Grace Based Parenting

filed under: Miscellaneous on January 5, 2010

(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?"


Uh.  What? 
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
inner need).


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
. 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
Driving Inner Needs


  1. A need for security.
  2. A need for significance.
  3. 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.


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  • Cop Mama says:

    This is perfect timing, or maybe God’s timing. We are currently struggling with my 3 1/2 year old’s strong will. He is pushing the boundaries every chance he gets. I’ve been looking for a good parenting book that also intertwines faith and God.
    The comment about Satan is so true. It’s a good reminder of who the battle is really against, not our children.
    Thanks Amanda, I’m going to check this book out for sure!

  • Holly Neaton says:

    I have this book on my shelf…think I better get to reading it! Thanks for sharing. God bless – Holly

  • Tina Fisher says:

    Oh I better get ordering! Sounds like a wonderful book!
    I love the second to last paragraph. This is something I always try and remember.
    I have to teach my son about lying….breaks my heart. But it has to be done.
    God Bless!

  • ElizaBeth says:

    Thank you for such an encouraging reminder of what our parenting goal should look like! As the young ones become older ones I really feel that urgency to fill them with all the love, purpose and hope I can. It will be just a short time before they can venture out on thier own. Blessing to you and yours!

  • Christina says:

    Well, this is SO what I need to be hearing, reading soaking in right now!
    Thanks so much.
    I am going to go and get the book asap.
    It is so very sobering and real and scary.
    I think sometimes I forget how incredibly important our jobs are as moms.

  • Karen says:

    This is good stuff, Amanda.
    And, you know? That list of our children’s driving needs looks so much like my OWN needs!
    LORD, help me to point my children to You, to reflect YOU to them, to show them that the fulfillment of all our needs can be found in You!

  • Karen@SurvivingMotherhood says:

    This is good stuff, Amanda.
    And, you know? That list of our children’s driving needs looks so much like my OWN needs!
    LORD, help me to point my children to You, to reflect YOU to them, to show them that the fulfillment of all our needs can be found in You!

  • Stephanie says:

    Great sound advice! Sounds like a good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • abby says:

    Awesome! We actually bought that book before our first child was born and I have yet to read it. Now I’m totally excited to read it…especially since we’re entering the lovely 3’s. 🙂

  • Melissa T. says:

    This post is going to have me thinking for awhile…

  • Melanie says:

    Well said. Another book to add to my list of awesome recommended reads….oh to create more hours in the day!

  • jenney says:

    I have been reading/doing a Beth Moore study on the Fruits of the Spirit. This week is Kindness/Goodness and it talks about how God parents us. This just added more for me to think about. Am I the kind of parent to my children that God is to me? Wow. Big stuff.

  • Sal B says:

    Wow. Why do I ever under-estimate our all-powerful and knowing God? It was definitely Him pointing me to your blog tonight to read this post. I have recently been having arguements with my soon to be 10 year old daughter. Nothing serious, but enough to make us both angry. Your post seriously gave me goosebumps, and made me really think. Thank you (insert your name here:)! I really needed this tonight.

  • Kari says:

    Thanks for the post… has really caused me to stop and think… I’ll have to see if the library has the book… or order it myself. 🙂
    Loved watching you on the video link you posted.

  • gianna says:

    i love when i have resources that make me think.
    i love the statement when our kids are the hardest to love, that’s when we should love them the most!
    i need to remember that!
    oh, boy! do i need to remember that!

  • rebecca says:

    I found that the problem with that book was that it did not do much for the parenting tool box. It is great at helping supplant an adversarial approach to parenting, but it is short on what to do when your kid does not comply.

  • Londa says:

    That sounds like an awesome book! Going to have to get it! We’re awaiting a new book called Gospel Centered Parenting–I wonder if it would be a good compliment to this one! I need ALL the help I can get! Thanks for sharing it!

  • carma says:

    Even we as adults crave significance – darnit!!!
    Kidding aside, your kids are gonna turn out phenomenal.

  • bp says:

    I’ve read this one and enjoyed it very much.

  • Parent Plus says:

    Hi..thank you for allowing me to comment. I found your blog by searching “parenting” from the search engine. My name is Andika, I’m from Indonesia, a father of a 2 years old girl. I’ve just make a blog about parenting. Most of the contents are about my little family, especially my daughter. I put many of my daughter’s photos and videos and stories of how I enjoy my life as a parent. I hope you’ll enjoy it…
    Thanks again and have a nice day! 🙂

  • denise says:

    i so need this…am going to savor and read it more slowly tonight after the wee ones are sleeping…so need to pick up this book…thank you!

  • The Lumberjack's Wife says:

    Sounds like a great book to me! You gave a great review and I love that last phrase.

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