(most of these thoughts originally published on my blog in March of 2008)
I have read the book Grace
Based Parenting, by Dr. Tim Kimmel, but
recently picked it up as an afterthought . Or should I say, a God-thought.
It totally blew my mind. Let
me try to explain… Right in
the beginning of the book he (Dr. Kimmel) poses a question to the readers.
"What are the
fundamental, driving inner needs that your child was born with?"
Um. I don't know. I should know this right? Think.
Think. Think. Uh…
Well most parents get a
partial answer…which is love.
Others offer answers like
food, clothing, shelter (physical needs, not driving inner needs) education (an
intellectual need, but not a driving inner need) or salvation (not a driving
Have you thought of it yet?
(I hadn't either, but its pretty obvious; and if you have thought of it, Dr.
Kimmel suggests you are on the right path to raising great kids. Great
Before I give you the
answer, he points out one more thing.
One person knows what
your child's driving inner needs are.
Know who that is?
(Insert full body shudder here)
He knows exactly what drives
our children, and is working overtime to meets those needs in counterfeit
ways. Scary. So raising up
your children in a spiritual cocoon won't help because satan operates inside
Plus, hes not the only
one. The world system and our children's inner tendency towards
selfishness can do a pretty good number on our efforts.
OK, so thats sobering
But here is the good part…
we have to greatest force of good in the universe on our side.
Thats pretty encouraging.
Ok, ok, so I will tell you
what the Three
Driving Inner Needs are.
- A need for security.
- A need for significance.
- A need for strength.
Dr. Kimmel suggests that the
way to meet these needs is by giving your children three valuable gifts: love,
purpose, and hope.
So, if I've done my job
right, my children should leave my home with a love that is secure, a purpose
that is significant, and a hope that is strong.
His book continues to be
amazing and insightful and offer many more great tips, so I encourage you to
check it out if you have any parenting questions or issues like so many of us
I am so thankful to the Lord
and His perfect timing and letting me come across this information now, just
when I was starting to lose patience and grace.
If my children see a
constant, sincere representation of grace in our home, they will be more
inclined to represent that behavior themselves.
Oh, and one other great point… Dr.
Kimmel tells us to remember that even when your child is hardest to love, that
is when you should love them most.
Because that is
exactly how God parents us.