Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

September 4, 2017

When Parenting Isn't Perfect {Jim Daly}

when parenting isn't perfect jim daly
Perfection is the enemy of parenting. Jim Daly sees and hears from mothers and fathers trying hard to pursue perfection. They listen to the best experts and read all the right books. When someone gives them a “World’s Best Mom” or “No. 1 Dad” coffee mug, they want it to be true. And they want their children to pursue perfection, too.

It’s admirable for parents to be the very best moms and dads they can be for their children. But sometimes in so doing, they leave grace behind—both for themselves and their children. Jim believes that our quest for perfection, a quest that he believes is particularly strong among Christians, runs counter to God’s own boundless gift of grace. We can become Pharisaical parents, quoting endless rules and holding everyone to impossible standards. But God doesn’t want us, and our kids don’t need us, to be perfect. As parents, we’re called to simply do our best. And when we fail—which we will—we’re called to try again tomorrow.

Though he’s the President of Focus on the Family, Jim does not promise that his book will be a catalyst for a perfect family. But it can help point the way toward a good family—one that feels safe and warm; one filled with love and laughter. This book will encourage mothers and fathers to embrace the messiness of parenthood and show grace to their own less-than-ideal children. Jim, through his own experiences, expertise, and array of stories, will lead both moms and dads to a better understanding of what being a good family is all about.

My Thoughts:
I love listening to Jim Daly on the Focus on the Family podcast each week, and I looked forward to getting my hands on this book when he started talking about it on air. From listening to Daly, I knew I would enjoy his book. Truth? It has been a long time since I enjoyed a parenting book as much as I loved this one.

Daly brings real life to pages of this book, often bringing his own struggles and family to use as examples of just how un-perfect we all are. This parenting gig is hard and I enjoyed the tidbits of information, references to scripture, quotes from experts, and real language used throughout this entire book.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the entire section on marriage. It is not often a parenting book takes a timeout to discuss the importance of marriage, but this book does just that. It goes without saying that having a strong and faithful marriage can go a long way in easing the burden of parenting, but not many authors take the time to point that out.

I also appreciate the Daly family for allowing their lives to be exposed through this book. Knowing the struggles they go through simply enhances the effectiveness of the message in this book.

There is a lot of highlighting and notes in my copy of this book and I plan on pulling it out often as a reference and encouragement as my husband and I journey on this parenting gig. I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for real-life parenting advice with encouragement and the truth of Jesus' love.

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