I loved the title of Brenda Garrison's book, "Love No Matter What", and decided right away, since this is the goal for most Christians, especially Christian parents, that I should and would devour whatever wisdom was presented in the pages.
The book is written for parents of children, especially that are in their teen years and beyond. In ten chapters Brenda shares not only her own story but also a dozen other families stories to share insights, and practical help for parents dealing with children who don't fit into a cookie cutter Christianity and refuse to do so.
Using the Prodigal Son story from Scripture as a base model, Brenda sets up camp at Luke 15:11-32 and she continuously returns there throughout the book.
Brenda along with her daughter Katie share their perspectives of the same circumstances in Katie's life, when she began to make choices that challenged and confronted her parents faith, belief systems and convictions. The outcome, learning and journey are the heart of this book.
Some of the things I loved about this book were that she addressed reality for Christians who are dealing with kids who may not fit into, nor want to fit into the accepted Christian mold.
With more than half of kids leaving the church after they graduate perhaps it's time to take a step back and consider where the heart of Christianity lies these days. The Christian community needs to listen better if they really want to minister with grace and truth to kids who are presented with an overload of opposing, confusing viewpoints daily. Brenda deals with some of the issues of "unsafe" Christian youth groups, individuals, and church communities (aka "prayer groups" etc.) and how to guard yourself and your child from being a spiritual casualty by keeping healthy boundaries and being careful of sharing too much. Sad fact in any church community but the fallout that we see now is partially caused because of callous hearted, careless Christians with loose lips and insensitive words, gossip and slander, disguised as "prayer, and spiritual conversation.
Practical advice for keeping communication open, loving continuously and not compromising God's standard. Also the examples and variety of situations presented from the many families in the book offer almost every possible situation from bad choices, to outright rebellion and how parents got through the circumstance. Real life advice for we who need it.
Practical, encouraging, honest and real.
I'd give this read 5 stars.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion in the back of the book make this an excellent book for shared study and prayer with a partner or small group of parents struggling with the same circumstances (or who have had and are able to lead/encourage others in the journey).
Check out Brenda's Web Site!
Book Description (From the Publisher)
I received this book in return for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.