Today is the day. It is book launch day for Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey. (You can visit his website D6Culture to find out more about him and the resources he has available.) I have been reading this book in preparation for today. But, it was harder than I expected. It took a lot longer to read and absorb the information in this book than I had planned. It is only 182 pages long so it shouldn’t have taken me a three weeks to work through. Right?
The time invested is certainly worth it and I am actually in the process of reading the book through again. Slowly and deliberately. My children’s future is that important. Honestly, I don’t know if what Dr. Dempsey has to say is ground breaking or if it is just the right information at the right time in my parenting struggles. But, I am seeing things I definitely needed to see and hearing what I needed to hear.
What Hit Me Hard
God is Our Father – Yes, I have known this since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. But somehow, I never saw Him as an example of a father to pattern my parenting after. Wow! What a mistake that was. Dr. Dempsey walks through much of what God reveals about himself as a father in the Bible. He explores rules vs. relationship, giving examples from the Bible of God’s desire for relationship and using rules to expand and deepen that relationship. He looks at Jesus as a father here on earth to his disciples, the time he spent with them, the desire he had for them to learn and grow and work. Dr. Dempsey explores how Jesus prepared to send the disciples out without Him, not just giving them their commission but preparing them for the job they were chosen for. He gives examples of how God as a father dealt with Israel in the Old Testament when they disobeyed and how he welcomed the prodigal son home in the New Testament. So much of this I have read. More than once. Yet, somehow, I had never looked at God revealing himself as a parent to pattern myself after.
Obedience – Something I have known for a while now is that you cannot make a child obey. Yea, that comes up pretty quick after you bring that first little one home. Obedience is one of the lies of Satan and it is such an easy one for Christian parents to buy into. I have looked at the Bible verses that we all know and think “why isn’t that enough? why don’t they just obey because the Bible tells them to?” After all, that is what the world would have us believe – you tell them, they do it, and if they don’t, punish. But, reality doesn’t work like that. A child’s heart is at stake and I am ashamed to admit that I often forget that. Dr. Dempsey takes us back to the perfect example of a parent, God, and reminds us that God disciplines not to force obedience but to change the heart into one that desires a relationship with him. That is where I need to focus: helping to mold a heart that loves God and desires to do His will, whatever form that may take at the moment.
So Much More
Dr. Dempsey’s book is packed full of truths that have a Biblical basis in order to drop the lies that Satan is telling us. The ten lies that are addressed and refuted are:
- It’s All About Your Kids; Your Character Doesn’t Matter
- You’re Capable; You Can Do This (self-reliance)
- God Only Cares About Rules
- You Can Be A Parent Without Investing Much Time
- Teaching The Right Information Is Enough
- Why and How You Discipline Don’t Matter – Just Make Them Obey
- You Don’t Need To Talk About Your Faith
- Children Should Choose Their Life Course (You Don’t Need To Help Them)
- It’s All About Consistency (You Don’t Need To Adapt)
- Life Should Be Easy
If you are like me, just reading through that list will bring some emotion up. We see these lies in the world around us. If we tell the truth, we have bought into a few of them. Or at least have the desire to. (Let me tell you #4 sounds mighty good when the days are somewhat rough and tough.) But, God desires more from us. God desires for us to take a good hard look at the lies the world tells us and search for the truth, follow the truth, and stake our claim to guide our children toward Him. Dr. Dempsey helps us do that by dealing with each of these lies in a biblical perspective. After dealing with each of the lies and showing us a lot of God’s word and perspective on these, Dr. Dempsey shares some Home Activities to help us put the truth of God’s word on parenting into practice.
Dr. James D. Dempsey is a family minister at Anderson Mill Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, and is a presenter and Family Ministry Consultant for the National Center for Biblical Parenting. With grown children, he has used his gift of hindsight to share with parents some of the deceptions that Satan uses to try to keep our children away from God. He has a heart for helping others and this book is just another tool that he is using to reach out to parents and help children.
Some Special Offers
As part of the launch week, there are a couple of special offers available to you. The Kindle version of this book is going to be available for only 99¢ Monday, December 8 through Friday, December 12, 2014. That is an incredible price. It normally retails for at $4.99 for the Kindle. Click over to Amazon and check out the ebook pricing.
If you are like me and prefer a real paper book to hold in your hand, you can get that, too. Just head over to the Parenting Unchained website and you can order it for $14.95.
Through Monday night, December 8, 2014, there is a giveaway going on related to Parenting Unchained. Visit BenandMe.com to read more about the giveaway and enter it. But do it now since it ends tonight.
There is also going to be a Parenting Unchained Facebook Party on Thursday night, December 11, 2014, at 9:00 PM EST. You won’t want to miss the opportunities that will be shared at this party. You can read more about it by clicking on the link above. Don’t forget to RSVP for it.