoking insights and reflections on their parenting journey. Moms and dads can mutually benefit from the reminder that passing along the gospel to their children isn’t about following a formula but about a parent’s authentic relationship with God overflowing into every aspect of family life. Part handbook, part manifesto, this book offers ideas for actionable steps to nurture our children’s hearts, warming them to the life-giving love of Christ.

Dr. Scott Turansky

Clay’s and Sally’s amazing relational styles inspire parents to new heights. They not only tell us “what” but also show us “how.” Any parents who read this book will find tools to breathe new life into their homes.

Erin Loechner

Clay and Sally Clarkson are the beloved parenting guides we all seek—gentle yet firm, wise yet adventurous, curious yet convicted. In The Lifegiving Parent, the Clarksons faithfully lead us all into a deeper, more meaningful exploration of Christian parenting through personal lessons, biblical insights, and practical teachings. To read this book is to sit down to a treasured mentorship, Yorkshire Tea in hand.

Patrick and Ruth Schwenk

With biblical wisdom and decades of personal experience, Clay and Sally Clarkson offer families a treasure in The Lifegiving Parent. It’s a humble yet urgent message to each of us pursuing this messy mission of raising kids to love Jesus and love the world. We are the lifegivers. It’s not a formula, program, or set of methods. It’s a way of life. With God’s help, we will pass on what we possess, giving the life of God to our children. No matter what stage of parenting you are in, you will find The Lifegiving Parent challenging, helpful, and encouraging.

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The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Ashley Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
The Lifegiving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson is one I received from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. I really enjoyed Sally's other books and her podcast always is encouraging. This book offers practical steps to implement into being a lifegiving parent. At the end of the book, is their list of 24 Family Ways that are something I would like to add to our family. I really enjoyed this book and felt encouraged and motivated to make some positive changes in our family life.
RubieLee More than 1 year ago
I love the heart behind this new book by Clay and Sally Clarkson. The Life Giving Parent is not a step by step instruction book full of the do’s and don’ts of raising children. It is a philosophy of parenting children based on eight key principles derived from scripture. Reading this book was like getting the best parenting counseling session from a Godly couple who successfully raised children who love the Lord. I enjoyed the chapter on Cultivating Your Child’s Character the most. This chapter is about your child’s “inner person,” their identity, personality, and capability. Clay describes their identity as who they are in God’s eyes, their personality as what they are like by God’s design, and their capability as what they can do with God’s help. Influencing their inner person develops and forms their character. It is so important for our children to know they are loved, redeemed, and created for a purpose. I love how Clay and Sally make a point to remind us that we are the most important influence our children have! Our own lives, how we live and walk out the Christian faith, is the greatest opportunity we have to develop our children’s character. IF you are an expectant parent, or a parent of children who are already half-grown, this book is for you. I love and appreciate the wisdom of Clay and Sally Clarkson! I requested an advanced copy of The Life Giving Parent from Tyndale publishing. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.
Sarah823SP More than 1 year ago
This book is more of a philosophical book to help parents process the foundation of their home based on who God is and how He is present in your home. I just assumed it would be a balance of philosophy and practical suggestions with stories that intrigued me and kept me reading. I was incorrect. This book is primarily the teaching from the Word of God about Who God is, and how to life not a christian life or create a christian home, but on how to center your life/home on the life of Christ and imitating Him. After the introductory chapter, the book shares 'heartbeats' to help you 'start living like a lifegiving parent.' It follows a formula that is more than just the philosophy, but the meat of the book is primarily exegesis of the Word of God by Clay. Each heartbeat starts with a story or cultural connection to explain the heartbeat, then shares passages from scripture that 'form a complete, holistic biblical idea.' This is followed by some steps to implement this idea, then Sally's lifegiving Momoirs then Lifegiving ParenTips, and ends with a brief Startging the Heartbeat of Parenting Lifegiving. The book is systematic, linear, and does create a plan and strategies to life a Christ like life and replicate this in your home and in front of your children. Many people will appreciate the style, the solid teaching, and the layout with little need to think for yourself about this principle. I'm hoping that the companion guide written to go with the book will promote higher level thinking and more engagement. The heartbeats are great points and ideas for raising your children. I found them to be sound and great ideas, and I learned about some greek words I did not know and grasped principals that I would not have been able to solidly support with biblical connections, if it weren't for the teaching in this book. But I found the book itself to be very personality driven, and I suspect that many of the other Clarkson books are similarly developed, so if you love all the Clarkson books, this book will suit you well. But if Different is your main connection to Clarkson's books, go into this purchase aware that it's not the story telling advice and connections as the main learning connection in the first 208 pages. Then you get an update on where each child is today, and the book ends with appendixes of the 24 family ways, knowing your child's personality, and notes. The book did make me think about some of the teaching's and interpretations shared. It's not my favorite style of writing, or presentation format, but I know I am unique and many will be inspired and unable to put this book down. In many ways I think my hesitance to wholeheartedly celebrate this book as a tool for all, is the direct teaching that sort of boxes parents in, or is suggesting a works based? (not sure if this is the right wording) approach to a faith based practice that parents could achieve these principles in much less formal techniques and I would have liked it more if those techniques were included in the author's perspective. Thank you Tyndale for the opportunity to review this book. I love to share my views and to read ALL types of books.
JViola79 More than 1 year ago
The day we give birth, our lives are changed forever. It is in this moment, we take on the hardest, most challenging, and most rewarding role – parenthood. My children are now adults and raising their own, yet parenting is a life long task as relationships continue long after they leave the home. The Life Giving Parent by Clay & Sally Clarkson is a much needed book for every parent, and grandparent, in this ever changing culture we are living. As parents we not only give breath and life to our children, we also give them God’s life. Our children are in need of faithful parents who know Who they believe in, have entrusted their lives to Him, and bring His life into the home for children to experience. It is as our children live in an atmosphere where faith is alive, visible, and shared that they will desire the life of Christ for themselves. Often we view our children as a sign of how well we are parenting.The Clarksons corrects this thought by placing the reality where it needs to be, upon parents: “Here’s the reality that needs to be affirmed: A distinctively Christian home can never be defined only by what the children are doing; it must be defined by what the parents are doing.” While church activities are a needed and fun component of our children’s lives, they will never ensure a life of faith. The author shares, “… faith is still passed along in families the same way as it always has been – through parents.” As parents we must rise up in our faith and in conveying our faith to the next generation. This book is a treasure of wisdom stored up over the years of the authors own parenting and ministry. They share true stories and Scriptures which shed light on our shortcomings in the gentlest of ways, sure to motivate us to make changes. The book is broken down into two parts. Part One is “Heartbeats of Parental Lifegiving” and addresses nine areas we must be involved in our children’s growth. Part Two is “Living as a Lifegiving Parent” and brings the reality that there is no magic formula to parenting which will guarantee success. We do, however, have God’s Word and Spirit to guide us to live authentically and faithfully in His ways. Throughout this book, we are reminded we must know God, know ourselves, and know our children. Our world and culture are changing rapidly, but our God remains the same forever. This is the foundation by which we can raise our children with confidence. The responsibility falls on us as parents. We must live authentically in order to give our children a life worth living founded upon Christ. This book is a must read for every parent and makes a wonderful gift for every new parent. I truly cannot recommend this one highly enough. *I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review. The views expressed are all my own.