**I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Jim Daly uses personal anecdotes both from his own childhood and from being a father himself in order to help encourage and enlighten parents. Parenting is tough, and no matter what facades we may erect in public and on social media, no parent is perfect.
When we screw up and yell at our kids, or we forget a promise, or we misjudge a situation, or we make any one of innumerable possible mistakes as parents, to whom can we turn for advice? Can we ever rectify these mistakes? If so, how? Are we doomed to permanently mess up our kids? Jim Daly endeavors to answer all of these questions with compassion, personal examples, and a healthy dose of biblical application. He shares extensively about his childhood and how it shapes his decisions as a parent. He also shares recent examples of how he teams up with his wife to parent their two sons. Ultimately, Daly concludes that no parent is perfect, but God is. When we rely on God to guide us in our parenting efforts, His grace is sufficient to cover our mistakes and His love is immeasurably bigger for our kids (and for us!). God chose each of us and entrusted us with our children. As long as we strive to do our best and seek God’s will, He will not allow us to irreparably “screw up” our kids.
“Families are…like gardens. They can be messy, dirty places filled with weeds and bugs, too much water, too much sun. They require work and patience and often a willingness to get knee-deep in mud. It also helps to have a sense of humor as you tend to them.
But gardening is also an act of trust. An act of faith. Underneath the earth, a miracle grows – one that has less to do with you and more to do with God. You can’t make a seed sprout. You can’t force it to flower. Your job is to help the miracle along.”
This book is engaging and contains a lot of practical, biblical advice. I enjoyed the personal anecdotes as well. It was particularly interesting to learn how Daly’s childhood shaped his parenting decisions. I did feel that Daly occasionally relied a little too heavily on personal anecdotes. I would have preferred a little bit more scientific or biblical application at times. However, the book is well written. There were no errors that I could find in this edition.
I recommend this book as a light, easy read for those looking for some practical advice and entertaining anecdotes. It is not the deepest, most intimate or life-changing parenting book you will ever read, but it’s worth your time all the same. Of anyone in the country, Jim Daly’s credentials speak for themselves and When Parenting Isn’t Perfect is a respectable and enlightening tome.