A Christianity-infused manual delivers advice to parents coping with the upheavals of raising children.
Knowles begins her debut book at the end of her parenting journey. The oldest of her three kids was ready to go off to college, where he would get a degree, find a terrific job, marry a wonderful person, and be followed in that same pattern by his younger brother and sister in short order. Things would proceed smoothly, and the author and her husband would have finally successfully navigated their children’s perilous teenage years. And although Knowles decides to keep the specifics private (a curiously courtly decision that lends an extra degree of moral authority to the account), she then makes it clear that this neat, orderly picture never really happened. Her relations with her kids became dark and complicated—and, inadvertently, resulted in a prolonged learning experience that served to deepen the author’s faith. At first, this experience was rocky; the events occurring in her life didn’t seem to align with what she knew about God’s words and Christian Scripture. But eventually she came to a different understanding, guided by Peter’s sentiment of casting all one’s cares onto God. From these struggles flow all of the book’s useful insights into building better relationships, from individuals appreciating the concept of forgiveness (Knowles reminds her Christian readers that forgiveness is given not to the offending person but to God, who commands it) to parents reconciling themselves to the loss of “might have been”-style dreams for themselves and their children. The author writes all of this in a clear, straightforward prose that can look deceptively simple; Knowles packs a lot of hard-won wisdom into a comparatively small page count. Her sage advice to her fellow parents going through rough times with their kids boils down to urging them to have courage, regardless of the circumstances. Christian parents will find a great deal of worthy counsel in these lessons.
A valuable and convincing combination of devotional handbook and parenting survival guide.