Book review – A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family
Books on parenting are published every year and cover just about every angle imaginable.These books range from the highly technical psychology textbooks to the more simple format found in graphic novels. If you want to know if your child is keeping up with the medically prescribed milestones you can find a book for that. If you want to know what to expect at every stage of development you can also find a book for that. Among the barrage of “how-to” guides and advice ranging from “just plain bad” to “the wisest thing ever”, it’s refreshing to see the emergence of a different kind of category– one which gets back to the basic of just connecting with your children and forming relationships with them. That is where I would place A Spiritual Heritage by Glen and Ellen Schuknecht. Their primary concern is to encourage parents to form relationships which result in lasting and enduring relationships. However, A Spiritual Heritage goes beyond that and encourages parents to take a visionary approach. This requires a certain degree of intentional planning and forethought– and the Schuknechts provide just the right ingredients to get parents started on establishing their vision. Their experience and wisdom combined with a love for truth make this book a good option for parents who simply want to connect with their children in a meaningful way.
At the center of the Schuknechts approach is a strategy summarized with the acronym RITE. Parents are encouraged to Relate, Inspire, Teach, and Equip their children. They approach this in very general terms and resist the temptation to turn this into a formulaic approach to relationships. A question that always comes up with parenting books is the issue of discipline.While this is not covered in depth in the book, it is clear that the Schuknechts do believe that there is a time for discipline. However, they temper this with an understanding that God does not always deal with his children by “doling out” justice — he also doles out mercy and grace. A Spiritual Heritage takes a rather broad approach to these three responses to our children’s attitudes, and leaves the reader with a simple but not very specific piece of advice
God deals with us using a perfect mixture of justice, mercy, and grace.That is our spiritual heritage in Him.
What does this mean for the parent wanting a specific answer to deal with a specific sinful attitude in their child? It means that they will have to rely on scripture and a lot of prayer to discern which is the right response for each given situation. All parents will find themselves leaning more heavily toward one or the other. If you are a parent who always insists on justice, you will need to work extra hard to ensure that you are also demonstrating God’s longsuffering nature to your children as well. If, on the other hand you are a parent who is constantly showing mercy to your child, you will need to refocus in a different manner by learning to do the hard thing by disciplining your child.
This approach is risky to say the least- I am confident that everyone will find themselves leaning more toward one direction and feeling that A Spiritual Heritage doesn’t go far enough to support their own approach. Does this mean that you should skip on this book and look for another option? I don’t believe so. Read this book with a conviction that what you see in scripture and the way you choose to raise your children is supported by God’s Word– but at the same time, read this book with an equally strong conviction that you just might have a few things wrong and could use a proper balance of Justice, Mercy, and Grace.
Where to Purchase
Click here to purchase A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family at ChristianBook.com or Search Amazon for the lowest price here. Additionally, you can purchase this book directly from the Publisher (Kregel).
About the Authors
Glen Schuknecht is head of student discipleship and discipline at Veritas Academy and an instructor and facilitator for Family Wings Ministries. He lives with his wife Ellen in Manchaca, Texas.
Ellen Schuknecht is head of family ministries at Veritas Academy, president of Family Wings consulting, and a national speaker for the National Association of University-Model Schools. She has contributed to several books on parenting and education, and has appeared on Focus on the Family. She lives with her husband Glen in Manchaca, Texas.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an online review. 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.”
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