Parenting books are a dime a dozen. One look at any bookstore’s parenting section makes me slightly overwhelmed. From feeding your child a sugar-free diet, or ensuring you are raising teens with healthy self-esteem; everyone has advice to give. This is where Aussie Harriet Connor’s new book “Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life” (Wipf and Stock, 2017). stands on its own: Connor isn’t trying to share her ideas founded on the latest fad. Instead, Connor is trying to use God’s word, to stretch our minds and direct our eyes to his timeless wisdom and purpose for parenting. Connor writes theologically-rich content in an accessible way, keeping her audience broad. Her book encourages both the preacher and the new Christian and everyone in-between, come away built up with knowledge that doesn’t spoil or fade- for it is God’s timeless wisdom that can be applied to our modern life.
“Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life” is structured in four parts: Our Big Purpose; Our Big Problem; Our Big Values and Our Big Family. In each section, Connor unpacks firstly the gospel and then how the Bible shows us how to make principles practical. Connor covers great breadth of Bible stories, often sharing those lesser-known stories, and does so with great depth. She allows you to recognise that if we have the ‘Big Picture’ of what God’s purpose of parenting is, we can trust the Holy Spirit’s leading in the issues that arise, whatever it may be.
“I figured that generations of parents before me had grown up seeing the world, and their children, through the lens of Christianity. So I resolved to read through the Bible from start to finish and find out exactly what it had to say to parents like me….what I found was more than I had bargained for. I went looking for little pieces of grandmotherly advice, but the Bible gave me something much bigger. It gave me a grand vision—a “big picture”—which has put my life and my role as a parent into perspective. As I read, I found that the daily story of our little family began to sink into the strong embrace of a much bigger story; a story that began “in the beginning” and stretches into eternity.” (pp.7-8)
This is a wonderful resource that I wished I had when I was starting out my parenting journey and it is a book I am definitely buying for my younger sister and her husband who are about to begin theirs. Whether you are a seasoned parent, a single wanting to support those in your church family or a soon-to-be parent, I would highly recommend this book for a Biblical, big-picture approach to parenting. “Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life” by Harriet Connor is available from The Wandering Bookseller and Koorong.