As an English teacher, I fully appreciate the hyperbole of this title. The worst mom in the world? Isn’t that exaggerating a bit, Sarah? Perhaps.
There was a day recently, though, that I sure felt like the worst mom in the world.
The Day I Was the Worst Mom in the World
It was at nighttime, actually. I was tired. My husband had been away travelling for a week, and I was just plain exhausted. All I wanted was to sit down on the couch, open up the book that I had been waiting forever to read, pour a glass of wine, and just relax.
My two-year-old had other ideas, though. After nearly an hour of telling him to get back in his bed, of holding his little hand and tucking him in, of saying, “You need to stay in bed, Little Man, so that you can get some sleep,” after all of that, I was done.
And, so I yelled. “Just stay in this bed! Do NOT get out of bed again! Do you hear me? It is bedtime! Just GO. TO. SLEEP!” Yep. I screamed at a toddler.
I immediately felt horrible. I asked him to forgive Mommy for yelling. I kissed his little cheeks. But the damage was done. His eyes were filled with tears as I tucked him in and walked away. The worst mom in the world.
Fortunately, we have a God who forgives us when we ask. Fortunately, toddlers don’t hold grudges. Fortunately, we can begin again. Praise God that “when we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And so, as a broken and sinful mother who is being saved by a gracious and loving God, I want to recommend a book to you. I just received a review copy of Dr. Philip Mamalakis’s new book, Parenting toward the Kingdom: Orthodox Christian Principles of Child-Rearing.
Parenting Toward the Kingdom: A Review
Within the first chapter I was in tears.
Not out of guilt for the things that I had been doing wrong, but out of hope and awe for the things that God wants to do through parents. Dr. Mamalakis writes, “This book is not about how to be a perfect parent but how to be perfected in Christ as a parent.”
It is not a book filled with empty promises of parenting techniques that will solve all of your problems. Instead it is a book filled with principles and practical examples that will help you parent with the end in mind–the ultimate salvation of both our children and ourselves.
Whether your children are two-weeks old or twenty-two-years old, I highly recommend Parenting toward the Kingdom.
Here are some of the things that I have learned or been reminded of so far from Parenting toward the Kingdom:
- To remember that our children are icons of Christ and to treat them accordingly
- To empathize with my children and their struggles, saying, “It’s hard to……”
- To not sacrifice the long-term goals (raising a child who will live out the values of the Kingdom) for the short-term goals, no matter how admirable (such as a peaceful home or kids who don’t act up)
Who This Book is For
Since I have started reading this book, I find that I want to recommend it to EVERYONE I meet! Those who would enjoy and benefit from the book include:
- Any Orthodox parent with children of any age
- New parents (what a great shower gift this would be!)
- New converts to Orthodoxy (this would be a fantastic gift for sponsors to buy for new converts)
- Church libraries
- Any parent, whether they are Orthodox or not, who desires to raise children who will love and serve Christ
Parenting toward the Kingdom is not a book that you will read once and cast aside, forgotten. Instead, it is a resource that Orthodox parents will return to again and again as they seek to raise their children in the Faith.
At least I know that I, who often feel like the worst mom in the world, will do so.
What parenting resources would you recommend?
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All favorable opinions of excellent books are completely my own!)
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