Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quick Review: Parenting the Wholehearted Child

Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating Your Child's Heart with God's Extravagant Grace
Parenting the Wholehearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Zondervan
Publishing Date: April 8, 2014
Are you exhausted from the pressure to be a perfect parent raising perfect children in this imperfect world? Do you ever wonder, “How did these precious children get stuck with a parent like me?” If so, let these grace-drenched pages saturate your heart with God’s unfailing love while also equipping you to be a vessel of God’s unconditional love to your children.
With authenticity, conviction, and a lively sense of humor, Jeannie guides parents on a transformative journey into raising wholehearted—not perfect—children, who live from the freedom found in being wholeheartedly loved (and liked!) by God.
Parenting the Wholehearted Child equips parents with Biblical wisdom and practical ideas to teach children they are fully accepted by God, not because of anything they do or don’t do but because of everything Jesus has already done for them.
Woven throughout the book is the good news that it is God’s extravagant grace, not a parent’s perfect performance, that transforms the hearts of children.
I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today.

My Thoughts:
Let me start by listing quickly what I liked: the writing was very well done and put together. Overall, the book was well organized. It would be quite easy for the reader to pick up and navigate.

As you read the Amazon reviews you will see the word 'grace' mentioned time after time. While I feel this was true of the book, I also felt an overwhelming need to be perfect. I find perfectionism and grace to be almost opposites of each other. How can one expect perfectionism from a human without leaving room for grace. Humans make mistakes, and they certainly always will, that is why I find we cannot expect perfectionism from anyone, but instead offer grace, room for mistakes, allowances to try again, space to teach and grow.

Wow I am getting a bit philosophical.....

While there was a fair amount of Biblical application, the book was too overly populated with Cunnion's stories of her kids and how absolutely perfect they act. Should we strive to teach our children to be like Jesus and want to raise them as Christians? As a Christian, YES. But I am also under the firm belief that I should allow my child to be a child. Teach and guide always, but an emphasis on play and learning needs to happen. Life goes by too quickly to expect them to act like adults from day one. Mistakes happen. Grace for the parent, yes please!, but grace for the child as well.

Because the book was well written and wasn't a complete mess itself, I am still giving it 2 stars. However, this book was a DNF for me. I found I wasn't getting what I was looking for from the text. I was also tired of story after story of the author's perfect children and wondering how on earth I could make my child so perfect. I put the book down wondering what I am doing wrong and how I could perfect my child. Blech. But again, there were a few good gems and the basic premise was there. This book would be a good read for the Christian parent who does believe perfectionism is attainable, or a reader looking for some pointers on raising a Christian child.


  1. Is it bad that, when I hear too many stories of someone's perfect children, my first thought is "LIES!"? ;)

  2. Nope, not bad! It's totally true!