3.21.2013

Love No Matter What by Brenda Garrison (Book Review)




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).



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Book Description (From the Publisher) 

How will you respond when your child makes a decision you don't agree with?
Parents and kids will never agree on everything but what can mom and dad do when that decision—whether a matter of preference, spirituality, or morality—is something they think is totally wrong? Author and speaker Brenda Garrison knows all too well that how parents respond will either build a wall or a bridge between them and their child.
Brenda and her husband were forced to answer this question when their oldest daughter Katie abruptly moved out of the house with no means of support. It was not an illegal or immoral decision, but it was one that wasn't good for her. Their determination to keep an open door of communication is documented not only by their story, but by comments from Katie in each chapter as she offers insights from her own perspective.
Also included are other family scenarios—everything from matters of preference to foolish, immoral, and even illegal decisions—as well as insights into different styles of parenting such as servant, checked-out, gotcha, scared, and controlling parents.
With practical tips and relatable stories, Brenda shares how to model God's parenting style and explains the difference between the parent's responsibilities and the child's, then helps mom and dad discover ways to develop and nurture a relationship with their child that will last a lifetime.


I received this book in return for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.
I review for BookSneeze®





4 comments:

  1. That looks great! My kids are little but I'm dreading the teen years if mine are any indication of how it will go...

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  2. I find that being a part of a covenant community where the youth workers are really committed to our kids and to us, is a great help for us parents. In our community, the kids have action group leaders who meet them regularly, and during summer the kids have so many activities, summer households, social action, camps, etc. So far, my son who is 18, is in a good place. And he enjoys going to community events because he has many friends there from when he was young. I really praise and thank God for our community. And I thank God for Josh and Luigi (my husband). They have real good communication. Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  3. This sounds like a good read, and sounds like a helpful resource for parents with teens and young adults (and perhaps beyond). Sometimes we need perspective away from a situation that we are close to. Thanks so much for the review!

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