Thursday, December 11, 2014

Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey {A Review}

As a part of the launch team, I have had the great privilege of reviewing a wonderful new Christian parenting book called Parenting Unchained: Overcoming the Ten Deceptions That Shackle Christian Parents by Dr. James D. Dempsey. Dr. Dempsey has written this book from his heart as these are lies that have affected his parenting in the past. He wrote this book because he wants to make sure other Christian parents avoid falling into the trap of these lies.

Dr. Dempsey and his wife are the parents of 3 daughters and he is a pastor with a doctorate in Early Childhood Education. He is also a presenter and Family Minister Consultant for the National Center for Biblical Parenting. He understands the importance of the Christian family and the fact that Satan is attacking the family. Dr. Dempsey wants to make sure parents are aware of these destructive lies of Satan, so we can wake up to the deception and follow the truth that God has given us. As stated in the introduction, "God's truths about parenting help us stay on track. They help us raise godly children. And godly children are a threat to Satan!"

In the 191 pages of Parenting Unchained, Dr. Dempsey shares these ten deceptions and then looks at God's truths. He shares personal stories, Biblical examples, and practical applications to make his book come alive and make an impact in the lives of Christian parents.

Before I go any further, let me share the 10 deceptions that Satan has been trapping Christian parents with:

  1. It's All About Your Kids; Your Character Doesn't Matter
  2. You're Capable; You Can Do This
  3. God Only Cares About Rules
  4. You Can Be a Parent Without Investing Much Time
  5. Teaching the Right Information is Enough
  6. Why and How You Discipline Don't Matter - Just Make Them Obey
  7. You Don't Need to Talk About Your Faith
  8. Children Should Choose Their Life Course (You Don't Need to Help Them)
  9. It's All About Consistency (You Don't Need to Adapt)
  10. Life Should Be Easy
Have you found yourself believing any of these lies? I know I have. 

Each of these sections has 1-3 chapters that explains the deception and shares the truth God wants us to know. You will read about the foundation for parenting and be reminded that you should not be relying on yourself, but in Christ. With Biblical examples, Dr. Dempsey shares the importance of relationship verses the rules and what God really wants from us. You will see how God's presence in the lives of the Israelites and Jesus's relationship with his disciples is a model of how parents should be invested in their children. The importance of modeling is emphasized, as is the right reason for discipline and practical advice in how to discipline. You will also read about the importance of teaching through direct instruction. Additionally, the author discusses the dangers of personal freedom and focus on oneself. You will discover the problems with consistency and the benefits of being able to adapt. Finally, Dr. Dempsey discusses the importance of preparing our children to be sent out into the world instead of being sheltered. 

At the end of each section, you will find activities for making these truths a part of your family's life.  There are also 2 appendices in the back of the book. Appendix A is called - Secular Research: The Primacy of Relationship. Appendix B is a Catalog of Jesus's Teaching in His Later Ministry. 

This book has words of wisdom whether you are a new parent, a parent of young children, or a parent with children ready to leave the nest (and everywhere in between of course). I love the way Dr. Dempsey equates God's relationship with Israel, His chosen people with the parents' relationship with their children. Infancy, childhood, and teen years are discussed. It isn't just God's relationship with His people that help to illustrate how we should be parenting. Jesus and the disciples are used as examples as well, along with other parent/child relationships seen in the Bible. I am learning much about how God expects me to parent. 

I highly recommend Parenting Unchained for Christian parents who are ready to rid their lives of the deceptions of Satan. You can purchase the book for $14.99 and through tomorrow, you can get the Kindle version for just 99 cents! 

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