Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey

About the Author:
Dr. James D. Dempsey hails from a small farming community in west Texas and credits his success to great parents and the values learned among those hard-working, friendly, but fiercely independent folk. He graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a BA in Psychology, and holds both a Masters and PhD in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at Austin. He served two years as the director of the childcare center at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin, and has also taught classes at both UT Austin and the University of North Texas in Denton. He has taught in early childhood programs in Lubbock, Austin, and Keller, Texas. As an expert in children and learning environments, he has led more than 150 training seminars at various universities, churches, and childcare conferences through the years. He continues to train church and childcare staffs around the state of Texas. Beginning in 2008, Jim joined First Baptist Church of Keller (TX) as Children’s Minister. Jim was ordained in ministry in 2012, and recently joined the staff of Anderson Mill Baptist Church (Austin) as Associate Pastor to Families. He enjoys writing curricula for churches and maintains a blog for both parents and church staff on his website, He provides parenting advice and a monthly newsletter to the parents of Young Leaders Campus Network in the Houston area. He is a frequent speaker for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention on children's and family ministry. He is a certified trainer for the National Center for Biblical Parenting, and one of only 5 certified consultants for this organization. After publishing articles in educational journals and contributing to education textbooks, he wrote his first book on parenting titled Parenting Unchained-Overcoming the Ten Deceptions That Shackle Christian Parents. He admits that his degree and his experience teaching young children led him to be a bit cocky about his parenting, and that arrogance led to more than a few mistakes as a parent. Jim uses these lessons plus intensive Bible study to reveal the ways Satan deceives Christian parents, and the Biblical truths that set parents free from those deceptions. In spite of Jim's parenting foibles, he and wife Gail have three lovely and well-adjusted daughters and three grandchildren. 
My Review:
Parenting must be the most difficult job yet most rewarding one in the whole world! 
Christian parenting or Biblical parenting is even more challenging because Satan 
does not want to see Christian families living for God, serving God, and making an 
eternal impact in the world. In this book, the author warns readers about the ten lies 
that Satan wants Christian parents to believe. He shares from his own experiences 
and points parents to Biblical truths that will help them overcome these deceptions 
and break Satan's chains. He offers practical ideas and activities to help parents 
connect with their children and equip them. Some topics include relationship vs. rules,  
quality time vs. quantity of time, discipline, faith talk, heart change vs. behavior 
modification, adaptability/flexibility, and more. God is our Model for parenting. 
God's Word is the best parenting guide. Parents must live out what they believe 
authentically before their children. Parenting Unchained is insightful and Biblically 
sound! At the end of the book, you will find Appendix A: The Primacy of Relationship 
and Appendix B: A Catalog of Jesus's Teachings in His Later Ministry. I highly 
recommend this valuable resource to all Christian parents. I wish I had read this book 
when my kids were younger! 

"Satan wants us to see God's rules as arbitrary and restrictive. Satan's seduction 
captures us when we focus on God's limiting rules, yet overlook the truth that God
 is a God of relationship. We bring Satan's false view into our parenting when we 
focus on the behavior of our children and not on our relationship with them." (p. 30)

"The grand purpose of God for us is  a love relationship, first with Him, then with 
other people." (p. 35)

"Your child copies your behavior; not your lesson plans. Modeling is the most 
powerful tool in the parent's toolbox, whether you intend to use it or not. Modeling 
is not an option--it is commanded by God both to use Him as a model and to be a 
particular kind of model for our children." (p. 67)

"So the first and primary reason God disciplines us is to provide us with spiritual
safety. The next reason, or perhaps just a deeper expression of the first, is that He 
loves us." (p. 90)

~I received a free copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for my honest 
review. All opinions are my own.

NOTE: The Kindle edition of this book is only 99 cents from today to December 12th 

on Amazon!

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