Almost any parent you asked would tell you that they want their children to be happy, successful adults. But many of us forget (or never knew to begin with) that lasting personal joy is not necessarily found the way the world says it is--through reaching a certain socioeconomic status, having a certain job, buying a certain house, or having a certain amount in one's bank account. In fact, says Kristen Welch, popular blogger and author of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, personal satisfaction comes not from grabbing onto things but from holding them with an open hand and, very often, giving them away.
In this inspiring book, Welch shows parents how to discover for themselves and instill in their kids the profound joy that comes from sharing what we have been given--our time, our talents, and even what's in our wallets--with those who have less. Through powerful personal stories as well as stories from Scripture, Welch offers a tantalizing alternative to status quo parenting that has the power to impact not only our own families but the entire world. At the end of each chapter, one of the author's kids offers their perspective on what it's like to be raised as a world changer.
- Necessary Read for Christian Parents
You may recognize author Kristen Welch from her blog We Are That Family. I started reading Kristen's blog years ago because the title is hilarious and her posts are truthful, thought-provoking and relatable. When Kristen released her first book Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World, I was really excited to read it and even had the privilege of being on the launch team. Not too long ago, I received an email inviting me to participate on the launch team for Kristen's latest book Raising World Changers in A Changing World and I decided to accept the invite. Raising World Changers is a bit of a prequel to Raising Grateful Kids with Kristen detailing how she and her family founded Mercy House Global, a nonprofit that provides jobs for women to care for themselves and their families through the selling of fair trade items in an online store.
In Raising World Changers, Kristen also includes quotes from other sources including John Piper and Randy Alcorn which were very poignant. Kristen is faithful to remind readers that as Christians, we don't give to be saved rather, we give because we are saved. This is such an important distinction to make and I'm thankful for its inclusion in the book. While a large emphasis of Raising World Changers is giving, it is not explicitly referring to financial donations. On page 55 of the book, Kristen invites parents to do the following 4 actions: 1. See the people around you. 2. Spot the needs in others' lives. 3. Scatter Kindness. 4. Start over with number one. She lets readers know that meeting a need can be as simple as building a relationship with the single mom on your child's soccer team and seeing how you can care for her.
Often books of this type can make readers feel guilty for not being able to give more or do more financially but I really liked that Raising World Changers was different because it does quite the opposite. This book encourages readers to look at what they do have that they can give and to start small. Kristen also reminded readers that they don't have to be wealthy to start giving.
"While I respect the work of Dave Ramsey, who encourages people to get out of debt and live debt free, I have always taken issue with the principle that we should live in such a way that later we can give like no one else. He encourages people to 'give like no one else' after they have saved and accumulated wealth. There is no later in terms of the gospel. There is only now. How else can we cultivate a life of giving?" (pg. 115).
Since my husband and I live on a limited budget and are in a season in which we are working toward debt elimination, I appreciated this challenge from Kristen and fully agree with her.
Raising World Changers is a unique and necessary book in the Christian parenting conversation and I'm glad to have read it. Each chapter concludes with members of Kristen's family answering questions regarding the content of the chapter and includes practical actions parents can take with their kids to help them cultivate hearts of generosity.
I didn't have any major concerns with this book but I would like to note that Kristen includes quotes from her personal friend and author, Ann Voskamp. Personally, I'm not a fan of Ann's writing style. I didn't understand why the first quote from her on page 56 was included in the book. To me, it didn't fit well with the rest of the content in the chapter. Also, I've been concerned with Ann's theology since she wrote in her first book, One Thousand Gifts, that she traveled to Paris to, ". . . discover how to make love to God." With this in mind, I urge readers to exercise discernment where Ann's quotes are included. (For more on this, read the review of One Thousand Gifts by Tim Challies and Romantic Panentheism: A Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp by Bob DeWaay of Critical Issues Commentary.)
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Raising World Changers and highly recommend all parents read it.
I received Raising World Changers compliments of Baker Books in exchange for my honest review.
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