Courageous Parenting, written by Jack and Deb Graham, presents a clear outline for relationships. “God designed the task of bearing and raising children to be accomplished in the power of His Holy Spirit within the bonds of a faithful, loving, lifelong marriage.” With the skill of an engraver, Jack and Deb Graham, etch a relationship playbook of basic principles. Even champions go back to training camp every year “because one never outgrows the need of the basics.” A biblical plan for the family and putting the plan to work are the two main sections of the book.
The health of one’s relationship with spouse and children is determined by the strength of the foundation. The strongest foundation is “the unshakable foundation of Jesus Christ.” The loving leadership of a husband and father sets the “temperature” of the home. “A man has a lot to do with how warm or how chilly his marriage is and whether there is a numbing coldness or glowing warmth around the table when the family sits down together.” Setting the temperature begins with love for one’s wife. Love her with passion, purity, purpose, protection, and provision. This can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit. The sacrificial love and nurture of wife and mother also reflect the temperature of the home. Submission to God, husband, and one another is a must. A mother’s love is the heart of the home. She is to love, nurture, and teach her children as she watches them grow.
Deb Graham shares her reflections in the final chapters. She discusses the transitions of her life, beginning with the birth of their baby to watching the baby fly out of the nest. “One moment you hold that tiny little hand, and it seems in the next moment that hand is holding the hand of the person your child has chosen for life.”
The strength of Courageous Parenting is its foundation on the Word of God. It is a no-frills, by-the-book text about relationships. For any couple willing to get back to the basics, it can serve as a resource for building a rock solid marriage and home. Non-Christians and single parents may find it a difficult book to read.
The title is somewhat misleading. Expecting to find a book about parenting and related issues, the reader is first given an invitation to salvation and then a session in marriage counseling. The material is good, but totally unexpected. The reader will wait several pages before parenting is discussed. The Grahams, however, are sincere in their desire to help couples become courageous parents. Drawing upon their marriage and ministry experiences of more than thirty years they offer, “To do everything we can to help.” – Richard A. Borgman, Christian Book Previews.com
Sometimes it feels as if the best we can do as a family is to survive. The ups and downs of life leave little energy or hope of doing more than simply gritting our teeth and plugging ahead with life. Anything beyond this seems a long way off. But there is reason to believe that our families can thrive.
Healthy, God-centered relationships with your spouse and children can be had only through building on the right foundation. There must be genuine faith, morality, spiritual understanding, discipline, enduring patience, character, kindness, love, and much more. This is a daunting list, one that most of us feel is too great a challenge to attain, but it can be achieved by building our families on the unshakable foundation of Jesus Christ.
Often it seems as if building a strong family is nearly impossible. Parents need to be encouraged, though, because creating and growing a family of this kind is possible by the grace of God through the guidance of His holy Word.
Throughout the pages of this book, Jack and Deb Graham teach us with biblical models for the home, provide practical advice for parents, and speak from years of their own experience in active ministry and parenting. They offer support and encouragement to parents for the often overwhelming task of raising a family that represents and reflects Jesus Christ, and they put forth a call for courage and godly confidence in forming a biblical legacy for our children and the generations that follow.