One of the best gifts you can give your child in my opinion is faith, and yet it is the only thing that you really can’t give them. Don’t get me wrong you can introduce them to faith, raise them in an environment where you hope, believe, pray and teach, but even that guarantee that they will “get it”. Faith is not inherited, it’s journey with every person is unique. We can teach our children after our faith and encourage them to get their own, but what happens next is really up to them.
Questions are part of developing a healthy faith. At some point, you must move from what you have been taught, to what you accept, experience, and live in your own life. That is why these two books Grace Unplugged and Own It meant so much to me.
In the book, Grace Unplugged written by Melody Carlson. We deal with a story about a young lady who grapples with her faith. She is chasing her dreams, and then her faith and her dreams collide.
Grace Unplugged is a story about a girl with beautiful talent and a dream of taking it to wherever it might lead her. Her parents love her and want the best from her, but she wants what she wants. When she is given an incredible opportunity to chase after her dreams, she ends up in a world very different from the one she grew up in. With many new chooses and new options, she has to choose and understand, what kind of life she will live, and what her faith really means to her. Then she must decide how she will allow her choices to effect her life, especially when she sees where they take her. Grace has to make some tough decisions as she decides what she needs and wants and what she is willing to pay for it. As her life and her faith lay in the balance. It is a great read, with a lot of practical and relevant questions.
The second book, Own It, written by Michael and Hayley DiMarco, is referred to in Grace Unplugged. It challenges you to own your faith. It challenges you to own your faith the same way Grace did in her story. How do we help ourselves or our children grow into their own faith? How do we nurture their questions, as well as our own? I am sure we would like to believe that our faith is black and white, but sometimes it’s not! There are many gray areas where we have to pray our way through. There are times in every Christian’s life when faith in God does not come in some neat nice package. For example, how do you struggle with questions of fairness, death, and pain? Even better, how do we help our children as they mature. As parents, sometimes we must watch as our children move from “this is what mom and dad believe”, to a place where they can say, this is my faith and “I love God for myself”, and that isn’t always easy.
As a parent, my heart wishes I knew how to make it easier for my daughter to embrace her own faith, but that would be counterproductive to her process of growth. But I know that real faith is vetted by life. It is fire breed and life shaped, and it’s an experience that each must have on our own. These are two books that I think every parent should read. These books make us question our faith in a way that I think is critical to growth. Especially, as each of us shapes our own faith and identity in Christ.
I know that in some of my very own deep, dark hours it has been my faith and only my faith that has kept me. As a parent, I only hope I have given my daughter the tools that she needs to make the best choices about her own faith. As I have given her the pieces I have strung together to show her that God is real, my prayer is that she has seen Him act in our lives in ways that time and the challenges that life throws at her can never ever wash away. Until then, I will be praying that I have given her the best gift that a mother can share, the gift of faith.
Grace Unplugged was made into a movie, which is out now or you can buy the book and read it for yourself! What do you wish you could give your child? I would love to hear!
To find out more about the movie and where it is playing click here http://graceunplugged.com
Here is a preview…
Click here to get the books!
Buy own it here!
The opinions, stories, and accounts in this article are mine, but I was provided these books for free to review. Disclosure of MAterial Connection: I received these books above for free in the hope that I Would mention it on my blog. According to FTC’s 16 CTR, Part 255: Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.