Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

Authors: Reggie Joiner & Carey Nieuwhof

Engage your family in a bigger story that involves more than just your family – one that involves other influences who are on a journey to discover why a relationship with God really matters. We want to encourage you to establish a lifestyle as a parent in which you…

  • Invite others to invest in your children so your sons and daughters have other voices that will help shape and determine the direction of their lives.
  • Create a culture of unconditional love to fuel the emotional and moral health of your children.
  • Tap into the power of quality moments together, building a sense of purpose through everyday experiences.

This isn’t a self-help book. It’s a get-help book. It’s about how you can increase your parenting capacity by connecting with available resources, some of which you know about and some you might not.

Chapter Summaries

Chapter One: The Orange Parent – Every parent has so much potential to do what only he or she can do. However, there are some things that are simply beyond a parent’s capacity. With that in mind, a parent’s influence is best realized in partnership with the church.

Chapter Two: Stock Family Syndrome – Most of the time, the reality of our family doesn’t match the picture we had in mind when we started out as parents. It’s easy to feel like a failure. However, God isn’t holding up a perfect picture for us to be; He’s writing a bigger story that we can experience.

Chapter Three: Family Value #1 – Widen the Circle – A goal as a parent is to have another adult voice that will speak into your son’s or daughter’s life, saying the kinds of things you would try to say as a parent. This is why we must pursue strategic relationships for your kids.

Chapter Four: Family Value #2 – Imagine the End – One day, our children will leave our homes and live out the rest of their lives with them behind the steering wheel. When we imagine that day, it enables us to distinguish more clearly between what matters and what matters most. Understanding this truth allows us to focus our priorities on what matters most.

Chapter Five: Family Value #3 – Fight for the Heart – It’s easy to forget that you can win the argument and force the right behavior but lose the heart in the process. Rules are important but there are some things more important than rules. As parents, we must learn to communicate in a style that gives the relationship value.

Chapter Six: Family Value #4 – Create a Rhythm – Passing faith to our children doesn’t happen automatically. If we hope to impress truths in the hearts of our children, we have to be more deliberate about creating a rhythm within our homes. Creating deliberate rhythms means increasing the quantity of quality time we spend together.

Chapter Seven: Family Value #5 – Make it Personal – We have a picture of who we want our children to become, but the process of helping them become that is a little counter-intuitive. Whatever we want them to become, we should honestly strive to become as well. If we want something to be in them, it needs to be in us as well. This is why it is so important to put ourselves first when it comes to personal growth.

Chapter Eight: Back to the Story – As parents, we have limitations. But that’s okay. Why? Because there is a really big God and an authentic community waiting to extend capacity far beyond your own. When we connect our kids to a bigger story, they are linked to the nature of God’s love, which will carry them far beyond what human love will every have the capacity to do.

Notable Quotes

“A hundred years from now, your great-grandchildren probably won’t even know your name. No one will care about what awards you won or how much money you made. The only thing that will matter is what kind of children you left behind and their influence on subsequent generations.”

“Sometimes, we forget the essence of parenting is really about nurturing critical connections that affect every child’s future.”

“With a strong commitment to do what you can and to seek out the help of others to do what you can’t, you practice a version of parenting beyond your present capacity.”

“God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. No matter what your family looks like or how limited your capacity might be, you can cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God.”

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Mission Parents is a resource provided by Mission Community Church