Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life part 2

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Book covers can only tell you so much. If it’s a book by Peter Carey or Jane Austen, then I know I am going to love it. I am personally working hard to spread my love of these two authors to anyone who will listen. Book reviews can help us go a bit deeper and see if we want to commit, and whether this will be the right book to give away. Maybe you have been thinking of giving Harriet Connor’s Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life to someone for Christmas? In this second post I will be telling you a bit more about this great parenting book, with some specific readers in mind. And during December I will also be reposting some previous reviews on books that would be ideal to give as gifts. In January, Equip Book Club will all be taking a break. Time for some novels, a biography or two and some more good Christian books.


In my last post, I gave you an overview of Big Picture Parents: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life. Connor presents a much needed diagnosis of the problems faced by modern parents, and a clear and detailed explanation of the wisdom that the Bible brings to parenting. So in my final post I thought I would try to highlight some of the aspects of the book that would make it a great gift for different people in your life:

Someone who’s about to have a baby.

Someone who’s been coming to your church for a while. Maybe you’re not sure where they stand with Jesus. They need a clear Bible outline and a vision for how being a Christian impacts all aspects of your life.

Someone who is a parent and didn’t grow up in a Christian family themselves.

Someone from a cultural background where parenting is driven by guilt, fear and shame.


New Parents

I would definitely recommend this book as a gift for someone who is about to become a parent for the first time. Now, they probably won’t be able to truly relate to the comments about how and why parenting is so hard, but they will be armed with a framework that they can cling to or even rest up against at 3am on a sleepless night. Connor reminds us of God’s purpose for our lives and for parenthood. It’s not happiness and it’s not perfect parenting. Wouldn’t it be great for a new parent to realise their human limitations and to be able to step back and see the big picture?

New to church

Maybe there’s someone who has joined your church and needs encouragement to keep pressing on in the death-defying adventure and God-given calling that is parenting. You’re not quite sure of how they stand with Jesus and how they see their role as a parent in light of the gospel. Connor explains the gospel. She also explains how the Ten Commandments show us what Christians should value and how important it is that we pass those vales on. She encourages us to be committed to our church family through a clear outline of biblical theology. This book could help your friend to put all the pieces of the puzzle into place, to clarify their understanding of the gospel and to deepen their love of God their father.

New to a Christian family

Harriet and her husband both came to parenting from different family backgrounds in regards to parenting styles. This led to misunderstanding and conflict. But stepping back and looking at the big picture was helpful for them both to see what the purpose of parenting was and how they were planning to get there. Maybe your friend was not raised in a Christian family, and while having Christian parents is no guarantee, this book could be really helpful to challenge and guide a parent to place God at the centre of their own family.

New to the gospel setting the culture in the family

I would recommend this book for Christians who have come to Australia from another culture. It does require a good grasp of English. But it isn’t incredibly long, and it would be great to read a few chapters a week and meet up to discuss this beautiful big picture of God’s plan for families. Here is a clear explanation of why Christians should not parent out of guilt and fear.

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Writer | Rachael Collins is a Jane Austen fan who often finds it amusing that she is married to Mr Collins who is indeed a minister. Rachael enjoys gardening, drinking tea and op shopping. In between planting a new church and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read a lot of good books this Summer.